DSM Criteria for a BPD Diagnosis

DSM-V Diagnostic Criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

BPD is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotion, as well as marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five or more of the following:

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Emotional instability in reaction to day-to-day events (e.g., intense episodic sadness, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Identity disturbance with markedly or persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive behaviour in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extremes between idealization and devaluation (also known as “splitting”)
  • Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, or threats, or self-harming behaviour
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

My ADHD Was Misdiagnosed as a Personality Disorder

Women Are More Likely to be Misdiagnosed with Personality Disorders

I’m ADHD and Autistic, but was once misdiagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). 

Women, non-binary people, and female-presenting individuals are more likely to be misdiagnosed with a personality disorder than CIS-men. 

This male doctor tried to mansplain my own mental health issues to me without actually hearing what I was communicating about my own experience and symptoms.”

One of the best side-effects of embracing my ADHD & Autistic brain is improved self-worth and self-acceptance.

Read my article on Invisible Illness.

When you join medium, as a member you’ll have access to unlimited reads for only $5 per month. If you use my referral link, I’ll earn a small commission. 


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596

Published by Neurodiversity MB

Jillian has Child and Youth Work diploma as well as a BA in Psychology. Jillian worked on the front lines of Social Services agencies from 2003 - 2012. Jillian has taken numerous continuing education courses and has attended various workshops focused on supporting neurodiverse children, in particular children with ADHD.

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