How do you know if someone does have borderline personality disorder? What are the signs and symptoms to distinguish from a person just having a bad day??

asked 25 Feb '13, 03:29

K%20L's gravatar image


edited 25 Feb '13, 05:52

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

The number of dayS involved is a start for distinction.

(25 Feb '13, 03:36) Yva

yes probably it's the combination duration/depth of disruption of harmonious behaviour

(25 Feb '13, 04:27) ru bis

I think medical diagnosis - that's what "Borderline Personality Disorder" is - is out of the scope of IQ. Especially when the question is "how do you know", as only medical doctors are the only one to "know" and "say they know" a dis-ease wears this label.

If you had asked why, then it's different. Thank you.

(25 Feb '13, 19:00) Yva

@Yva I absolutely agree - we cannot & should not diagnosis. However, this user didn't find IQ by using a search engine & asking "How do you know if someone has BPD?"

(25 Feb '13, 20:52) ele
showing 0 of 4 show 4 more comments

Firstly i would check there breathing and pulse. If they have both then they will have some kind of personality disorder. I know that sounds flippant but from what ive learned about life and people all of them seem to be exhibiting symptoms of some kind of disorder.

Ive know sane well educated people do things that would lead me to think they were at times crazy.

I guess its a matter of degree, and a matter of how much this un alignment is impacting on their day to day lives. Lots of people function well on a basic level but have very many destructive and negative beliefs, im not sure how i would guage or quantify this. I know a Phsyciatrist, fully qualified and who has worked for the NHS, the biggest free health card provider on earth ( im told a million staff members work directly or indirectly there ),this guy to my way of thinking seems quite a strange fellow. Has he a disorder? who knows.

My boss owns a very lucrative company which leads in its field. She employes people, motivates her staff and provides a service....shes borderline anorexic, sees a phsyciatrist on a regular basis. Alls not well there but she FUNCTIONS fine.

Maybe we all have personality traits ( not flaws ) that were working on. I remember Mike Dooley saying that we shouldnt dig around for these too much. And that further more many people think theres something wrong with them thats simply not even a factor.

Personally i dont focus on any flaws in my persona, if i have them its still good, if i dont all the better.

Thats my take. It is a good question, perhaps an expert could answer it more scientifically.



answered 25 Feb '13, 06:24

Monty%20Riviera's gravatar image

Monty Riviera

Borderline personality disorder has certain specific symptoms. Check "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-IV) for a complete list of these symptoms, pgs 650-654.

For a synopsis, see page 654 "Diagnostic Criteria for 301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder."

Here ya are,

"The essential feature of Borderline Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (Criterion 1). The perception of impending separation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, affect, cognition, and behavior. These individuals are very sensitive to environmental circumstances. They experience intense abandonment fears and inappropriate anger even when faced with a realistic time-limited separation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans (e.g., sudden despair in reaction to a clinician's announcing the end of the hour; panic or fury when someone important to them is just a few minutes late or must cancel an appointment). They may believe that this "abandonment" implies they are "bad." These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment may include impulsive actions such as self-mutilating or suicidal behaviors, which are described separately in Criterion 5.

BPD is manifested by 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. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).

  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. This is called "splitting."

  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., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).

  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, 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."

Though five of these criteria being evident in a person indicate BPD, the others are often latent and bear watching for these symptoms.


answered 25 Feb '13, 07:04

No%20Brainer's gravatar image

No Brainer

edited 25 Feb '13, 18:32


Wow! I must have suffered from BPD at one time or another in my life. Actually it fits so many people I know. Who knew there were so many people suffering from BPD in this world. I wonder if the average person understands all these words/terms. Sometimes its a bad hair day & after a good nights rest I return to normal.. (joke)

(25 Feb '13, 20:59) ele

While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women. As many as 80 percent of people with borderline personality disorder have suicidal behaviors,2 and about 4-9 percent complete suicide.

(25 Feb '13, 22:09) white tiger

I would say incoherence,destructive comportement,internal struggle of the ego,lack of harmony in the relation or discution,lack of long term project in ones life(the person is not able to imagine visualize or make long term project),unemployement,taking pills for depression,making it self better then they are to make you desire them,need to make appear things better then they are,mood swing,lie,search for pleasure to not face what bothers them,alcool,drugs,gambling,suicide attemp is very good sign to know if one as BPD.

Only my personnal opinion,from experience.


answered 25 Feb '13, 19:15

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

edited 25 Feb '13, 19:16

I said this before: We have to be careful about "labels", especially when we are talking about someone else other than ourselves. All of us have odd quirks and off days. I remember reading a biography of Lincoln. He apparently suffered from depression, yet made history and changed the lives of millions of oppressed slaves and won their freedom.

Labels hurt and have the power to destroy lives. Christ said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged..."

It is for a doctor of psychiatry to decide, and for us to be tolerant.



answered 25 Feb '13, 10:30

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 25 Feb '13, 10:32


"Labels hurt and have the power to destroy lives" - So perhaps that statement should also apply when trying to scare another into believing they have a sleep disorder :)

(25 Feb '13, 11:20) Stingray

She wasn't trying to scare...

Getting something checked out is better then believing it is numerology or Pladiaens giving her messages that she must not be receiving or she'd already know it was them.

Sleep apnea can be serious. Jai ought to know, she suffers from it herself.

(25 Feb '13, 12:05) Wade Casaldi

I think that you have crossed the line here, @stingray. I am so very tired of your corrections and minute attentions to my writings here on IQ. You must know the difference between concern and scare tactics. I had no such idea in my mind when i wrote my answer. I feel that you do not like me at all.

(25 Feb '13, 12:36) Jaianniah

I agree with you in regards to labels; but imo, suggesting a sleep study was totally absurd based on what the user said. She looks up to us & the answers given by big brothers or father figures provided comfort & possibilities. You seem to be hyper sensitive to constructive criticism. As much as I would like to answers your questions Jai, I hesitate. I don't want you running to Meta to lodge a complaint like you did with SR or be the reason for another dr visit if my fb is viewed as neg.

(25 Feb '13, 16:22) ele

I apologize. Mea culpa. I am in the hospital, on medication, and should not have P posted anything under the circumstances. I will think about all you have pointed out,@stingray and @ele. I am truly sorry. I am .

(25 Feb '13, 16:47) Jaianniah

Yes Jai, I know you are in the hospital, I read your announcement earlier. I think you answered the dream ? prior to entering the hospital. I thought your answer to this ? was very good & voted it up; which makes me think you are improving ~Yea! Point is, don't stop asking ?'s.

(25 Feb '13, 20:47) ele

Jai, I can't imagine being online is at all conducive when one has a headache; but if it is, I suggest you read vintage Jai & read SR's answers again & again. No one on this site has given more of his time or tried to help you more than he has. He is always kind & caring. I care; but at times been brutally honest.

(25 Feb '13, 20:48) ele
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