(1) frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in
"Frantic efforts" include
panic, threats to yourself, or to the other person. This is not a conscious
manipulative effort, it is a terrifying fear of losing something, an
obsessive reaction to some "clue" that may or may not even exist.
Unfortunately this often makes a partner assume you are distrusting, and if
the relationship is already in a bad place, chances are you will push that
person farther away with being so clingy or demanding.
(2) a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal
relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization
Here is where we begin the concept of
Black and White thinking. Idealization means that one puts someone on a
pedestal where they can do no wrong. The borderline sufferer will go out of
their way to protect this person for the can do no wrong. Devaluation means
the opposite - that everything that person does is wrong. It is suggested
that this is a behavior adapted from childhood when one sees only extremes -
black and white, no grey area.
(3) identity disturbance: markedly and persistently
unstable self-image of sense of self
People who suffer from borderline
disorder don't have a stable internal sense of self. They tend to feel the
need to live in someone else's life because they don't know how to have
their own. They only feel safe with others' reassurance. Again, black and
white thinking applies: an outside person can control if a person with
borderline is feeling like they are a bad person or a good one. There is
seldom a middle ground. Not knowing who you is a persistent pattern.
(4) impulsivity in at least two areas that are
potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless
driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating
behavior covered in Criterion 5.
Distractions can fill the voids that a
borderline suffer feels within themselves. And of course, any period when
they hate themselves they are more likely to do something harmful.
(5) recurrent suicidal behaviors, gestures, or threats,
or self-mutilating behavior
Suicidal behaviors are not always
"suicide threats" or "suicide attempts" that everyone
knows about. People with borderline disorder often are so devastated by
abandonment that they feel no will to live, and it hurts to feel. This is
not always publicly displayed. Adrenaline and other brain hormones can be
stimulated by the pain response, which is a coping skill, not a healthy one,
but one that works. Most people with borderline disorder do not want to die,
they just don't want to feel the pain of living anymore.
(6) affective instability due to a marked reactivity of
mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually
lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
Thought patterns that are very unstable.
An untreated sufferer of borderline has extreme emotionally driven
reactions. They will panic, rage, silence, or suffer from severe depression
(7) chronic feelings of emptiness
These feelings are paralyzing. They are
not a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" type of feeling.
Sufferers of borderline disorder lack self esteem and self image. It tends
to feel like you will never be complete and that life is simply too
difficult. Oversensitive to everything around, the world is entirely
(8) inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty
controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger,
recurrent physical fights)
Rage, either internally or externally can
be triggered by the slightest things. Because one is already suffering
within, it takes very little to upset the person. It's as if every painful
thing in life is stored up and appended, and when the trigger strikes, the
blow falls in a manner that may be completely inappropriate for the
(9) transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe