Bipolar vs Borderline Personality Disorder

It’s estimated that around 5.7 million Americans 18 and older have bipolar disorder. That is why March 30th has been designated as World Bipolar Day to spread awareness.

You may be wondering what bipolar vs borderline personality disorder is. The two conditions are often used interchangeably, but they are very different.

Despite sounding similar and having a few common symptoms, these are separate conditions. This guide will help you understand what makes these conditions unique.

Keep reading to find out more about bipolar vs borderline personality disorder.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

There are a lot of mental health conditions that people confuse with one another. Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is one of the common conditions.

BPD is usually identified by long-standing patterns of mood swings. These usually occur from moment to moment and can happen very abruptly.

Unlike bipolar disorder, these mood swings are often caused by conflict. An episode may happen after an upsetting life event or life change.

These mood swings usually impact your relationships, behavior, and self-image. People with BPD have overly strong emotional responses to a variety of things.

They may also have a stronger risk of having other mental health problems. BPD is often linked to childhood trauma, though this is not the cause.

It’s important to understand that bipolar and borderline personality disorder are categorized differently. Borderline disorder is a mood disorder.


The main signs of BPD include a lack of control over your emotions and behavior. This results in reckless behavior that can happen at any time.

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People often experience very unstable and intense relationships. They may also have a black-and-white perspective when it comes to people and life situations.

If you have BPD, you may struggle with self-image or self-harm. Sometimes paranoia and feelings of emptiness are also common symptoms.


Any kind of mental health condition is going to be a challenge to treat. This is because everybody’s situation is different, and you may respond in a different way.

Unlike bipolar treatment borderline personality disorder treatment includes psychotherapy. These treatments are aimed to help manage impulses and feelings of distress.

Psychotherapy can help you manage your emotions and become less sensitive to situations. Some medications are also used to help with the management of these symptoms.

During different episodes, you may need to stay in the hospital for your own safety. This is common if you struggle with self-harm or feelings of hopelessness.

Therapy is another great option, just like it is for bipolar disorder. Therapists can help you identify triggers and find ways of managing extreme emotions. 

What Is Bipolar Disorder

If you struggle with mental health, you may wonder if you have an actual condition. This is a common question that people have if they feel like they can’t control their emotions.

The first thing we need to discuss is bipolar vs borderline personality disorder. When it comes to bipolar disorder, it is also called manic depression.

It is mostly known for causing significant mood swings and various levels of energy. Most people with bipolar disorder struggle with daily activities like work and school.

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Bipolar disorder’s defined by two symptoms people suffer from. This includes depression and mania, which usually come in different periods.

These episodes are not triggered by interpersonal conflicts. They can come out of the blue and impact people without any kind of warning.

Some episodes even last as little as a few minutes to a few hours. They also have a negative impact on your sleep, speech, energy, and ability to think.

Every episode is going to be different depending on the person. Mania often includes an extreme mood where you are either very happy, angry, or irritable.

Everything about you usually speeds up as you talk and think faster. Episodes can also cause you to become impulsive and goal-driven, even if the goal doesn’t make sense.

Episodes of depression are going to look quite different than manic episodes. These episodes usually come with increased sadness and much lower energy.

You may struggle to concentrate and have excess feelings of anxiety. Many people lose interest in many activities and may struggle with suicidal thoughts.


Bipolar disorder is something that usually requires lifelong treatment. Those with this disorder struggle sometimes since episodes can make them not want to take their medicine.

Common medical options include mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Many may use antidepressants in combination with other medical options.

For a lot of people, learning how to control the disorder is the main form of treatment. You can go to a facility like Sanctuary Mental Health & Wellness to seek treatment.

Therapy can also be very useful in finding skills to handle different episodes. It is important for people to be aware of these episodes and understand how to come back from them. 

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Bipolar Vs Borderline Personality Disorder: Understanding the Differences

If you struggle with mental health, you may want more answers. You may be looking into bipolar vs borderline personality disorder regarding your situation.

These are conditions that are not necessarily extremely rare or extremely common. They have similarities, but at the root, they are very different.

If you believe that you have one of these conditions, you should seek help immediately. A professional can help you get a diagnosis and find the correct treatment.

Did you enjoy reading this article about mental health conditions? Keep reading for more interesting health-related content.

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