Borderline Personality Disorder Test (A guide to BPD)

In this brief guide, we will look at a borderline personality disorder test, as well as the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

We will also take a brief look at borderline personality disorder treatments and what causes borderline personality disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder Test

If you think that you or someone you know needs to take a Borderline Personality Disorder test, make sure that you seek a clinical opinion rather than try one of the tests available online, as they are not reliable or valid.

Trying to self diagnose borderline personality disorder on the basis of an online test may be dangerous, and it may not yield trustworthy results, which may worsen the condition in some cases.

If you think that someone you know has this condition and you want to make sure that they do before you offer help, you can try this brief borderline personality disorder test below, but remember that it is not a substitute for a clinical diagnosis.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Answer Yes or No to the statements below:

  • Do they suffer from feelings of emptiness/complain of feeling like nothing matters or not feeling anything?
  • Are their relationships extremely volatile?
  • Do you feel that they constantly try to guilt people into doing things?
  • When in arguments, do they try to victimize themselves and make others the bad guy?
  • Do they often act impulsively without concern for consequences?
  • Do they have frequent breakups or problems in their romantic life?
  • Do they have problems holding down jobs or maintaining a healthy academic life?
  • Do they ever self-harm?
  • Do they threaten suicide every time it seems that things are not going their way?
  • Do they get depressed often?
  • Do they have physical harmful outbursts when they are fighting with someone?
  • Do they have extremely promiscuous behavior?
  • Are they afraid of being abandoned or do they seek constant reassurance of love and affection?

If you answered yes to more than 8 questions, it may mean that the person is suffering from Borderline personality disorder, and they may need intervention to fix their patterns of behavior.

Borderline Personality Disorder: Meaning and Symptoms

Borderline personality disorder refers to maladaptive problems in the personality related to interpersonal relationships, impulsive behavior and abnormal emotional responses.

In the ICD 10, Borderline personality disorder is a part of the Emotionally Unstable personality disorder, whereas in the DSM 5 it is included as it is.

The DSM 5 criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder is given as follows:

The DSM 5 criteria of the disorder are given as the following:

“BPD is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotion, as well as marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Emotional instability in reaction to day-to-day events (e.g., intense episodic sadness, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Identity disturbance with markedly or persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive behavior in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge-eating)
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by extremes between idealization and devaluation (also known as “splitting”) Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-harming behavior Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.”

On the other hand, the ICD 10 criteria for Borderline personality disorder is fairly short, and it is as given below:

“A personality disorder in which there is a marked tendency to act impulsively without consideration of the consequences, together with affective instability. The ability to plan ahead may be minimal, and outbursts of intense anger may often lead to physical harm or “behavioral explosions”; these are easily precipitated when impulsive acts are criticized or thwarted by others. Two variants of this personality disorder are specified, and both share this general theme of impulsiveness and lack of self-control.”

“Several of the characteristics of emotional instability are present; in addition, the patient’s own self-image, aims, and internal preferences (including sexual) are often unclear or disturbed. There are usually chronic feelings of emptiness. A liability to become involved in intense and unstable relationships may cause repeated emotional crises and may be

Associated with excessive efforts to avoid abandonment and a series of suicidal threats or acts of self-harm (although these may occur without obvious precipitants).”

What causes Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder may be caused by genetic, psychological, physical or environmental causes, and while there is no particular or evidence based causes, there are various theories on what causes borderline personality disorder.

People with BPD are likely to have problems with a serotonin gene that changes the way that the brain uses serotonin and people with a specific variation in this gene may be more likely to develop BPD, especially if they also have problematic childhoods.

Serotonin gene variation of this sort was studied in monkeys and it was seen that babies who were raised with nurturing mothers were much less likely to develop BPD-like symptoms or display emotional problems and impulsive or reckless behavior.

It has also been seen that individuals with BPD have problems in the following brain structures:

  • Amygdala: Responsible for the regulation of emotions, particular the more “negative” emotions, like fear, aggression and anxiety, and may also cause emotional or physical harmful outbursts.
  • Hippocampus: Helps in the regulation of behavior and self-control, and may also take care of processes of memory and its correlates.
  • Orbitofrontal cortex: responsible for the executive functions of planning and decision-making.

These problems give grounds to the symptoms commonly seen in Borderline personality disorder, namely impulsive or reckless behavior and emotional outbursts and problems regulating emotions and maintaining relationships.

