What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Suicide and BPD

Suicide and BPD

This condition which is becoming more apparent in Ireland in recent times seems to have had little coverage, research or respect yet thousands in Ireland are living with it and suffering from it.

It is common unfortunately that many BPD sufferers remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as it presents similar symptoms to the more commonly known disorders of the human mind – eg – depression, schizophrenia or alcoholism.

There is also very little evidence of help available to these people and their families.

It does not fall comfortably in to the ‘Psychiatry’ or ‘Mental Health’ categories as it is an emotional or psychological condition.

As a result of this, medication or specific treatment is not readily available or affordable and drugs in most cases do not stop the devastating effects of this disorder.

It is a disorder which can carry devastating effects on the sufferers and their families.

Self harm, suicide attempts and marriage break downs feature commonly with BPD

So why is so little help available in Ireland?

The most effective treatment for BPD sufferers is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy – DBT.

DBT is expensive.


What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a personality disorder described as a prolonged disturbance of personality function in a person (generally over the age of eighteen years, although it is also found in adolescents), characterized by depth and variability of moods.

The disorder typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood; black and white thinking, or splitting; the disorder often manifests itself in idealization and devaluation episodes, as well as chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior; as well as a disturbance in the individual’s sense of self.

In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation.

BPD splitting includes a switch between idealizing and demonizing others. This, combined with mood disturbances, can undermine relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

BPD disturbances also may include self-harm.

Without treatment, symptoms may worsen, leading (in extreme cases) to suicide attempts.

There is an ongoing debate among clinicians and patients worldwide about terminology and the use of the word borderline, and some have suggested that this disorder should be renamed.

The ICD-10 manual has an alternative definition and terminology to this disorder, called Emotionally unstable personality disorder.

There is related concern that the diagnosis of BPD stigmatizes people and supports pejorative and discriminatory practices.

It is common for those suffering from borderline personality disorder and their families to feel compounded by a lack of clear diagnoses, effective treatments, and accurate information.

This is true especially because of evidence that this disorder originates in the families of those who suffer from it.

Conceptual, as well as therapeutic, relief may be obtained through evidence that BPD is closely related to traumatic events during childhood and to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), about which much more is known

For further information on BPD, go to -


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