Difficulty Diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder in 16 Year Olds.

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For many years, Borderline personality disorder was considered a mental illness only associated with adults above age 18, however in recent years mental health professionals have begun to consider the possibility of Borderline Personality Disorder being diagnosed in adolescents. Borderline personality disorder is characterized by extreme patterns of impulsivity such as promiscuous sex, spending sprees, reckless drinking or abusing substances, unstable and intense personal relationships and an unstable self-image, amongst a few other symptoms. It is important to remember when making a diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder that quite often
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D) The pattern is stable and of long duration, its onset can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood.

E) The enduring pattern is not better accounted for as a manifestation or consequence of another mental disorder.

F) The enduring pattern is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g. a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g. head trauma)”

These disorders can have a serious effect on an individual’s quality of life. Personality disorders have a far-reaching affect, not only affecting the individuals themselves, but also their families and loved ones and their work colleagues.


Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by a number of different symptoms, most markedly with severe patterns of impulsivity, instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and affect. There are a number of other symptoms associated with this disorder, such as:

• Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
• Heightened and extreme fear of abandonment and rejection, which result in intense emotions from this fear
• Intense emotional pain often resulting in Self harming behaviours to reduce the intense pain
• Partaking in ‘distortion campaigns’
• Difficult in regulating emotions
• Intense feelings of anger and/or emptiness
• Stress related changed in thinking,
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