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Home: Related Disorders: BPD: Diagnostic Criteria

Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnostic Criteria

Borderline Personality Disorder is defined in the DSM-III-R handbook, section (301.83):

A pervasive pattern of instability of mood, interpersonal relationships, and self-image, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least *five* of the following:

  • a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of overidealization and devaluation
  • impulsiveness in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging, e.g., spending, sex, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving, binge eating (Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in [5].)
  • affective instability: marked shifts from baseline mood to depression, irritability, or anxiety, usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days
  • inappropriate, intense anger or lack of control of anger, e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights
  • recurrent suicidal threats, gestures, or behavior, or self-mutilating behavior
  • marked and persistent identity disturbance manifested by uncertainty about at least two of the following: self-image, sexual orientation, long-term goals or career choice, type of friends desired, preferred values
  • chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom
  • frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in [5].)

Modified January 10, 2003

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