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Potential Risks of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder, or simply BPD, is usually engulfed in all sorts of stigma and misconceptions. But probably the most common is none other than the alleged inherent danger posed by people with BPD. 

However, the truth is that many people with BPD are not harmful. However, some symptoms and behaviors tend to be challenging, and there are even instances when these can pose a risk to the person and the people around them. 

Potential Risks and Impulsive Behaviours in BPD

As the core aspect of BPD, impulsive behaviors can often result in potential risks for the affected individual and other people. Understanding such behaviors and their potential results is critical to providing better support and ensuring proper management of the challenges that the person with BPD may deal with. 

borderline personality disorder treatment
Although no drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, certain medications may help with symptoms or co-occurring problems such as depression, impulsiveness, aggression, or anxiety.

The following are some of the impulsive behaviours linked with BPD together with the risks they may create:

Reckless Driving 

Reckless driving is among the most common manifestations of impulsivity, which can put the person with BPD and other road users at serious risk.

It may be in the form of ignoring traffic signs, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Unsafe Sexual Behaviours 

Being impulsive may also lead a person with BPD to develop risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or having several sexual partners. Such behaviors can lead to sexually transmitted infections, emotional distress, and unplanned pregnancies. 


People who are diagnosed with BPD are also more prone to commit self-harm as a way of coping with their intense emotions. They may feel the impulse to inflict injury or harm on themselves without considering its long-term effects. Self-harm might also lead to scarring, severe physical injuries, and, worse, the heightened risk of accidental death. 

YouTube video
Empirically Supported Therapies for BPD: Common and Distinguishing Aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) by Mental Health Experts

Substance Abuse

People with BPD may end up turning to alcohol or drugs to deal with their emotional pains, impulsively using such substances without thinking of the possible dangers they may bring. 

Substance abuse can result in issues with physical health, strained relationships with loved ones and other people, addiction, and more risks of taking part in other forms of dangerous behaviors.

BPD and bipolar disorder share many common characteristics, and the most crucial overlapping feature is mood instability. There is a robust relationship between BPD and bipolar disorder II. If you suspect that you or your child may be experiencing bipolar disorder symptoms, it’s essential to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

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