At a glance

People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have usually experienced significant trauma, often as a child. Trauma can have a long-term impact on the way that a person feels about themselves and copes with life events. Trauma can leave people feeling unsafe in relationships.

People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder may experience very intense emotions in response to life events and feel quickly overwhelmed. They may make quick decisions based on their immediate needs and current feelings. People who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder often dislike themselves and can find it difficult to trust other people.

A person who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder may find relationships challenging as they can feel confused, upset or threatened by other people’s actions.

… problems with trust … is something that workers need to be aware of. Lack of trust means that a lot of patience is needed when building the support relationship.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition


The thoughts and behaviours of people who receive this diagnosis make sense in the context of their life experiences. When we omit these life experiences, their behaviours appear unacceptable and stigma continues.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition



Project Air – A Personality Disorders Strategy
The Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders is an internationally recognised leader in research, education and treatments for personality disorders. The website has a range of useful fact sheets.

What are Personality Disorders? (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet has information about borderline personality disorder, symptoms, behaviours and treatment.
Type: Fact sheets
Length: 1 Page
Produced by: Project Air

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) (Fact Sheet)
This fact sheet provides an overview of BPD, the causes, symptoms and treatment options. The site also provides a guide to support people experiencing BPD, their family, friends and carers.
Type: Fact sheets
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Produced by: SANE Australia

What is personality disorder? (Translated Fact Sheets)

The fact sheet “What is a personality disorder”, is available with translations in a range of languages.
Type: Fact sheet
Length: 6 pages
Produced by: Embrace Multicultural Mental Health
Translations: Yes

Project Air - Lived experience
This web page links to a range of stories of lived experience with borderline personality disorder, including Mahlie, Jeremy, Sonia, Allie and many more.
Type: Articles
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes each
Produced by: Project Air

Secrets of people who live with borderline personality disorder
This video provides some key messages from people with borderline personality disorder.
Type: Video
Viewing time: 2.02 minutes
Produced by: The Mighty
Current as at: Wednesday 14 December 2022
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch