Does My Friend Have a “Borderline” Personality?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I really am worried about my friend. I think she might have a borderline personality. She has quick mood changes, goes from feeling happy to sad in a blink of an eye. She was sexually abused as a child, has a history of self harming. She has impulsive actions, examples, driving 150 miles back home because she is paranoid her b/f is cheating on her, and she has just announced she wants a baby, which had come out of nowhere. She has abandonment issues and hates being alone. She is also sexually promiscuous, and when she meets someone knew, she clings to them, but at the same time is mean and horrible behind their back! Other things include, being a chronic liar, making things up to make herslef feel better, examples, saying a model agency and style agency have stopped her in the street and that she is gonna be in the paper, saying people have put notes on her car, even texting herself from a different phone, having pretend aches and pains and saying she has cancer signs.

She talks about death alot, saying she would be pretty if she was dead and all that. She gets stressed alot and always wants a new challenge. Just want to know what could be wrong with her.

A. Your friend may have borderline personality disorder (BPD). She meets some of the diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis such as self-harming, impulsivity, abandonment issues, and suicidality. Some of her other behaviors, however, are not necessarily characteristic of BPD. For instance, chronic lying and pretending to be sick are not usually associated with BPD.

Without having met her, of course I cannot offer a diagnosis. Generally speaking she may meet the criteria for a personality disorder, perhaps several but which one(s) in particular is too difficult to determine over the Internet.

It is important to keep in mind that not everyone who displays problematic behavior fits neatly into a psychological diagnostic category. Many people have problems but not everyone warrants a diagnosis. To know for sure what specific diagnosis an individual may have is not always possible. What can be determined about your friend is that her behavior is not normal or healthy and it may require treatment if it continues.

As a friend, you may want to suggest that she seek help. She may not appreciate your suggestion and that’s okay. It can be uncomfortable to hear that “you need help.” Even if she doesn’t like your suggestion, it’s the right thing to do when you see that a friend is struggling. Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 May 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Does My Friend Have a “Borderline” Personality?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/05/25/does-my-friend-have-a-borderline-personality/