Borderline personality disorder term was first introduced in 1938.  In 1980, BPD became an official personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III or DSM-III.  BPD is associated with specific problems in interpersonal relationships, self-image, emotions, behaviors, and thought. 

People with borderline disorder have marked problems with relationships, notably with the people who are closest to them, such as families, partners, and friends.  People with BPD tend to have intense emotional relationships characterized by a lot of conflicts, arguments, and break-ups. BPD is also associated with strong sensitivity to abandonment, which includes an extreme fear of being abandoned by loved ones and attempts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from affective instability, impulsivity, and identity disturbance which particularly manifest in an unstable or insecure self-image. One main problem for studies of core psychopathology in BPD is the complex subject of identity disturbance and self-image.

As a BPD client,  I (Melanie) have many "ups and downs" in how I feel about myself.  One moment I may feel good about myself, but the next I may feel I am bad or even evil.  I have an all black or all white mentality.  There is no gray or neutral area.

BPD show sensitivity to emotional stimuli. BPD is also connected with feelings of intense anger and emptinessEmotional instability is one of the key features of BPD.  “To understand emotional sensitivity, think of the person with BPD as being ‘raw.’ His emotional nerve endings are exposed, and so he is acutely affected by anything emotional.” (Manning).  A person with BPD not only reacts with extreme emotion like sadness becomes despair and anger becomes rage, but their behavior also is intense and doesn’t fit the situation.

Self-harming behaviors are associated to BPD.  Self-harm gives relief from emotional pain.  Several BPD clients (I am one) report emotional pain prior to self-harm and an absence of feeling during and after the self-harm.  The self-harm, at least immediately, appears to distract from or relieve extreme feelings of like loneliness, depression, rage and humiliation.  The problem with self-harm as a coping mechanism is that the relief from emotional pain is brief.  The pain returns along with guilt, humiliation and, sometimes, self-hate.

BPD is associated with dangerous and impulsive behaviors, such as going on drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or abusing drugs, engaging in promiscuous sex, gambling or binge eating.

Under conditions of stress, people with BPD may experience changes in thinking, including stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms.