Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder: Are Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder Related?
By Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, PhD, — From about.com March 7, 2012 311
Are bipolar and borderline personality disorder related? Borderline personality disorder (BPD) has been a controversial diagnosis since it was first recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980. One controversy that still has not been resolved is whether BPD is actually just a variation of bipolar disorder.
How are Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder Similar?
The primary reason that some experts have proposed that BPD and bipolar disorder may be related is that they share the common feature of mood instability. Bipolar disorder is associated with mood shifts from depression to mania (a mood characterized by elation, decreased need for sleep, and an increase in activity) or hypomania (which is similar to mania but less severe). BPD is also associated with mood changes (sometimes called "emotion dysregulation" or affective instability). People with BPD can frequently change from feeling fine to feeling extremely distressed in a matter of minutes. Impulsive behavior is also frequently experienced both by people with bipolar disorder and by people with BPD.