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Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents)

Possible Connection Between Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder

07/22/2005

Question:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/I have heard that bipolar and borderline personality disorder are actually part of the same thing and might be put together (with another name) in the next DSM. I have borderline personality disorder (along with Major Depr)- I don`t see how the two are related - I don`t have a manic phase or extra energy. (I didn`t see a place for borderline personality disorder questions on your site and was wondering if you can direct me to another person who can answer a question specifically about borderline personality disorder - thank-you)

Answer:

Thank you for your excellent question. Although Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder share some symptoms, e.g., mood swings, impulsive behavior, and general instability, they are NOT part of the same thing. Bipolar Disorder is a DSM-IV Axis 1 "clinical disorder," whereas Borderline Personality Disorder is an Axis II "personality condition." As noted on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 


"While a person with depression or bipolar disorder typically endures the same mood for weeks, a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day."

However, as this article notes, they can occur together.

Regarding resources and website about BPD, try the following:

1. The above NIMH site.

2. The Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center (BPDRC) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College

3. Dr. Marsha Linehan is one of the world's experts on BPD and conducts research at Washington University. 

Hope that helps. Best wishes!

For more information:

Go to the Bipolar Disorder (Children and Adolescents) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nicholas   Lofthouse, PhD Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University