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Borderline Personality Disorder

The borderline personality disorder (BPD) counts among the emotionally unstable personality disorders. The name 'borderline' is used because neurotic as well as psychotic symptoms can be observed in affected patients.

People suffering from BPD tend to be emotionally unstable which is characterized by impulsive behaviour. They usually give into emotional impulses without being able to fully appraise the resulting consequences. Furthermore they tend to have intense but unstable inter-personal relationships. These relationships are characterized by a change from idealizing to devaluing the partner or other reference people. A common behaviour is the attempt to avoid a hypothetical or real break up by the partner because of fear.

In general the world of emotions of affected people is extreme and labile. This means that it varies from intense inner states of stress on the one hand to feelings of inner emptiness and boredom. Instabilities in terms of self-esteem and sense of self are common. People with BPD experience immense difficulties in directing and subsequently controlling their feelings. PAtients report recurrent psychological crisis which are often accompanied by self-destructive behaviour up to threats of commiting suicide and suicide attempts.

There are different theories about the origin of this disorder at the moment. In many cases it is believed that factors like genetic inheritance as well as environmental influences or a combination of both are playing a role.

Treatment of BPD often encompasses a psychotherapeutical approach which is often accompanied by medication.

Screening Questions

  • Do you often experience a sense of inner emptiness?
  • Is your current mood capable of changing from happiness to anger or wrath in an instant?
  • Do you experience intense fear of being abandoned?
  • In cases of experiencing stress or pressure, do you hurt yourself to relieve tension?
  • Do you sometimes experience a feeling of 'being all at sea'?


Univ.-Prof. Dr.rer.nat.

Anne Schienle

Phone:+43 316 380 - 5086

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