Borderline personality disorder



Usually, abuse as a child


Unstable personal relationships, impusivity, unstable self-image, difficulty with emotional decisions

Mortality Rate

10% (Indirectly, through suicide)



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Borderline personality disorder is a psychiatric classification for persons who exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, either by parents or other persons whom the person is in a relationship with
  • A pattern of unstable and intense personal relationships
  • An unstable sense of self - varying between extreme highs and lows of self-esteem
  • Impulsivity - characterized by promiscuous sex, eating disorders, substance abuse or risk taking
  • Attempts at suicide and/or self-harming behavior
  • Unstable affect, characterized by short periods of intense moods
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Transient paranoia or delusions

BPD is highly correlated with childhood abuse, including sexual abuse.

BPD responds well to psychotherapy, with most patients responding well during a two year course. However, it is common for relationships between the patient and therapist to be strained by the patient's tendency to project bad motives onto the therapist and therapists must be trained to recognize and deflect this.

BPD should be part of any differential diagnosis for severe behavioral problems. BPD patients can easily be mistaken for being schizophrenic, but will not respond to medication.

Gregory House exhibits many of the characteristics of someone with BPD, but has instead been diagnosed on at least one occasion with antisocial personality disorder. APD responds poorly to all forms of treatment.

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