Borderline Personality Disorder: Essential Information For Individuals And Their Partners

Help And Support Is Available!

Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have a positive chance for recovery after they have received a diagnosis and begun effective treatment strategies.

BPD is treatable and recoverable.

Obtain A Mental Health Care Plan From A GP To Access Medicare-subsidised Counselling Sessions With A Psychologist

If your GP sees fit, they will create a mental health care plan for you to access psychological and psychiatric services to treat your BPD.

We recommend that you read the following guide: What is a MHCP, what does it give you access to, and how does it work?

Mental health professionals trained to treat BPD can use various treatments, including:

  • Schema focused therapy
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
  • Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT)
  • Arts therapies

Consider Lifestyle Changes

Oftentimes, those with borderline personality disorder struggle with change, and feel out of control.

To manage these feelings, it is recommended individuals establish healthy routines to feel more in control of their lives. It can be as simple as waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, walking in the afternoon, or buying groceries at a designated time each week.

Rather than turning to self destructive behaviours, family members, and loved ones, mental health professionals can encourage individuals with BPD to consider and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to help cope with their mental health.

Support Groups You May Access Across Australia

There are many support groups to join, which can provide a safe space to share experiences and connect with others on a similar journey to mental health.

A support group can:

  • show you that you are not alone in your experience
  • help you develop new skills in relating to others
  • provide you with a safe environment so that you may feel comfortable to ‘open up’ and discuss your situation and feelings
  • share your solutions and learn from others’ experiences
  • strengthen your motivation to stick with a treatment plan.

Some of these include:

Out of the Fog


BPD Family

When To Seek Help

If you believe you have symptoms of borderline personality disorder and it has an impact on your day to day functioning, it is best to speak to your GP.

If You Are Having Suicidal Or Self-harming Thoughts

These 24/7 helplines are available for immediate support:

  • Emergency Services: Dial 000
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • BeyondBlue: 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 55 1800

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder And Is It Treatable?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder impacting 1-4% of the Australian population at some time in their life. (Source: SANE Australia).

Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) will often experience strong emotions that are difficult to manage. These emotions can range from both positive and negative in nature, which can create confusion for a sense of self and identity.

Like other personality disorders, individuals with borderline personality disorder often struggle to cope with their experiences, relationships with others, and often feel unstable emotionally. Because of this, individuals are likely to engage in substance abuse.

Those dealing with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often had traumatic experiences during their childhood, impacting their development of emotion regulation and strong sense of self.

Borderline personality disorder is treatable, with many seeking effective treatment to manage their symptoms.


Symptoms and behaviours of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Frequent mood swings
  • Emotional distress
  • Intense anger
  • Easily irritable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Paranoia
  • Emotional detachment
  • Emotional vulnerability
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Abandonment anxiety
  • Unstable relationships
  • Tendency for substance abuse
  • Dissociation
  • Hearing voices or noises
  • Self-harm and suicidal behaviour
  • Binge eating
  • Unsafe sex
  • Reckless driving

Causes of BPD

The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be a combination of the following:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemicals
  • Brain development
  • Environmental factors


If an immediate family member has borderline personality disorder, or other personality disorders, an individual may be more vulnerable to develop borderline personality disorder.

There are currently no known specific genes to indicate BPD.

Brain chemicals

Like other mental disorders, including anxiety and depression, individuals with borderline personality disorder often have an imbalance in brain chemicals.

The most notable brain chemical imbalance prevalent for those with BPD is serotonin.

Brain development

Individuals with BPD often had hindrances to their brain development, due to environmental factors with upbringing.

Because of this, the brain does not develop properly to regulate emotions, behaviours, and self-control. With these difficulties, further problems can arise with decision-making and planning. Overwhelming emotions become in control.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors, mainly stemming from childhood trauma, are the most significant contributors to borderline personality disorder. Commonalities have been identified for those with BPD, including:

  • Children who have experienced abuse
  • Children who experienced prolonged distress and fear
  • Parental/caregiver neglect
  • Family member with a serious mental health diagnosis

BPD Risk Factors

There are various risk factors involved with borderline personality disorder. People with this mental illness often have other mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

A mental health professional can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of these mental illnesses and create recovery strategies to improve the individual’s quality of life.


People with BPD often have higher risk of impulsive and self destructive behaviours including self-harm, suicide, and drug and alcohol abuse.

If you notice a family member displaying these behaviours, check in on them and suggest they seek help.

Need Help Finding The Right Psychologist For You?

New Vision Psychology can help with 5 convenient locations across Sydney