First letís talk about the common aspects of both disorders. For instance mood instability and behavioral impulsivity are the most frequent ones. Both disorders shift from one mood state to the another. Sufferers also act impulsively to either channel their emotional pain or to trigger physical sensations that will cover the emotional pain.
Although the above described aspects are common in both disorders, there are some important details that really set them apart.
For instance, bipolar disorder is characterized by two ďpolarĒ mood states, depression and mania, one being stable and the other coming up in short bursts. BPD on the other hand is made up by a normal and functional state, with short episodes of intense anger and behavioral impulsivity.
Moreover, in bipolar the mood shifts come out of the blue because of metabolism disturbances of the emotion hormones like serotonin and dopamine, while in borderline personality the mood shifts are caused by real or perceived outside stressors. So the backbone of the two disorders is completely different.
Additionally, if you want to distinguish Bipolar from BPD, you need to know more about some other specific symptoms in borderline personality.
For instance BPDs have a very intense fear of abandonment, punishment, or critique, which come from invalidating experiences early in life, while you canít find this aspect in bipolar disorder. Moreover, these early invalidating encounters determine identity problems and almost constant emotional void or emptiness, which manifest very intensely when being triggered by present invalidations.
Statistically there is a mild connection between the physical factors of these two disorders, however future studies on brain physiology and structure will have to make things clear in this area.
Whether you suffer from BPD or someone dear to you has borderline personality, for more information, treatments, and advice, click here.