Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which people have long-term patterns of unstable or turbulent emotions, such as feelings about themselves and others. These inner experiences often cause them to take impulsive actions and have chaotic relationships. The causes of borderline personality disorder (BPD) are unknown. Genetic, family, and social factors are thought to play roles. Risk factors for BPD include: Abandonment in childhood or adolescence, Disrupted family life, Poor communication in the family, and Sexual abuse. People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity. As a result, their interests and values may change rapidly. People with BPD also tend to see things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. Their views of other people may change quickly. A person who is looked up to one day may be looked down on the next day. These suddenly shifting feelings often lead to intense and unstable relationships. Some other symptoms include: A fear of being abandoned, feelings of emptiness or boredom, frequent displays of inappropriate anger, impulsiveness with money, substance abuse, binge eating, intolerance of being alone, repeated crises and acts of self-injury. Like other personality disorders, BPD is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms. Many types of individual talk therapy, such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), can successfully treat BPD. In addition, group therapy can help change self-destructive behaviors. In some cases, medications can help level mood swings and treat depression or other disorders that may occur with this condition. The outlook depends on how severe the condition is and whether the person is willing to accept help. With long-term talk therapy, the person will often gradually improve. Some complications include: depression, drug abuse, suicide threats and attempts, and problems with work, family, and social relationships. Call your health care provider if you feel you have symptoms of borderline personality disorder. It is especially important to seek help right away if you or someone else is having thoughts of suicide.