Another huge factor that is said to cause BPD is the environment when the person is growing up, and it has been seen that an invalidating environment may be a factor in this case.

Invalidating environment is not the same as an abusive environment, although that may also be a factor in the development of BPD, but invalidation is more subtle and may actually affect the child much more greatly than abuse, in some cases, and it may be that much harder to treat.

Another problem with invalidation is that it is not even clear to others around because it’s not obvious enough, and it may happen for a long time without stopping, causing damage to the person and being just a general way of interacting. 

Invalidation may include intolerance of the expression of emotional experiences, which teaches the person to adopt more extreme displays of emotion.

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatments

Borderline personality disorder treatments may involve an interplay of different courses, like medication, group therapy and psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy is one of the best ways to treat borderline personality disorder as it focuses more on the disorder itself rather than just the symptoms, which is something medication will do.

The primary aims of psychotherapy in borderline personality disorder are:

  • To improve the person’s  current ability to function
  • To teach the individual to manage their emotions better and in more constructive ways
  • Teaching more self-control and reducing impulsivity, by teaching the person to observe feelings for some time rather than acting immediately.
  • Helping them to improve relationships 
  • Educating the person about borderline personality disorder

The commonly used types of psychotherapy in borderline personality disorder treatment are as follows:

Dialectical behavior therapy is the most commonly used therapy in BPD.

It includes group and individual therapy and it was designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder by Dr Marsha Linehan

The underlying theory of DBT is a skills-based approach that teaches the individual to manage their emotions better and it enables them to tolerate distress better so that they may improve relationships.

Schema-focused therapy is another commonly used method of borderline personality disorder treatment, and it can be done either individually or in a group. 

This type of therapy helps the person identify their repressed and unmet needs that have become strongly held schemas and are affecting the way they think and behave in the present, and eventually work on changing it.

It allows the person to change their negative life patterns, which they may have developed as a means of survival, but as an adult are hurtful in many areas of your life. 

This therapy allows the person to meet their needs in a healthy manner and therefore promotes positive life patterns.

Mentalization-based therapy is a type of therapy that helps the person identify their own thoughts and feelings at any given moment and choose actively to take a different perspective on the situation. 

This therapy primarily teaches thinking before reacting so that some of the impulsive and emotional behavior subsides and the individual is able to be more precise and careful in their behavior

Transference-focused psychotherapy is a type or offshoot of psychodynamic psychotherapy, and it aims to help the person suffering from borderline personality disorder to understand their emotions and interpersonal difficulties through the relationship between them and their therapist. 

Borderline personality disorder treatments may also include medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood-stabilizing drugs.


In this brief guide, we looked at a borderline personality disorder test, as well as the symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

We also took a brief look at borderline personality disorder treatments and what causes borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is very misunderstood and many people may cast individuals with this issue in a rather negative light, but with more awareness this image can be changed.

Borderline personality disorder tests may usually be done in a clinical setting, and they may be in the form of questionnaires that need to be valid and reliable to accurately measure the symptoms and personality traits of the individual.

Most borderline personality disorder tests online are subject to manipulation if someone with borderline personality is taking it, which is why clinical judgment is so important in these cases.

You may try the borderline personality disorder test given here especially if it is for someone you know, but if you feel that you might have borderline personality disorder, it would be better if you sought the help of a clinician.

If you have any questions or comments about borderline personality disorder tests, please feel free to reach out to us without hesitation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Borderline Personality Disorder Test

What are the 9 symptoms of BPD?

Here are 9 symptoms of BPD:

Fear of abandonment.
Unstable interpersonal relationships.
Abnormal or distorted self-image. 
Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors. 
Intentional Self-harm. 
Extreme mood swings. 
Chronic feelings of emptiness. 
Explosive anger and threats of physical harm or aggression.

Can I self diagnose BPD?

No, you cannot self diagnose BPD, as personality disorders are complicated and the person who has it is not in the right frame of mind to diagnose them properly.

The reason it is not advisable to self-diagnose BPD is that this disorder may often overlap with bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, depression, and anxiety, and it may not be possible for the person to have clear insight into their situation.

What is a BPD person like?

A person with BPD may, most typically, struggle to maintain healthy relationships, and have explosive outbursts that are intensely emotional in nature, and they may also have the propensity to act impulsively.

Someone with BPD may experience paranoia and dissociation frequently, and they may have issues with abandonment, and they may also engage in intentional self-harm or suicidal threats.


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