McLean Hospital

Signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) may include:

  • Unstable personal relationships.
  • Intense anger.
  • Feelings of emptiness.
  • Profound fears of abandonment.

Co-occurring Psychiatric Conditions with BPD

Adolescents experiencing BPD often present with severe trauma issues and diagnosable Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Signs and symptoms of Complex PTSD may include:

  • A history of intense and unstable relationships.
  • A markedly and persistently unstable self-image.
  • Difficulties in controlling emotions and moods.
  • Significant and potentially self-damaging impulsiveness including reckless sexual encounters, binge eating, substance abuse and reckless driving that interfere with the ability to function at home, with peers and at school.

Other behavioral indicators for admission include:

  • Repeated suicidal behavior, including gestures or threats.
  • Self-mutilation (carving, burning, cutting, branding, piercing).
  • Other related self-destructive behaviors.

These unstable moods in adolescents can last for a few hours or days and may be accompanied by persistent feelings of emptiness, inappropriate anger or trouble controlling anger. At times, there may be marked social withdrawal and the holding of psychologically damaging secrets. In some instances, adolescents may display such profound instability of mood and behavior that they have acquired a host of diagnoses and a history of multiple failed treatment efforts.