BPD vs Bipolar

Hello and happy June! I wish all of you the best this month. It’s a new month so it’s all about a fresh start. If you want to learn to have a better month then read my previous entry, Recap-May. It has some tips to improve your month mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Go check it out!

I know last month it was Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) month. I had entries focusing on various topics of BPD. I have decided to focus on Bipolar Disorder this month. Is it bipolar disorder month? Nope, but I feel there should be just as much attention to this disorder as BPD. So I will be posting different topics regarding to bipolar disorder this whole month of June.

I thought it is best to kick it off with BPD vs Bipolar Disorder. Why? Besides it being a nice transition, there is a lot of confusion between the two, because they are so familiar. Both contain traits like impulsive disorder and mood swings. So how can we distinguish the two?

Well, as discussed in previous entries, a person with borderline personality is often tortured by an intense fear of abandonment, leading to unstable relationships or staying in relationships that aren’t working. They experience intense emotional reactions to upsetting or disappointing life events. They are typically very self-critical and may engage in self-harming behavior.

However, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder while BPD is a personality disorder. Mood disorders are a category of disorders distinguished by serious changes in mood. Depression falls in this category along with bipolar disorder.

Personality disorders are characterized by ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that are different from social expectations, causing problems functioning or distress. If you have a personality disorder, you have difficulty perceiving and relating to people and situations.


Both of these conditions can be difficult to diagnose, and misdiagnosis isn’t uncommon. Both require medical and psychological exams to rule out other possible issues. To diagnose bipolar disorder, besides a thorough interview and evaluation, you might be asked to keep a daily record of your mood, energy level, and sleep patterns.

Diagnosing BPD isn’t based on a particular sign or symptom. There may be a psychological evaluation that includes completing questionnaires. This disorder is diagnosed after a comprehensive clinical interview with the patient as well as previous providers and possibly interviews with family and friends.

Bipolar disorder is known for alternating periods of depression and mania that can last from days to months. During a manic, hypomanic, or depressed episode with “mixed features,” symptoms of depression and mania happen at the same time. Unlike borderline personality disorder, the mood swings of bipolar disorder are not triggered by interpersonal conflicts, last for days to weeks rather than minutes to hours, and episodes are, by definition, accompanied by changes in sleep, energy, speech, and thinking

During times of mania, symptoms might include:

  • An excessively happy or angry, irritated mood
  • More physical and mental energy and activity than normal
  • Racing thoughts and ideas
  • Talking more and faster
  • Making big plans
  • Risk taking
  • Impulsiveness (substance abuse, sex, spending, etc.)
  • Less sleep, but no feeling of being tired

During periods of depression, symptoms might include:

  • Drop in energy
  • Lasting sadness
  • Less activity and energy
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Problems concentrating and making decisions
  • Worry and anxiety
  • No interest in favorite activities
  • Feelings of guilt and hopelessness; suicidal thoughts
  • Change in appetite or sleep patterns

To get a better comprehension, I have listed the symptoms for BPD so you can compare the two.

  • Frantic efforts to avoid feeling abandoned
  • History of unstable, intense relationships
  • Tendency to view people and situations as either “all good” or “all bad”
  • Poor self-image
  • Impulsiveness (spending, sex, substance abuse, etc.)
  • Self-harm (e.g., cutting) or suicidal behavior
  • Mood swings involving anger and depression, usually in response to stressful events or relationships
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Problems managing anger and unpleasant emotions
  • Paranoia

I hope this post gave you a better perspective on the two disorder. If not I have added a video for more clarity below. By the way, there are people that can be diagnosed with both. I for one, is one of those people. I was diagnosed with BPD at first, then bipolar, and finally both. Do you or a love one has both or either or disorders? Please comment below.

5 thoughts on “BPD vs Bipolar

  1. Thanks for this. In my immediate family 3 people have BPD and one has also the Borderline personality. I once was diagnosed as BiPolar 2 but it was because the depression meds weren’t working. Turns out for me it was more situational and when that cleared so did the depression. I keep a close eye out though as I know tramautic events can trigger this. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear you continuously monitor your mental illness and take the best self care actions in order to improve your mental health. I find it fascinating you have a few family members with mental illness. I bet it makes it easier to cope and open about what you’re going through.


  2. I feel pretty healed and don’t refer to myself as having mental illness right now. I’m super stable right now due to a whole host of things. I’m aware that it’s in my family and simply look out for red flags that might trigger a decline

    Liked by 1 person

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