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Borderline personality disorder: recognition and management

Read time: 1 mins
Last updated:1st Jan 2009

Borderline personality disorder is characterised by significant instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and mood, and impulsive behaviour. There is a pattern of sometimes rapid fluctuation from periods of confidence to despair, with fear of abandonment and rejection, and a strong tendency towards suicidal thinking and self-harm. Transient psychotic symptoms, including brief delusions and hallucinations, may also be present. It is also associated with substantial impairment of social, psychological and occupational functioning and quality of life. People with borderline personality disorder are particularly at risk of suicide.

This guideline covers recognising and managing borderline personality disorder. It aims to help people with borderline personality disorder to manage feelings of distress, anxiety, worthlessness and anger, and to maintain stable and close relationships with others.

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