Borderline Personality Disorder

Facts to Know

  • Borderline personality disorder is a chronic pattern of instability across relationships, work, identity, and emotions.  
  • People with borderline personality disorder struggle to manage intense emotions and to use emotions to effectively guide their behavior. 
  • Self-destructive coping mechanisms often interfere with life goals and satisfaction. 

What is borderline personality disorder?

While the exact cause of borderline personality disorder is still a topic of research in the field, it has been linked to childhood neglect and trauma as well as a temperament towards emotional intensity. Borderline personality disorder has also been linked to a variety of other illnesses, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder as well as other mood and anxiety disorders.  Research shows that treating borderline personality can lead to reductions in symptoms of these co-occurring illnesses. 


Borderline personality disorder can look very different in different people.  Borderline Personality disorder is a stable pattern of dysregulation, present since adolescence that results in:

  • Behavioral instability in work, relationships and identity
  • Difficulty regulating emotions including sadness, anxiety, and anger
  • Difficulty initiating and maintaining close relationships
  • Problems developing and maintaining a stable self-image
  • Engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as multiple suicide attempts, self-harm, avoidance or other behaviors that interfere with creating meaning in one’s life


A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is best made by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. The evaluation is based on an integrated assessment across multiple domains of psychological functioning including work/school, relationships, coping skills, and identity development.



Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Transference Focused Psychotherapy, and Psychodynamic (Exploratory) Psychotherapy are all evidence-based treatments for Borderline Personality disorder.  Our therapists and psychiatrists are trained in the latest therapy modalities and can help develop a therapy based on individual goals.

Psychopharmacology (Medication Management)

In some cases, medications can help patients with Borderline Personality disorder improve mood instability, insomnia, and impulsivity. In addition, if addiction or substance abuse is a co-occurring problem, medication can help improve that as well. Our psychiatrists combine a thorough evaluation of each individual’s challenges with the latest research to design a customized treatment plan. 

How Can I Receive Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder at Columbia?

ColumbiaDoctors Midtown offers a variety of evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder. 

For patients who require an intensive treatment for borderline personality disorder and other co-occurring mental health challenges, the Columbia Day Program provides a structured, intensive treatment approach including group therapy, family therapy, and other services tailored to individual needs.

Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist with expertise in borderline personality disorder.

To make an appointment, please call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.