What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a condition that affects a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

Young people with borderline personality disorder or similar difficulties, often struggle with some of the following problems:

  • struggle to manage their emotions, especially difficult or negative feelings
  • may use self-harm to manage their emotions, or experience times when they feel they do not want to be alive
  • may act on impulse, without thinking things through
  • may have difficulties with friendships and relationships
  • may not like themselves, or particular things about themselves.

 Why we think this pathway may be helpful for you

We think some of the difficulties you have may fit with Borderline Personality Disorder.

We would like to get a better understanding of your difficulties, so that we can work out how to help you and your family.

What will happen first?

You will get a series of appointments, including:

  • an appointment with a psychiatrist, who will ask you questions about your mood, worries and other aspects of your mental health and wellbeing – this is partly to make sure we have considered all the possible explanations for your difficulties
  • an appointment with a psychologist, who will carry out an assessment including some questionnaires about your difficulties
  • possibly an appointment with other mental health professionals if the difficulties you have mean other people in the team have skills that would be useful in your assessment

It is important we find out as much as possible about you and your life in order to help us understand your difficulties. We would like to:

  • talk to your family if possible to find out more about you
  • contact your school or college for information about you
  • contact other professionals who are currently involved in supporting you.

If there is anyone you do not want to be involved in the assessment please discuss this with your lead professional.

What will happen then?

All of the information gathered during the assessment will be discussed by the professionals involved.

This will happen at a meeting and you will be invited to this meeting to hear how people have understood your difficulties.

This will help us to plan your future care, including which treatments will be helpful for you.

Leaflet reference: L968
Version: V1
Date last updated: 17 / 02 / 2017
Archive date: 17 / 02 / 2020

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