This Article is From Aug 31, 2019

Borderline Personality Disorder Vs Bipolar Disorder: Know The Difference

Borderline Personality Disorder occurs for a short time continuously whereas different episodes of bipolar take place for a longer period. Read here to know more about the difference between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder Vs Bipolar Disorder: Know The Difference

Borderline personality disorder causes lesser mood swings than bipolar disorder


  • Borderline personality disorder makes it difficult manage emotions
  • A person suffering from it experiences fear of being alone
  • Bipolar disorder can take place for a longer period of time

Borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder are both different types of illnesses with certain common factors connecting them. Psychologists say that there can be minimal or no psychological test which defines the distinction between the two. Both of these disorders have some common symptoms like impulsive or depressive moods, or intense reactions and response.

What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?

BPD is a type of personality disorder which makes it difficult for a person to manage their emotional response. People with BPD are unable to regulate their emotions and feelings and thus perform inevitable actions to justify it. For example, if a person indulges in a fight with their parent and the parent doesn't pamper the child after the fight, a person with BPD would require more attention, and if not provided, would perform certain unavoidable actions like locking themselves in a room or self-harm. Other actions can also include substance abuse or overdosing which leads to various serious health problems.


Borderline personality disorder can cause separation anxiety
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Is ADHD? Know Challenges Linked With ADHD

There can be various symptoms to borderline personality disorder which can lead to difficulties in personal relations:

1. Intense fear in confiding with people

2. Self-harming actions

3. Fear of being alone

4. Unable to observe feelings of self and others

5. Having separation anxiety

6. Reckless emotions

7. Impulsive actions

8. Erratic self-image

Treatment of BPD

It cannot be diagnosed without psychological interviews and evaluation of the history of the patient as it correlates with various other types of mental illnesses. It can be treated through discrete psychotherapies like CBT- Cognitive behavioural therapy or SFT- Schema focussed therapy and SSRIs and second-generation antipsychotic medications.

Also read: Menstrual Period Pain: Rujuta Diwekar Shares This Yoga Pose Which Works Like Magic For Cramps And Mood Swings

What is a bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder marked by 2 episodes of definite patterns which includes Mania and Hypomania. Both of these episodes can take place for days to months. While a person is exposed to a manic episode, they might experience very elevated moods and feel full of energy and elated. During this, people might stay up all day and night doing anything and not getting exhausted. This can continue for a long period. Another pattern of behaviour can be hypomanic episodes, in this, the person might feel sad and depressed with the loss of energy.


Feeling sleepy and wanting to do nothing at all can be related symptoms of a hypomanic episode in bipolar disorder
Photo Credit: iStock

Symptoms include:

1. Feeling extremely happy or sad.

2. Feeling sleepy or insomniac.

3. Short-tempered.

4. Feeling unimportant and miserable.

5. Trouble contemplating.

6. Eating too much or not at all.

7. Spending a lot of money on worthless things; manic behaviour

8. Forgetting things.

Also read: Are You Having Mood Swings And Feeling Fatigued? Know What's Causing It And How To Correct It

Treatment of the bipolar disorder

It is noted, that people with bipolar disorder are likely to seek help during hypomanic or depressive episodes of behaviour rather than manic episodes, thus, MHPs are determined to provide help by conducting mental health evaluations and carrying out treatments like Family focussed therapy, ECT- electroconvulsive therapy or psycho-education and certain medications which includes mood stabilizers and antidepressants.

Borderline personality disorder v/s bipolar disorder

  1. BPD is a personality disorder whereas Bipolar is a mood disorder.
  2. BPD occurs for a short time continuously whereas different episodes of bipolar take place for a longer period.
  3. Bipolar disorder arises due to different types of sleeping or thinking patterns although mood shifts in BPD occur due to triggers in day to day life events.
  4. The extent of mood shifts is more than in Bipolar disorder than in BPD.

Hence, both of these disorders share a few congruent features and symptoms but are disparate.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.