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"What Are The Diagnosis Criteria For Borderline Personality"

Learn What The Diagnosis Criteria For BPD Are And How You Can Identify Them

By Michael Weisz


Determining whether you have the signs of borderline personality or not is a very important step in the therapeutic process. 

Especially because it implies many symptoms that don't seem to relate with one another, making many clear BPD cases being diagnosed as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or some other emotional, behavioral, eating, or sexual disorder.

Before presenting the diagnosis criteria, please keep in mind that there is a clear and fundamental distinction between mental disorders and mental illnesses. Although the terms are synonymous, they denote mental conditions that are completely different in nature and causes.

A mental illness represents a mental condition that is caused by physical damages and/or physiological malfunctions of the brain. Examples of such mental illnesses are mental retardation, psychosis, and consistent hallucinations.

On the other hand, a mental disorder, although it can have similar symptoms as a mental illness, is caused by defective thoughts and thinking patterns. Thoughts and thinking patterns are informational in nature, and they are the consequence of depreciating experiences and self-defeating beliefs and thinking patterns acquired in the past. In analogy with computers, the negative beliefs and thinking patterns represent the mental "software".

This is one of the main reasons for the widespread stigma people with mental disorders suffer from their families and friends. Namely, they usually don't know this essential distinction between mental disorders and mental illnesses. Most people still think that if a person is "weird", it's because his or her brain is damaged. This can't be more far from the truth.

So instead of beating yourself up for the nasty things people do or say to you, remember the fact that they probably don't know the difference between defective thoughts (i.e., mental disorder) and brain damages (i.e., mental illnesses).

That being clarified, we can move on to the diagnosis criteria of borderline personality disorder according to DSM-IV-TR ("Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition Text Revision"):


1)    Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5.

2)    A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

3)    Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

4)    Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5.

5)    Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.

6)    Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety, usually lasting a few hours and, only rarely, more than a few days).

7)    Chronic feelings of emptiness.

8)    Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

9)    Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms.


A person has borderline personality disorder if he or she presents five or more of the nine types of symptoms.

Also, if a person has only four or less symptoms, it doesn't mean that he or she doesn't have borderline personality. These cases are treated as non-specific borderline personality, meaning that they can receive help and therapy for the existing symptoms and manifestations.

This means that if a person doesn't get angry or impulsive (which are the most looked after symptoms people are looking for), it doesn't mean that he or she doesn't have borderline personality when other symptoms are also present.

In fact, anger and impulsivity are the least frequent ones. They emerge only when all the coping resorts of that person have failed and he or she is unable to hold back from manifesting the emotions and impulsivity.

A BPD person can be recognized usually by the black and white style of thinking and behaviors, inconsistency of thoughts and actions over time, overreactions to minor things, the attitude of emotional dependency on other people (i.e., either needing others support or their emotional state being dependent on how others feel or relate to them), their artificial impression of "everything's just fine", the lack of empathy, rigid rules, desires, and plans, exaggerated or unrealistic demands and standards applied to themselves and others, exaggerated critique toward others when their unrealistic needs and desires are not fulfilled exactly as they want.

If you are a BPD person, it means that you probably know so well how painful the inner void is, the sense of emotional instability, the sense of "I don't know who I am", the constant fear of abandonment, critique, scolding, or punishment, the fear that you can lose you composure in any moment, the sense of twisted perception of people and the world, the constant worry, anxiety, and even painful depression.

As you can see, the diagnosis criteria speak only about symptoms, because they are common in all BPD people.

However, they say nothing about the causes. And they are the most important part here. We can't have anxiety if we don't think anxious thoughts! We can't have depression if we don't think depressing thoughts. And we can't have borderline personality if we don't think borderline thoughts.

I mean, can you feel good while thinking that your life has no future and no meaning?

The same principle goes in the opposite positive direction.

How would you feel if you'd think and actually believe that your life is good, that your life has a meaning, that you can do good things in your life? Good right?

Maybe you can't imagine your life being good and meaningful yet, for the reason that probably until today there was no one to teach you how to build such a life, or you haven't had a model to follow.

The past negative realities (most probably created by others) were the only models you had to follow. This is one of the main reasons for the borderline personality you are probably having today.

Until one point in life we become what our parents, closest friends, and other significant adults have made us. But after becoming adults we have the mental capacity to remodel and even rebuild our lives the way we want, REGARDLESS what experiences we had in our pasts.

See, our brain is fully capable to acquire new information, concepts, beliefs, and thinking patterns if we decide to do so.

Just because your parents, or other people have treated you badly, or you've been through very painful experiences, it doesn't mean that you are a "bad", worthless, despicable person.

You probably feel that way, but the reality is that you are not like that at all.

So you can get rid of your borderline personality by replacing your self-downing beliefs and attitudes with new positives like being worthy, lovable, respectable, capable, and an important human being.

The transformation of your belief system is perfectly doable thanks to the amazing flexibility of your brain to accommodate new beliefs, thoughts, and information.

And my new "Borderline Personality Begone!" Program helps you do just that.

The insights, techniques, strategies, and exercises I have integrated in it literally eradicate borderline personality by transforming the self-depreciating beliefs and attitudes into self-loving, self-valuing, and self-appreciating ones.

Thinking that you are a worthy person makes you feel good? That's because the message of this thought goes straight to the root of your borderline personality.

Borderline personality can be healed.

Start today! Get all the details here: "Borderline Personality Begone!"

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