What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a disturbance of certain brain functions that causes four types of behavioral disturbances: poorly regulated and excessive emotional responses, harmful impulsive actions, distorted perceptions and impaired reasoning, and marked disturbed relationships.

The full spectrum of symptoms of borderline personality disorder typically first appears in the teenage years and early twenties. Although some children with significant behavioral disturbances may develop readily diagnosable borderline disorder as they get older, it is very difficult to make the diagnosis in children.

Borderline personality disorder affects how a child feels about himself, how he relates to others and how he behaves. When a child has BPD, he often has an insecure sense of who he is. That is, his self-image or sense of self often rapidly changes. He may view himself as evil or bad, and sometimes may feel as if he doesn