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How to Identify Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorders

By HERWriter
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Identifying Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorders MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are two different conditions that are often confused with each other because both include some similar symptoms.

Identifying which disorder an individual has is an important step in determining the correct treatment.

Bipolar Disorder

This condition was formerly known as manic depression. A person with bipolar disorder has dramatic mood swings that range from excessively “high” or manic to depressed.

These different states can last from days to months, with periods of normal moods in between.

During mania, people with bipolar disorder may feel very happy, irritated or angry. They may have more energy and be more active than normal, and may sleep less without feeling tired. They often talk more and faster than normal and may feel their thoughts are racing in their heads.

Mania may include risk taking, making big plans or having low impulse control which can lead to substance abuse, inappropriate sexual activity, spending money unwisely or other behaviors.

During depression, they may feel a lingering sadness, or be restless and irritable. They often have lower energy and experience changes in sleeping and eating patterns. They may feel worried, anxious, guilty, hopeless or suicidal, and may have difficulty concentrating,

Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals with borderline personality disorder, or BPD, experience a pattern of swings but they also have difficulty in other areas of life including relationships, self-image and behavior.

They are often at risk of having other mental health problems, and it is more likely that they may have had some type of trauma during childhood than someone with bipolar disorder.

People with BPD have very strong emotions and have difficulty controlling their thoughts and feelings. They are often impulsive and reckless and may try to hurt themselves.

They tend to have intense, unstable relationships and often experience mood swings triggered by stress in their relationships. People with borderline personality disorder often struggle with feelings of abandonment.


We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Bipolar Disorder

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