Registered Nurse (RN)
Psychiatric Nursing
Personality Disorders
Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderlined Person with Purse-onality Disordered
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by chaotic relationships, labile mood, and fluctuating attitudes toward other people. They have poor self-image and chronic feelings of emptiness. Fear of abandonment prevents them from maintaining stable relationships. Common personality traits include splitting and anxiety. Self-destructive behavior and suicidal thoughts are classic manifestations of this disorder.
Chronic Feelings of Emptiness
Crone of Emptiness

Chronic feelings of emptiness correlate with the state of derealization they feel. In order to counteract the feelings of unreality, individuals with borderline personality disorder will self-inflict pain as a way to return to reality.

Poor Self Image
Poor Self Image in mirror

People with borderline personality disorder lack a defined sense of identity. They have poor self-image based on constantly shifting goals, aspirations, and values.

Unstable Goals, Aspirations, Career Plans
Unstable-ground Goal

Poor self-image and labile emotions cause individuals with borderline personality disorder to have unstable goals, aspirations, and career plans. They experience sudden and dramatic changes in lifestyle choices and personal values. The abrupt changes make long-term planning extremely difficult to determine.

Fear of Abandonment
Fear of Abandonment

Fear of abandonment causes feelings of depression in individuals with borderline personality disorder. They may experience constant feelings of emptiness. When clinging behaviors are present, they will want frequent communication and reassurance from their idealized person. Anxiety may develop as they fear that the other person will abandon them.

Unable to Maintain Relationships
Ended Relationship

People with borderline personality disorder are unable to maintain stable relationships. They demonstrate a pattern of clinging and distancing behaviors. In order to maintain their relationships, they use manipulation to avoid separation.

Unstable Mood
Unstable-ground Moody-mask

People with borderline personality disorder are constantly in a state of crisis. Unable to stabilize their mood, their affect fluctuates from one extreme to another. Their moods may include depression, anxiety, or irritability. Since their behaviors reflect their fluctuating moods, they are impulsive and engage in risk-taking behaviors. They may use hostility and manipulation in order to get what they desire.

Split-emotions while Splitting

Splitting is a major ego defense mechanism characterized by the inability to accept both positive and negative feelings. They consider each person and situation as either all good or all bad. If someone they had established to be "good" threatens their relationship, the person with borderline personality disorder will then consider that person altogether "bad."

Self-destructive Behaviors
Destroying Self

People with borderline personality disorder engage in self-destructive behaviors. Their impulsive behavior leads them to engage in risk taking activities such as substance abuse, gambling, promiscuity, and reckless driving. Their behaviors reflect their labile emotions and can quickly change within minutes. Self-mutilating behaviors and suicide attempts are classic manifestations of borderline personality disorder.


Separation is a significant cause of anxiety in individuals with borderline personality disorder. In order to decrease separation anxiety, they may use manipulation to prevent others from leaving them.

Suicidal Thoughts
Suicidal-jumper Thoughts

The common feeling of depression may cause individuals with borderline personality disorder to develop suicidal thoughts. They experience frequent feelings of hopelessness. Their poor self-image convinces them that people will eventually abandon them. Suicide attempts are common to elicit a response from others.


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