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Borderline Personality Disorder Causes & Risks


The causes of BPD are not fully understood although brain chemistry, genetics, and environmental factors are thought to play a role. People who develop BPD are probably born with an underlying vulnerability to the illness. When they are exposed to certain experiences and types of stress, their chances of developing the illness increase. BPD sufferers are often found to have experienced childhood abuse, neglect, separation, sexual abuse, or violence.

Central Nervous System - Brain

Brain face skull
BPD is thought to develop from a combination of chemical imbalances in the brain and traumatic life experiences.
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Risk Factors

The following factors increase your chances of developing BPD:

  • Sex: female
  • A history of abuse, neglect, or abandonment as a child
  • A history of sexual abuse or violence
  • Inborn sensitivity to stress
  • Poor self-image; not having a clear sense of who you are
  • Mother, father, or sibling with BPD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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