By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: March 30, 2023
The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) Explained
The difference between Bipolar and BPD can be confusing due to their similarities. Although bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD) share similar symptoms, they are two distinct illnesses with various forms of therapy. At first glance, it is easy to mistake bpd vs bipolar disorders, but the two have distinct differences.
Primary Difference Between Bipolar and BPD Disorders
The primary difference between Bipolar and BPD is that bipolar disorder involves manic depression with extreme highs and lows. At the same time, someone with BPD feels intense emotional pain, a void filled with hopelessness, fury, and loneliness. Among the difference between Bipolar and BPD are the distinguishing traits of each disorder. Read on for more on the difference between Bipolar and BPD disorders.
Biplor Vs BPD Disorder
Bipolar disorder is an episodic condition that includes periods of mania or hypomania and depression. It is a mood disorder in which the individual experiences dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. These changes can last for days or even weeks at a time.
Bipolar disorder is an affective or mood disorder involving extreme shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks.
In contrast, BPD is not an episodic illness but an enduring instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotion regulation that lasts over time.
BPD vs Bipolar Disorder
While BPD is focused more on volatile relationships and impulsive behaviors, bipolar disorder involves extreme shifts between very high and very low moods. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD) are mental health conditions that can cause significant distress and difficulty functioning. BPD is a personality disorder marked by severe and impulsive conduct, mood instability, and self-image issues.
The borderline personality disorder (BPD) causes are not yet clear. Still, research suggests that genetics, brain structure, function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role or may increase the risk of developing a borderline personality disorder.
Similarity vs Difference Between Bipolar and BPD
Bipolar disorder vs BPD (BPD disorder vs bipolar): These two conditions are frequently mixed together. Both of them exhibit signs of impulsivity and mood swings. However, they are different disorders and have differing treatments.
Distinguishing between bipolar and borderline personality disorders can be difficult due to their overlapping features. However, understanding the differences between bpd vs bipolar can help healthcare professionals diagnose patients more accurately and ensure they receive proper treatment. Knowing how to differentiate between these two mental health issues is critical to helping those grappling with them on their journey to recovery.
Borderline Personality Disorder vs Bipolar Disorder
The fundamental differences between bipolar disorder and BPD are in the way they manifest themselves. While both disorders can have similar symptoms, such as impulsivity, mood swings, and difficulty regulating emotions, bipolar disorder is characterized by occasional episodes. At the same time, BPD is an enduring pattern of instability. Additionally, the treatment for each disorder differs depending on the diagnosis; for instance, medications used to treat one may not be effective for the other.
People with Bipolar Disorder often experience episodes of mania in which they feel an exaggerated sense of euphoria, irritability, or restlessness and have increased energy or enthusiasm for tasks. These may be followed by episodes of depression, in which the person experiences a low or disordered mood or has difficulty concentrating or feeling pleasure. On the other hand, those with BPD may display what is referred to as ’emotional dysregulation’, characterized by unpredictable mood swings and impulsive behaviors.
BPD vs Bipolar Test
Several sorts of treatment are needed for bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD), two mental health diseases. In comparing Bipolar disorder vs BPD, Bipolar disorder is characterized by swings in moods, energy, and activity levels that usually consist of a period of elevated or irritable mood called ‘mania’ and a period of depression. Symptoms of BPD include intense fear of abandonment, rapidly shifting emotional states, and a sense of inner emptiness.
Bipolar disorder can include psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions and is typically managed through mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and psychotherapy. On the other hand, BPD is often managed with psychotherapy and medications such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. Treatment for BPD involves understanding and working on the underlying issues that can contribute to the disorder, such as trauma, anxiety, stress, and other psychological problems.
BPD vs Bipolar Symptoms
The primary symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are elevated or irritable moods, increased energy levels, racing thoughts, and reckless behavior. It is also associated with periods of depression, which can include feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and irritability. BPD symptoms include unstable feelings about self, unstable relationships with others, impulsive behaviors, and intense emotions. BPD involves more extreme mood swings than Bipolar Disorder, which generally lasts minutes or hours without shifting in between.
Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder causes mood, energy, and function swings throughout the day.
