Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder: The Similarities and the Differences

By November 24, 2015No Comments

Though Bipolar Disorder is Better Known, Borderline Personality Disorder Occurs Nearly as Often

bipolar disorderBipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder are two different mental illnesses that often get confused with one another. They do share some similarities yet they are also very different diseases. Bipolar disorder is more well-known, but both occur with similar frequency.

A study conducted at Rhode Island Hospital performed personal interviews with 307 patients with diagnosed borderline personality disorder but no bipolar disorder and 236 patients with bipolar disorder alone. Researchers wondered about the morbidity (how often something occurs) of people affected as well as of specific symptoms. In other words, how many people experience each disorder and with what symptoms and what frequency of symptoms?

What Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder Have in Common

Researchers found that approximately the same number of people were affected by each disorder. This is in contrast with currently accepted data which suggests that bipolar disorder occurs around twice as often as borderline personality disorder. Patients with both disorders had alarmingly high morbidity rates for suicidal ideas or attempts. They also looked much the same in terms of psychiatric hospital admission and amount of time missed from work.

What’s the Difference

There were notable differences, however between the two mental illnesses. Those with borderline personality disorder were found to have more co-existing (comorbid) disorders, more social struggles and more substance abuse and tested poorer in reference to general functioning.

Borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder are both mental health illnesses that can affect you or those you love with symptoms that can be debilitating without treatement. At Family Guidance Center we have experience in treatment for both mental health diagnoses and can help you with a treatment plan that is specific to your disease. Our mental health professionals can work together with your healthcare team to provide integrated and comprehensive treatment to help you lead a healthier happy life.