Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness than can be mild with few troublesome symptoms, so severe that it makes normal life impossible, or fall somewhere in between. Individuals with borderline PD usually have a great fear of abandonment, and they often feel empty inside. The relationships that those who suffer from this form of mental illness have are typically highly unstable and extremely intense, and the individual can be emotionally unstable at times. These individuals do not handle criticism well and they may have angry outbursts or behavior that is impulsive and is not always in their best interests. Many people with this type of mental disorder will harm themselves, and threats of suicide and even suicide attempts are fairly common with borderline personality disorder.
Someone with borderline personality disorder will usually come into contact with professionals in the medical or mental health fields because of the symptoms of this mental illness. Most medical professionals believe that borderline PD affects women more often than men, but some disagree with this finding. The professionals who do not believe that women are more prone to this mental illness point out that when a patient presents as sexually promiscuous and with anger issues the diagnosis given is based on sex. Identical symptoms will usually lead to a diagnosis of antisocial PD for men and borderline PD for women, even though both sexes may have the same exact symptoms. This calls into question whether there is a gender bias involved in the diagnosis.