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Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Alissa Sherry

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0136

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Sherry, A. 2010. Borderline Personality Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of Texas at Austin

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is one of 10 personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), the manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. BPD is considered a “cluster B” personality disorder. The cluster B identifier signifies a general pattern of behavior characterized by deficiencies in impulse control and affect regulation and is also known as the “dramatic-erratic” cluster. The diagnostic criteria listed in the DSM-IV-TR specific to BPD are as follows:

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

  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 of sense of self

  4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

  5. recurrent suicidal behaviors, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

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

  9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 710)


  • borderline personality disorder;
  • childhood trauma;
  • DSM