Borderline personality disorder occurs in less than 1% of the population but is far more common in women than men, and of all cases of borderline personality disorder diagnosed in the UK, around three quarters of those identified will be women. The condition is considered to be one of the more serious mental health disorders as one of the main borderline personality disorder symptoms in women is a tendency towards self-harming and suicide attempts.
What are the causes of borderline personality symptoms in women?
Research into the condition has concluded that borderline personality disorder in women occurs as a result of a combination of temperament and experiences from childhood and adolescence. In some cases the condition arises because of physical, emotional or sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence, but since not everyone who endures these things will develop borderline personality disorder, temperament definitely plays a key role in the condition.
The condition normally manifests itself in adolescence and continues into adulthood. Existing symptoms of borderline personality disorder often worsen during stressful experiences such as the end of an important relationship or the loss of a job.
What are the main borderline personality disorder symptoms in women?
Borderline personality disorder is also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder due to the way the condition affects the mood and is characterized by highly volatile mood swings and black depression, but this aspect is just one of several symptoms exhibited by women suffering from the disorder.
The emotional instability in by women with borderline personality usually has a catastrophic affect on interpersonal relationships. Women with the condition often exhibit violent mood swings that veer from happy and confident to manically depressed for no apparent reason, and this can make them extremely difficult to live with as well as maintain a relationship with.
Women with borderline personality disorder usually have low self-esteem and a fear of abandonment. They will cling on to unsuitable relationships despite being subjected to abuse or intense emotional pain. At the opposite end of the scale, some women feel suffocated by relationships and behave badly in order to push their loved ones away. But in all cases, such relationships can be described as deeply unstable and usually very unhappy as a result.
Running in parallel with the issues of emotional instability and mood swings is a propensity for self-harming and substance abuse. At leas 60% of women who exhibit the symptoms of borderline personality disorder will self harm at least once and of those around 10% will end up making a successful suicide attempt. Patients with borderline personality disorder also have a tendency to indulge on self-destructive patterns of behavior that might include gambling and risky sexual practices.
In more severe cases of borderline personality disorder, women can exhibit signs of psychotic behavior. Many report feelings of intense emptiness and a sense of disconnection from the rest of the world. Hallucinations and delusional behavior is also a symptom of borderline personality disorder and patients might hear voices in their head during particularly serious episodes.