Guest Post by Rissa: Borderline Personality Disorder vs. Bipolar Disorder | Learn The Difference (Plus Info on BPD)

Hey everyone!

Let’s welcome Rissa back to My Bipolar Mind as she talks about the difference between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) vs. Bipolar Disorder (BD). She also goes over facts, symptoms, and treatment options for BPD.

Other Posts by Rissa include::

Let’s show Rissa some love as we all learn about BPD together!


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD) are very often confused and misdiagnosed. They both have symptoms of impulsiveness and mood swings but they are very different disorders as well as different treatments as well.

Here we will break down the differences and hopefully make it easier to understand and come to terms as to what is going on in your head and/or happening to your emotions.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

BPD involves a longstanding pattern of abrupt, moment to moment swings in moods, relationships, self image, and behavior (in comparison to distinct episodes of mania or depression in people with bipolar disorder) that are usually triggered by conflicts in interactions with other people.

People who have borderline personality disorder can experience overly strong emotional responses to unsettling life events and often try to hurt themselves. They often have chaotic relationships with others. People who are diagnosed with BPD are more likely to have other mental health problems as well. They are also more then likely to have had some type of trauma as a child then a person who has been diagnosed with BD, although trauma in itself does not cause borderline personality disorder, we are also more prone to addiction, eating disorders, body image, and anxiety. You can also have an intense fear of abandonment or instability, and difficulty tolerating being alone.

Yet inappropriate anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away even though you want to have a loving and lasting relationship. It typically begins at early adulthood, it seems worse when younger but it can gradually get better with age. If you have BPD don’t ever get discouraged, many others with this disorder get better over time with treatment and can learn to live satisfying lives. There are up to 3 million cases per year in the US alone.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

A person with borderline personality disorder has trouble controlling their thoughts and managing their feelings and often has impulsive and reckless behaviors. The following are the main symptoms of this disorder.

  • Frantic efforts to avoid feeling abandoned
  • History of unstable and or intense relationships whether its good or bad
  • Tendency to view people and situations of all good or all bad
  • Poor self image
  • Impulsiveness ( spending money, sex, substance abuse)
  • Self harm (cutting, just to feel something) or Suicidal behaviors
  • Mood swings involving anger and depression, usually in response to stressful events or relationships
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Problems managing anger or unpleasant emotions
  • Paranoia

Treatments for BPD

Long term treatments are usually necessary for individuals with BPD. Treatment mainly involves specific forms of psychotherapy, such as Dialectical Behavior therapy (DBT) or transference focused psychotherapy (TFP) aimed at helping people manage their impulses such as suicidal urges or tendencies to self harm when they are upset, feelings of distress or anger, emotional oversensitivity to interactions with others.

Medications are also sometimes used to help with the symptoms although they are not always effective and not considered to be the main focus of treatment in BPD. Sometimes a short hospital stay is needed to manage times of crisis that involves the threats to the persons safety and well being.


About the Author:

Hello everyone my name is Rissa. I am head of the MBM Facebook group, I enjoy helping others as well as starting my own small business. Life is crazy for everyone right now but taking time to helps others is much better than not having someone to talk to.


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Categories: Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Featured, Mental Health, Our Personal Blog, Rissa, Rissa's Personal Blog

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