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How Psychologists Test for Borderline Personality Disorder

May 9, 2021

13 min read

Author : United We Care
Clinically approved by : Dr.Vasudha
How Psychologists Test for Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder, just as any other mental illness, shows different symptoms in every person. Identifying borderline personality disorder typically involves a multi-step diagnostic approach. If someone is experiencing the symptoms of BPD, they can take a quick online test to identify the actual cause of the personality disorder.

How to Test for Borderline Personality Disorder


Unique patterns of functioning and thinking are some of the symptoms of BPD. Some individuals develop this disorder in adolescence or adulthood, but it is never too late to get proper treatment.

Symptoms like feeling empty or hollow often characterize Borderline Personality Disorder. Some patients feel angry or irritable in relationships, and some have a feeling of distrust due to BPD. Tests for borderline personality disorder help identify common symptoms of borderline personality disorder. According to experts, certain behavioral changes also indicate BPD.

Tests for borderline personality disorder help identify the symptoms related to this condition. However, one must be aware that borderline personality can be treated at any time after its diagnosis. If you find the symptoms familiar, you must find a psychology therapist today to test for and diagnose Borderline Personality Disorder.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?


Borderline Personality Disorder is a type of personality disorder that negatively affects an individual’s thinking and cognitive ability. It also impacts regular functioning, and can cause a variety of issues in everyday life. Problems like difficulty in managing emotions, behavioral changes, self-image issues, and unstable relationships are common in BPD patients.

Individuals with borderline personality disorder almost always have a fear of abandonment and instability. Some people also find it difficult to stay alone. Impulsiveness, inappropriate anger, and frequent mood swings are also symptoms of BPD. This mental condition greatly affects the stability of relationships as well.

Personality disorder must never be dismissed as a part of everyday life, as it significantly hinders emotional and mental stability. On receiving proper treatment and therapy, patients can quickly learn to live a normal life.

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Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms


Borderline personality disorder primarily affects how a person feels about themselves and interacts with others in a relationship. Some common symptoms and signs of BPD include:

  • Intense fear of instability or abandonment that sometimes goes to extreme measures to keep away from real or imagined separation.
  • An unstable relationship pattern is observed, resulting in idolizing someone at one moment and then believing that the same person is cruel.
  • Frequent changes in the self-image or self-identity, resulting in shifting goals and values. People with BPD tend to believe that they are bad or do not exist.
  • Patients experience periods of paranoia or loss of contact that lasts from few minutes to a few hours.
  • Impulsive or risky behavior is another symptom of borderline personality disorder. People get engaged in reckless driving, gambling, binge eating, spending sprees, drug abuse, etc.
  • Suicidal threats or self-harm are also common due to rejection or separation.
  • Rapid mood swings that last from a few days to a few hours are also a common symptom of BPD. It includes intense happiness, shame, anxiety, or irritability.
  • Extreme anger, frequently losing temper, or getting involved in a physical conflict is common in borderline personality disorder.


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Character Traits of People with Borderline Personality Disorder


Manifestations of borderline personality disorder vary from person-to-person. However, for diagnosis, mental health professionals prefer to group the symptoms into different categories. When a patient is diagnosed with BPD, they must show some specific signs pertaining to the categories mentioned below. Moreover, the symptoms must be long-standing and affect other aspects of life.

Instability in Relationships

Being in a relationship with borderline personality disorder patients can become confusing for someone who does not understand the nature of personality disorders. People with BPD tend to get involved in relationships quite easily. The person falls in love quickly and believes that every new person is the one they would spend their entire life with. People associated with this type of mentality might experience emotional whiplash due to rapid mood swings or changes in behavior.

Fear of Insecurity

Individuals with borderline personality disorder often suffer from the fear of being abandoned or left alone. Even innocuous activities can trigger a feeling of intense fear. It often results in efforts to restrict the other person’s movements. Such behavior makes a negative impact on the relationship with a person with borderline personality disorder.

Explosive Anger

Persons having BPD may struggle to take control of their anger. Symptoms of yelling and throwing things are common in such individuals. Some people do not always show outward anger but spend a lot of time feeling angry about themselves.

