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Borderline Personality Counselling

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is one of the least understood and stigmatized disorder though it is more common than many of the other mental health problems. The two predominant phenomena of BPD are uncontrollable emotional lability and impulsivity. A person with BPD feels like probably he is on a rollercoaster all the time because of his wavering sense of self. This emotional instability impacts a person’s self-image, relationships, emotional responses to stressors and self-regulation. They tend to contain intense of fear of abandonment by their loved ones and suffer from feeling of emptiness.

Affordable help for your borderline personality issues

The core symptoms common to most people with BPD are:

  • Poorly regulated and intense emotional responses

  • Unstable personal relationships that vary between idealization and devaluation.

  • Distorted perceptions and impaired reasoning including problems with real or perceived abandonment.

  • Unclear or shifting self-image.

  • Self-harming behaviour.

  • Chronic feeling of emptiness

  • Explosive anger often followed by shame or guilt.

  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality.


Not every person with BPD experience all these symptoms. Some might experience few of these symptoms while for some, all the symptoms are present.

The symptoms generally manifest during the early teenage years and gradually improve during adulthood. Most people can maintain a stable work and home life once they reach their 30s and 40s (DSM 5th edition, 2013). Estimate people who have borderline personality disorder vary from less than 1% to 6% (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, 2009).  Nearly 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women. Men most often get misdiagnosed with Depression or PTSD.

Though Singapore doesn’t have definitive reports but a review about suicide stated that borderline personality disorder and Avoidant Personality Disorder were the most common to be present in general population amongst others (Wong, 2018). Studies based here in Singapore also reported prevalence rate of 16.3% found in prison settings (Abdin, Subramanian, Guo et al., 2011) and 36% in Psychiatric settings (Keng, Lee et al., 2018). People here tend to live in proximity and share close knitted ties so they are more vulnerable to dysregulations arising from interpersonal relationships which can in turn lead to behavioural problems like self-harm.  


This contrasts with many studies conducted in Western setting where behavioural and interpersonal dysregulation are considered different entities (Selby & Joiner, 2008). As BPD is considered a disorder of emotional dysregulation, so a society which values control of emotions, this dysregulation can result from a person’s pre-existing emotional vulnerabilities and invalidating environment.


Like most psychological disorders the cause of BPD is still unknow but some of the risk factors for the development of this disorder can be:

  • Genetics- research suggests that people who have a close family member with BPD can be at a higher risk of developing himself.

  • Environmental Factors- childhood abuse or neglect, peer influences, socioeconomic status, faulty or inadequate parenting, family, and community disintegration.

  • Brain function- neurotransmitter responsivity, autonomic nervous system arousal and reactivity, perinatal factors.


There are additional conditions also that can occur with BPD. A successful treatment for BPD needs to address those co occurring mental health conditions also. Common disorders include:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Eating disorders

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Substance abuse


In a study, approximately 300 former inpatients with BPD were followed for 10 years, interviewing them at 2 years interval to assess the severity of their illness and the improvements made. Nealy 7 out of 8 patients achieved symptom remission lasting at least 4 years and half no longer met the criteria for BPD (Mary Zanarini, 2010). Hence the research shows that BPD is treatable.


Most of the people with BPD can manage this condition and live a fulfilled life. Psychotherapy is an important tool for people with BPD. It is even helpful for caregivers and family members of those affected and to learn about taking care of them. Counselling can help people get a better understanding of their thoughts, feeling and behaviours. The key approach to handle this is to seek and stick with the treatment.

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Before it gets worst, let us help you process and validate your feelings, identify triggers, stressors, past grievances, and contributing factors that may have put you in distress. We will explore effective coping skills, and life management skills or solutions that will help you excel better to meet your daily life demands and responsibilities effectively.