What is borderline personality disorder?

Momentum - The Baylor College of Medicine Blog

Mental health can be a difficult topic to discuss with family and friends. Speaking to a psychiatrist may be just as challenging.

May is Mental Health Month and mental health professionals across the country are raising awareness about mental illnesses such as borderline personality disorder (BPD).

oldham-photo Dr. John Oldham

Dr. John Oldham, Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson, Jr. endowed chair in personality disorders and interim chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, says BPD is a treatable condition but it’s important to know its risk factors and symptoms.

How do personalities function?

Oldham says the essence of personality boils down to two basic components: a sense of self and interpersonal relationships. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, defines these two components:


  • Identity: Experience of oneself as unique, with clear boundaries between self and others, stability of…

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