Chronic Emptiness

People suffering from BPD often express their feelings as ‘empty’. At some point, they may feel that there is nothing or nobody around them. BPD patients often try to avoid this emptiness with food, sex or drugs.

How Do Doctors Test for Borderline Personality Disorder


Any personality disorder, including BPD, is diagnosed based on several factors. At first, the doctor conducts a detailed interview session with the patient. It is done through a psychological evaluation involving comprehensive questionnaires, medical history and other related examinations. Also, discussing the signs and symptoms of behavior changes helps detects early signs. Typically, adults are diagnosed with BPD, not teenagers or children.

Doctors check for borderline personality disorder by asking the patient the following questions:

What Symptoms Are You Experiencing?

Therapists try to understand what kind of emotional swings patients experience. For example, they might be on the verge of tears or panic attacks when upset, and the next minute they might become extremely joyful. Such mood swings can happen over minor things, and at times, it can become really difficult to explain the changes in a patient’s mood.

What are the Triggers for BPD Symptoms?

Once the therapist finds out the symptoms of BPD, they ask the triggers for the said symptoms. For example, one of the main triggers of BPD is the feeling of abandonment. If they sense a shift in relationship with their near one, they might react immediately and start exhibiting symptoms related to BPD. It can also result in physical or verbal abuse of that person.

Are You Engaging in Self-Harm or Self-Destructive Behavior?

People with borderline personality disorder may sometimes have destructive behavior as a way to cope with emotional pain or mental anguish. The behavior reaches its extreme when someone in life is extremely depressed and is diagnosed with BPD for a long period of time. The patient might be engaging in self-destructive behavior or drug addiction. If this is the case, patients must be treated with utmost care and should be given support in their time of need.

Borderline Personality Disorder Test for Friends


The best way to support a person after diagnosing borderline personality disorder is by talking openly with them and providing emotional support. Close friends and relatives can help patients with open conversations. Instead of restricting or confining them, it is best to help them feel comfortable and relaxed so they can help the psychotherapist properly diagnose the symptoms of BPD and recommend an effective treatment plan. People with borderline personality disorder should seek medical attention if the symptoms are hindering the quality of life of the patient.

Best Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder


The most effective treatment for borderline personality disorder is dialectical behavior therapy. It focuses on the deciding factor, irrespective of the behavior of the patient. Some BPD patients opt for group therapy where several patients are treated together.

Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

The treatment of borderline personality disorder is usually done with psychotherapy and, in some cases, meditation. Online psychologists sometimes recommend hospitalization if the safety of the patient is at risk. Medications play a crucial role in treating mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, paranoid thoughts and irritability. Conventional psychotherapy involves an extended process for treating patients with mental disorders. An individual suffering from a borderline personality disorder can consult with the concerned doctor or therapist to relieve themselves of stress or rapid mood swings. Proper treatment techniques and bpd care programs are suitable for the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.

Studies revealed that cognitive-behavioral therapies by online psychologists are effective in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. A psychologist is a therapist who typically recommends a combination of medication and behavioral therapy for treating patients suffering from BPD. It takes around a couple of months to notice visible progress in a patient’s mental health and lifestyle.


How to Get Tested for Borderline Personality Disorder

When finding a therapist for borderline personality disorder, it is best to look for professionals with the following qualities:

  • Proper knowledge and expertise in dialectical behavior therapy
  • Evidence-based treatment programs
  • Experienced in debt consultation
  • Experience in DBT support programs

When looking for a BPD clinical counselor, it is best to avoid the following:

  • Therapists that use non-evidence-based treatments
  • Therapists with no specialization in the various types of treatment of BPD
  • Online psychologists that do not have proper DBT training
  • A free chat with an online therapist is helpful.  However, it is not effective for all BPD patients.


Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Treatment Programs for BPD

Complete DBT treatment programs consist of group DBT sessions, individual therapies, and round-the-clock phone coaching. When searching for a BPD clinic online for a virtual psychotherapist, look for the treatment method and DBT programs. A professional DBT psychologist is a therapist who has access to all the necessary equipment for treating patients with borderline personality disorder. A clinical counselor without sufficient knowledge and experience working with borderline personality disorder patients will probably be ineffective in providing an effective treatment plan for patients with borderline personality disorder.

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Author : United We Care

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