The cause of
borderline personality disorder is not well
understood. It may be a result of an imbalance of chemicals in the brain called
neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood. Mood is
also influenced by genetic and environmental influences.
Borderline personality disorder is five times more common among people
whose parents or siblings have the disorder.1 It is
also seen more often in families who have other mental health conditions such
antisocial personality disorder,
substance abuse problems, and mood disorders like
People who have this disorder often have experienced significant
childhood trauma, such as sexual, physical, or emotional abuse; neglect; or
early loss of or separation from a parent. When this trauma is combined with
certain personality traits, such as reacting poorly to stress or having
anxiety, the risk for developing borderline
personality disorder increases.
Although experts know that people
with borderline personality disorder have impaired function in parts of the
brain, it is still not clear whether the problems are caused by-or are a
consequence of-the disorder.3
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