There are some similarities in symptoms of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. These similarities could include impulsive and reckless behaviors and shifts in mood. However, there are very many differences that need to be considered in order to distinguish between them.
l The mood changes in bipolar disorder are extreme.
l The mood instability of bipolar disorder swings between mania or hypomania and depression.
l Bipolar disorder has limited but longer periods of mania and depression.
l A person with this disorder could engage in impulsive behavior that can lead to unintentional self-harm.
l Their cognitive abilities are poor during depressive or manic episodes.
l In this disorder there are episodes of experiencing extreme highs and lows in mood.
l A person with bipolar disorder may feel suicidal during those episodes.
l During a depressive episode a person with this disorder could isolate themselves but during a manic episode, they could be extremely social.
l People with bipolar disorder can develop and maintain healthy social relationships. However, they can also be hampered due to their manic and depressive episodes.
l The cause of this disorder generally involves a genetic component.
Borderline Personality Disorder
l In BPD, the mood rapidly changes.
l The mood instability of BPD involves poor emotion regulation.
l The mood changes in BPD are rapid, chronic, and intense, it is something that a person with this disorder would experience regularly.
l A person with BPD could intentionally indulge in self-harming behaviors.
l People with BPD have a tendency of thinking and behaving in extreme opposites.
l Intense emotions and high emotional sensitivity.
l Thoughts of suicidality could be present all along.
l A person with BPD would be fearful of being left alone.
l People with BPD have chronic poor social functioning. Due to rapid shifts in their mood, they often have unstable, volatile social relationships.
l The cause of this disorder is an interplay of genetic vulnerability and external factors. The episodes are usually triggered by stressful situations.
Hence, the treatment and management of bipolar disorder and borderline disorder are also different.