Women with BPD experience chronic instability — in their emotions, behaviors, relationships, and sense of self. They are impulsive in response to rapid mood changes. Their sense of self fluctuates based on their ability to cope with feelings of abandonment. However, their rejection sensitivity contributes to the need to make dramatic shifts in relationships, often sabotaging and then reestablishing connection. Many misinterpret the behaviors of Borderline women to be intentionally manipulative, and they are often stigmatized. Their demands escalate in response to their intolerable fear. Unfortunately, that emotional urgency evokes feelings of guilt or resentment in others. In fact, these women are in intense emotional pain, and feel unable to elicit what they need from others to feel safe.
For women with BPD, rifts with friends or breakups are often triggers for self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts. Self-destructive behaviors, like cutting or burning, can defuse their skyrocketing panic, and become strategies for emotional control. BPD women who are impulsive, emotionally unstable, with histories of trauma have the highest risk of acting on their suicidal ideation, especially if they had been diagnosed with ADHD as children.