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Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

Explains borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD). Includes what it feels like, causes, treatment, support and self-care, as well as tips for friends and family.

Mae'r dudalen hon hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg. This link will take you to a Welsh translation of this page.

Challenges with getting a BPD diagnosis

There are many reasons why you may experience challenges with getting a BPD diagnosis, including get the wrong diagnosis. The symptoms of BPD are very broad, and some can be similar to or overlap with other mental health problems, such as:

Unfortunately, there are lots of assumptions and misunderstandings around BPD. Not every doctor or health professional understands it. And there are lots of disagreements about how BPD should be described, diagnosed or treated. You may experience BPD and other mental health problems at the same time.

We also don't all experience or express our pain in the same ways. So this can make it harder for someone to understand what’s going on for us, and which diagnosis or support best fit what we need.

Because of this, you might:

  • Not get a diagnosis of BPD when you feel you should have one
  • Get a diagnosis of a different mental health problem which you don't agree with
  • Get a BPD diagnosis when you feel you should have a different diagnosis
  • Get a BPD diagnosis when you feel you shouldn’t have a diagnosis at all

I had the wrong diagnosis for nearly 30 years. I felt like a freak because, when reading up about the diagnosis I was given, there was no mention of my other symptoms.

What can I do if I disagree with my diagnosis?

If you're worried that your diagnosis doesn't fit the way you feel, it's important to discuss it with a mental health professional so you can make sure you're getting the right support to help you.

See our pages on seeking help for a mental health problem for information on how to make sure your voice is heard, and what you can do if you're not happy with your doctor.

This information was published in September 2022. We'll revise it in 2025.

References and bibliography available on request.

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