Borderline Personality Disorder

It is not unusual, during recovery, for an eating disorder patient to be emotionally erratic, impulsive, self-destructive, and go from paranoid to clingy in an instant.

But some families realize these qualities existed before, and continue long after the eating is stabilized and the body has healed. And it is exhausting.

You need to be aware of Borderline Personality Disorder. Although the name evokes something not quite a problem, the border we're talking about is between dysfunctional and delusional. It is said to affect up to 2% of the population and account for 20% of psychiatric hospitalizations.

BPD isn't a transient issue, either. Personality disorders are a lifelong set of traits. It seems to involve brain abnormality that is only beginning to be understood. It can be treated, but it can't be cured.

Treatment involves very intensive skills-building in emotional regulation and mindfulness. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is the gold standard and requires a skilled and specially trained therapist.

BPD and eating disorders are often seen together. And the two issues also share a lack of clarity on cause and definition. There is controversy about whether BPD is a useful diagnosis, and whether reports of childhood sexual and emotional abuse are cause or effect of the condition. Parents need to be aware of BPD, and of how this diagnosis impacts treatment of the eating disorder.


  1. Thank you for this. As you say, BPD will have a significant effect on the course and treatment of an eating disorder, and vice-versa. Now to tackle those official bodies again to try to get them to recognise that!

  2. There are some excellent resources for BPD (and other) people at

  3. i seem to have big problems with BPD wspecialy when i get into one of them black holes i wont eat even thou my tablets make me eat so it must go hand in hand


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