There is a lot of confusion around mental health these days, and even experts seem to disagree on what is considered “normal.” Therefore, it is understandable for people to wonder if emotional changes or low self-esteem are common reactions to life – or if they indicate a real problem. Generally speaking, any behavior that marks a change in someone’s personality should be investigated further. With that in mind, a borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that impacts how individuals think and feel about themselves and the people around them. The disorder may cause a person to struggle with self-worth, have difficulty maintaining authentic relationships, and experience difficulty managing emotions.

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Those with borderline personality disorder fear abandonment and often can’t cope with feeling alone or isolated, resulting in inappropriate bursts of anger, impulsiveness, and volatile mood swings. These adverse conditions may force severed relationships, even though all parties genuinely want healthy relationships.

The onset of borderline personality disorder typically occurs in early adulthood, when the symptoms are most pronounced. Over time and as the individual ages, the effects may gradually decrease. But there is no need to wait until the disorder fades on its own – with proper attention and treatment, individuals can lead a full and engaging life.

Signs of a Potential Borderline Personality Disorder

These types of mental health disorders impact how a person feels about themself and how they behave around others. Possible clues that you or a loved one may be experiencing borderline personality disorder may include the following:

  • An overwhelming fear of abandonment causes the individual to pursue radical measures to avoid separation or rejection.
  • A series of unstable and volatile relationships, with emotions often swinging quickly from putting someone on a pedestal to thinking they are mean or insensitive.
  • Changes in self-identity and self-esteem occur rapidly and cause individuals to adjust their values, often viewing themselves as invisible or even “bad.”
  • Continued and extended sense of loneliness and emptiness.
  • Episodes of paranoia and a distortion of reality, brought on by stress and lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several days.
  • Dangerous and impulsive behavior can cause self-harm, such as spending sprees, reckless driving, casual/unsafe sex, binge eating, gambling, or drug abuse.
  • Sabotages quality of life and success by quitting a good job or terminating a positive relationship abruptly and for no good reason.
  • Threats of suicide or self-injury often relate to the fear of rejection or separation.
  • Violent mood swings can involve waves of deep happiness followed by intense irritability or overwhelming shame or anxiety.
  • Intense and inappropriate rages, which may include engaging in physical fights.

When to Seek Help

If you’ve become aware of any of the signs listed above, it is best to speak with your physician or a mental health counselor. This is essential if the behaviors have recently developed, have a negative impact on your job, or adversely affect core relationships.

The diagnosis may be a borderline personality disorder or another explanation based on the physical environment.

Are You Suicidal? Anyone experiencing thoughts or fantasies of suicide or self-harm, do not delay taking proactive action.

  • Call 911 or a suicide hotline immediately. In the U.S., call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and completely confidential.
  • Contact your physician or mental health provider.
  • Call a loved one, a trusted friend, or someone from your place of worship.


It may be borderline personality disorder if you cannot manage your feelings and emotions. But don’t worry, help is available. If you live in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, or Bradenton and want to speak to a caring and compassionate mental health professional, call Denise Schonwald today to set up your initial consultation.

Denise Schonwald is a nationally licensed mental health counselor.  Call today for an appointment to start your journey toward healing. Counseling is offered in any state and can be scheduled at a time that is right for you.

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