Borderline Personality Disorder (CPV)
If a person suspects that he or she or a loved one is suffering from borderline personality disorder, it is important to remember that the condition is treatable and seek the help of a professional as soon as possible.


What is Borderline Personality Disorder (CPV)?

A borderline personality disorder is characterized by unusual variations and depths of mind. These emotional fluctuations can cause serious negative consequences in thinking and interpersonal relationships.

The main features of a CPV are feelings of rejection, impulsive behavior and instability in emotions, interpersonal relationships and self-esteem.

This disorder is more common among women, and treatment can sometimes facilitate improvement.

People who suffer from a CPV are often either idealizing themselves or others or breaking down their minds. As a result, there is an exchange between very high regard for him / herself and others and intense disappointment and contempt for him / herself and others.

Self-injury and suicide attempts are also common.


What are the Symptoms of a Borderline Personality Disorder?

The following symptoms are indicative, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM – 5), which is widely accepted as the most authoritative source worldwide. Please note Please note that an official diagnosis may only be made by a qualified person.

A CPV is characterized by a sustained pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-esteem and mood, as well as impulsivity. It begins during early adulthood and occurs in various situations, as indicated by five (5) or more of the following:

  1. panic attempts to avoid actual or imagined abandonment;
  2. a pattern of unstable and intense relationships, characterized by an alternation between extreme "worship" and extreme "disgust";
  3. a clear and sustained pattern of an unstable self-image or feeling about him / herself;
  4. impulsivity in at least two situations that may have adverse effects (eg, overspending, substance abuse, reckless driving, sex, overeating);
  5. constant thoughts of suicide, indications of it, or self-injurious behavior;
  6. episodes of emotional instability due to a reactive ("in response to" something or someone's) state of mind usually last a few hours, but rarely longer than a few days.
  7. a chronic feeling of "emptiness";
  8. inappropriate, intense anger or fury that is difficult to control; also
  9. anxiety-related paranoid thoughts about him / herself, or symptoms of loss of contact with reality.


Treatment of a borderline personality disorder

  1. What treatment is successful for a borderline personality disorder?
    Some forms of psychotherapy are more successful than others, but there is no single treatment that is 100% successful. Treatment is actually more focused on maintaining quality of life, because it is not a specific condition that can be "resolved". An extremely important focus area is to help the person accept ownership (or responsibility) for themselves and their behavior.
  2. Can medication help?
    There is currently no medication prescribed for people diagnosed with a CPV, but medication can be prescribed by a psychiatrist for some of the symptoms.
  3. Why is it so difficult to diagnose a borderline personality disorder?
    People with a GPV struggle tremendously with their own stability, relationships and boundaries. Therefore, it is difficult to build a long-term relationship with them, and maintain a successful pattern in the long run. They usually seek help from crisis to crisis and often focus externally, on someone else, to solve the problem. Once the crisis is resolved, or the person experiences any sign of true or imagined rejection, the relationship is often terminated. In this way, the person never pays attention to the crux of the problem and it is very difficult to get a complete diagnostic picture, especially if the person is quite unaware of their own behavioral patterns.

    The manipulation that is always part of a person with a CPV's behavior makes it very difficult to get a clear picture of the person's life and behavior.

    A borderline personality disorder also frequently contains a component of the other personality disorders, which can be confusing.

  4. Who can diagnose me or a loved one?
    Because a CPV is so complex, it can only be diagnosed by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. They are trained to distinguish between different disorders.


Advice for loved ones and family members who live or work with someone diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder:

  1. Be consistent and predictable. Stick to your word / decisions. When you give in to challenging behavior, the boundary line behavior is strengthened. It is a vicious cycle in which the behavior only gets worse.
  2. Encourage responsibility. Beloved can easily be manipulated to take responsibility for the person's irresponsible actions. The person will have no motivation to change if someone comes to his or her rescue all the time.

    Do not become a person with a CPV's “savior”.

  3. Be honest. People with a CPV often think that they are being treated unfairly by everyone. Honest feedback in such a situation can provide perspective.
  4. Do not allow arguments to escalate. People with a CPV may misinterpret what you are trying to convey. Be mindful of the following: If you criticize, you will most likely hear how "despicable" you are. If you compliment, you may hear how "hypocritical" you are. If you explain your intentions, you probably aggravate the emotions. So make sure you don't get caught up in unnecessary arguments. Do your best to stay calm, even if you feel frustrated, powerless and paralyzed by your loved one's reaction.


If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health issues, we suggest the following options:
  1. call your GP (if available);
  2. go to your nearest hospital emergency room;
  3. call one of the following emergency numbers: SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) 24-hour helpline: 0800 456 789 or suicide crisis line: 0800 567 567; or
  4. contact Wie is ek?