Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder associated with severe instability in an individual's mood, behavior or self-image. In some cases BPD also causes functional impairment, which may result in impulsive actions. Generally, an individual suffering from BPD will experience a burst of intense emotion — often anger, sadness and anxiety — in a short period of time. Some may experience a co-occurring mental illness, such as depression, anxiety or addiction.

BPD generally affects the adult population and very rarely the adolescent population.



Individuals diagnosed with BPD will experience at least five of these nine symptoms. Those whom experience less than five symptoms may possess BPD traits but will not be diagnosed with BPD.

  • Heightened fear of real or imagined abandonment
  • Patterns of unstable relationship
  • Unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive or self-destructive behaviors (ex. spending, sex, substance misuse, reckless driving, and binge eating)
  • Self-injury, suicidal thoughts as well as attempt
  • Instability caused by reactivity of mood (ex. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety)
  • Persistent-sensations of emptiness
  • Intense anger combined with difficulty controlling anger
  • Acute paranoia


Several means of professional treatment are available to an individual experiencing BPD such as psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health counselors or social workers. Generally, medication is considered an effective method in managing symptoms associated with BPD and co-occurring mental illness.

Self care, including taking time for yourself, getting physical activity and eating well, can lessen the symptoms for people experiencing mood disorders. Read more about self care and alternative treatment options.

Support Resources

MDAM Peer Support Line: (204)-786-0987 or 1-800-263-1460 (9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Friday)

MDAM Support Groups: View Support Groups

Klinic Crisis Line 204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019  (24 hours/ 7 days a week)

First Nations & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310 (Outside of Province)

Health links: (204)-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (24 hours/ 7 days a week)

Manitoba Suicide Line: 1-(877)-435-7170,

Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern Support Services: or 1-(866)-367-3276 (10 a.m. - 9 p.m./ Monday - Friday)

View our comprehensive list of crisis support options throughout Manitoba.