What is BPD?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively. The disorder occurs in the context of relationships: sometimes all relationships are affected, sometimes only one.

While some persons with BPD are high functioning in certain settings, their private lives may be in turmoil. Other disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders. can often exist along with BPD

The diagnosis of BPD is frequently missed and a misdiagnosis of the BPD diagnosis has been shown to delay and/or prevent recovery. Bipolar disorder is one example of a misdiagnosis as it also includes mood instability.

Officially recognized in 1980 by the psychiatric community, BPD is more than two decades behind in research, treatment options, and family psycho-education compared to other major psychiatric disorders. BPD has historically met with widespread misunderstanding and blatant stigma. However, evidenced-based treatments have emerged over the past two decades bringing hope to those diagnosed with the disorder and their loved ones.

Educational Workshops


On the 3rd Thursday of each month, an Education Workshop on various aspects of borderline personality disorder and other related topics takes place from 5 PM to 6 PM in Pierce Hall at McLean Hospital. The Workshops are led each month by a clinician who lectures on a relevant topic and answers questions from those who attend. The final Workshop of the season consists of a presentation by a moderator and patient panelists who describe their experiences with BPD. There is no charge for the Workshops, which are open to the public.


The dates and topics of upcoming workshops are found under the Workshops menu item.