Borderline personality disorder

Living without conflicts again

About 1.5 million Germans suffer from uncontrolled mood swings, and frequently high levels of stress and serious self-esteem issues. As a result they often feel the urge to harm themselves. Those who are affected by this condition - called borderline syndrome - are insecure and afraid of being abandoned. They alternate between pushing others away and holding them too close. This overshadows all of their interpersonal relationships and greatly affects the lives of these mostly young patients.

At Schoen Clinic we have years of experience in dealing with conditions affecting the personality and mood. We can offer you the support to allow you to manage your emotions again.

Causes & symptoms

What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is one of the disorders affecting the personality, and is also referred to by doctors as “emotionally unstable personality disorder". The name “borderline” comes from the assumption that the disorder can be described as being between, or on the border of, neurosis and psychosis. Many people who have borderline syndrome are extremely distrustful and tend to misinterpret situations. In these borderline personality disorder patients, mood, self-image and social relationships are fundamentally unstable.

Causes: How borderline personality disorder develops

A personality disorder develops due to complex conditions. It may be genetic, but the essential factors are the internal and external conditions for the development of an individual’s personality. The internal conditions include chronic-organic disorders such as ADHD, which can have a pathological impact. But more significant are the external conditions such as the individual’s social environment. It can have an adverse effect on the development of emotional regulation, relationship competencies and the formation of identity.

Because borderline personality disorder has no clear factors of influence, an individual case analysis is always required to investigate the cause.

Borderline personality disorder: signs of personality disorder

This disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings. These are especially severe around the age of 20. There are generally nine borderline personality disorder symptoms that experts use to diagnose borderline personality disorder:
  • Efforts not to be abandoned
  • Unstable but intense interpersonal relationships
  • Impulsiveness in at least two self-harming areas
  • Recurring suicidal actions or self-harm
  • Unstable emotions and moods
  • Chronic feeling of emptiness
  • Difficulties in controlling rage
  • Identity disorder
  • Disassociative symptoms or paranoid thoughts, such as delusions of persecution
The phenomenon of “cutting” is most often associated with borderline personality disorder in the media, but it does not automatically indicate a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder". Someone is considered to have this personality disorder only if at least five of the above-mentioned symptoms occur within a period of four years.


Diagnosis: No small matter

Nearly all of the typical symptoms can also occur in clearly healthy people. For that reason, we always conduct thorough and comprehensive long-term observation to precisely analyse your patterns of behaviour in order to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. “Semi-standardised” interviews are also helpful in making a diagnosis. In these interviews, standardised questions are complemented by clinical questionnaires. We discuss all of our diagnostic assessments and evaluations with you in a private consultation.