Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a psychiatric disorder involving intense and rapidly changing emotions, difficulties in relationships, impulsive behavior, and an unstable sense of self. BPD can involve self-injury and suicidal behavior.

The most evidence-based treatment for BPD is psychotherapy, and there are a number of effective therapies that have been developed to treat the types of difficulties people with BPD have, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

While BPD does involve long-lasting symptoms and difficulties, the majority of people with BPD eventually decrease in symptoms over time, and many will eventually no longer have the diagnosis, so it is not necessarily a life-long condition.

In general, someone with a personality disorder will differ significantly from an average person in terms of how he or she thinks, perceives, feels, or relates to others. Those with BPD can find that their symptoms worsen in the luteal or early follicular phase - this is known as PME - Premenstrual Exacerbation.

Initial studies suggest this may be common in BPD; however, more research is needed to know for sure.

Jessica R. Peters, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University

September 2020

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