As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren't fully understood. Experts agree, though, that the disorder results from a combination of factors. Factors that seem likely to play a role include:
Aug. 17, 2012
- Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental disorders among family members.
- Environmental factors. Many people with borderline personality disorder have a history of childhood abuse, neglect and separation from caregivers or loved ones.
- Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.
- Borderline personality disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 16, 2012.
- Personality disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/resourceToc.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Silk KR. Borderline personality disorder: Epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Silk KR. Borderline personality disorder: Treatment and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 17, 2012.
- Gunderson JG. Borderline personality disorder. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:2037.
- Leichsenring F, et al. Borderline personality disorder. The Lancet. 2011;377:74.
- Alarcon RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 31, 2012.
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