Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

Bipolar Disorder vs Borderline Personality Disorder
 

Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are two mental disorders exhibiting some differences between them even though they are confused for one another. This confusion is mostly because in both illnesses, mood swings and impulsive behavior are major characteristics. However, these two have to be understood as two different disorders. According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder whereas Bipolar disorder is not. It is categorized into clinical syndromes. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two disorders; namely, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder can be understood as a mental illness characterized by extreme mood swings or else mood instability and issues in behavior and relationships. People with Borderline Personality Disorder have difficulty in regulating their emotions, which then leads to instability in emotions and moods, as well. They also suffer from impulsive behavior, as well. Such individuals find it difficult to maintain stable relationships with those around him.

Experts have not been able to specify exactly what causes Borderline Personality Disorder. They believe that this disorder may result from genetics or else chemical imbalances. However, some experts believe that this disorder goes beyond genetics. According to them, the environment also has a role to play in the development of such disorders. For instance the lifestyle, family background, cultural setting can also have an influence on the development of the disorder.

A number of symptoms can be observed in an individual who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. They are low self-worth, mood swings that last for a couple of hours of a few days, intense emotions and feelings of depression, panic, anger, etc., problems in maintaining relationships, impulsive behavior such as substance abuse, recurrent suicidal thoughts and behavior, difficulty in controlling one’s anger. Usually, it is best that Borderline Personality Disorder be diagnosed by a mental health professional at an early stage so that it allows sufficient time for treatments. When speaking of treatments, both psychotherapy and medication can be used, even though prominence is given to psychotherapy.

Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

Substance abuse is a symptom of borderline personality disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is also a mental illness. This is characterized by mood swings where the individual experiences manic as well as episodes of depression. Such a person would feel extremely happy and full of life during one period and feel extremely sad and hopeless in another. This is the main characteristic of Bipolar Disorder.

During manic episodes, the individual feels extremely energized as if he could even conquer the world. He also feels very confident and excited. Some individuals even engage in reckless and impulsive behavior during manic episodes. Some even go to the extent where they become delusional.

On the contrary during depressive episodes, the individual feels very sad or even depresses. He would feel that he is unable to do anything and that he lacks energy. Also, he would have difficulty in enjoying things that he previously loved and would feel that they are completely worthless. Another key symptom that can be seen during depressive episodes is recurrent suicidal thoughts.

 Bipolar Disorder vs Borderline Personality Disorder

Bipolar disorder consists of mood swings

What is the difference between Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder?

• Definitions of Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder:

• Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings or else mood instability and issues in behavior and relationships.

• Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings where the individual experiences manic as well as episodes of depression.

• Category:

• Borderline Personality Disorder is a personality disorder.

• Bipolar disorder is not a personality disorder. It is categorized into clinical syndromes.

• Mood Swings:

• In Borderline Personality Disorder, the mood swings can occur quickly.

• In Bipolar disorder, the episodes usually last for weeks.

• Mood Types:

• In Borderline Personality Disorder, euphoria is not a type of mood experienced by the individual. The moods mostly center on depression, anxiety, rage, etc.

• However, in Bipolar disorder, they shift from euphoria to depression.

• Impulsive Actions:

• Impulsive actions can occur in the day to day life of someone who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder.

• Impulsive actions only take place during manic episodes for someone who suffers from Bipolar disorder.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Substance abuse via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Bipolar disorder by MarkHamilton2009 (CC BY-SA 2.0)