Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

palmRecently on our Facebook Page, Vicky posted the following:

I was diagnosed bipolar II at the age of 20 but because bipolar type II is so similar to borderline personality disorder its difficult. I have had two diagnoses of bipolar type II and one of BPD.

What exactly is the difference between bipolar II disorder and borderline personality disorder? This question has come up a number of times and since the treatments can be different it is important to try to sort this out. The main reason for the overlapping diagnoses is that both disorders include problems with mood regulation — those suffering with these conditions experience mood states that are more severe than is typical and that happen frequently enough to cause significant challenges in day-to-day life.

Some time ago, we did a two part series on the differences in diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, starting with “Borderline Personality and Bipolar Disorder Differences Part I: Diagnosis.” At the end of that post, you’ll find a link to Part II.

Because this question continues to arise, I think it important to revisit this topic, focusing on the differences that should be considered in making these diagnoses.

How and When the Mood Symptoms Develop

Borderline personality disorder describes patterns of ineffective and difficult responses to and interactions with other people and the world that have developed since adolescence or even earlier and were never more effectively developed in the first place. These symptoms have always been present — they are the person’sbaseline or typical self.

Bipolar disorder, including bipolar II, is a condition in which emotional and behavioral patterns emerge that are different from the person’s typical or baseline self. This is a core diagnostic feature. For example the DSM 5 requires that a hypomanic episode be an “unequivocal change in functioning that is uncharacteristic of the individual when not symptomatic.”  read more


About dbsanwgaconsumernetwork

We come together in support groups to share our experiences, learn from one another and gain strength and hope, all with the goal of improving our lives. Participants make the group a safe place by fostering a supportive, trustworthy, respectful, non‐judgmental and nurturing atmosphere. Participants use information they've gained from others at the meeting to make their own judgments about correct strategies for themselves. We are not just a support group we also provide training on advocacy, living well, art therapy, light therapy, and much more to come.

Posted on January 9, 2015, in Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Depression, goals, Mental Health, Stress, Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for sharing. Very informative!


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Tears Of A Loved One

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