Alternating episodes of depression and mania that can last anywhere from days to months are what is known as bipolar disorder. In contrast to borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder episodes are by definition accompanied by changes in sleep, energy, speech, and thinking. Bipolar disorder episodes also continue for days to weeks or months rather than minutes to hours.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, emotions, and behavior that impairs a person’s ability to function. Individuals with BPD frequently experience trouble controlling their emotions, which can result in severe behaviors including acting impulsively, partaking in dangerous activities, demonstrating unstable relationships, and finding it challenging to complete tasks like creating and accomplishing goals. People with BPD also have intense emotions, particularly when faced with interpersonal conflicts.
Bpd vs Bipolar Treatment
The majority of bipolar illness sufferers require lifetime treatment to keep their condition under control. This typically contains mood-stabilizing medications, although it may also include antipsychotics or antidepressants. Moreover, therapy can aid in understanding bipolar disease and fostering coping mechanisms.
Bipolar vs BPD Disorder
Although they can have similar symptoms, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are two distinct mental health diseases that need to be treated differently. While both disorders involve mood swings, Bipolar disorder consists of more distinct periods of mania and depression, while BPD is a continuous cycle of unstable moods. Additionally, while bipolar disorder can cause impulsive behaviors, in people with BPD impulsivity is more likely to involve self-destructive behaviors.
- Bipolar And Addiction Treatment
- Bipolar Disorder
- Self-Harm Treatment
- Trauma Treatment
- BPD in Men, Statistics, Symptoms & Effective Treatment
- What Causes BPD? Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment
- What is a Depressive Episode and Helpful Tips to Recover
- Mood and Personality Disorder Treatment – Differences, Causes, Symptoms, Types & Medications
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder Treatment, Medication & Symptoms
Bipolar Disorder Fact Sheet
A condition characterized by episodes of mood swings that range from manic to depressive highs.
Although the precise origin of bipolar disease is unknown, genetics, the environment, and changed brain chemistry may all be contributory factors.
High activity, a decreased need for sleep, and a loss of reality are all signs of manic episodes.
Low energy, lack of motivation, and a loss of interest in daily tasks are all possible indicators of depressive episodes. Mood swings can linger for days or even months at a time and are sometimes accompanied by suicidal thoughts. The majority of the time, treatment is lifelong and includes both medicine and psychotherapy.
Therapy: Support group, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Psychoeducation, Family therapy, and Psychotherapy
Medications: Anticonvulsant, Antipsychotic, and SSRIs.
Palliative care: Hospitalization
Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities
Behavioral: irritability, risk-taking behaviors, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, or self-harm
Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
Also common: fatigue or pressure of speech
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
The figures show that bipolar disorder affects males and women in the United States at about the same rates, 2.9% and 2.8%, respectively. Despite the close numbers between men and women, bipolar disease can manifest itself differently depending on a person’s sex.
An estimated 82.9% of people with bipolar disorder had a serious impairment, the highest percent serious impairment among mood disorders.
Source: National Institute on Mental Health
An estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.
Source: National Institute on Mental Health
The prevalence of bipolar disorder among adolescents was higher for females (3.3%) than for males (2.6%).
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Bpd vs Bipolar Differences Summary
BPD and bipolar disorder are both severe mental health conditions. The main difference is that bipolar disorder involves extreme shifts between high and low moods. BPD is focused more on volatile relationships and impulsive behaviors.
Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are distinct mental health conditions. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling between extreme emotions, usually extreme highs (mania) and extreme lows (depression). BPD is characterized by fear of abandonment, impulsiveness, unstable relationships, feelings of anger, and severe mood swings.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
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.
- Impulsiveness (substance abuse, sex, spending, etc.).
- Less sleep, but no feeling of being tired.
- Poor judgment.
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.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
Although there is no known etiology for bipolar illness, a number of factors, including:
- Biological Differences: Bipolar disorder patients seem to experience physical brain alterations. Although the importance of these changes is not yet clear, they may eventually point to their root causes.
- Genetics: Those who have a first-degree family with the disorder, such as a sibling or parent, are more likely to experience bipolar disorder. Researchers are looking for genes that might contribute to the development of bipolar disorder.
Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder
The risk of developing bipolar disorder and triggers for the first episode include the following factors:
- Having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with bipolar disorder.
- Periods of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or other traumatic event.
- Drug or alcohol abuse.
Complications From Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can cause major issues that impact all aspect of your life if it is not treated, including:
- Issues related to drug and alcohol use.
- Suicide or suicide attempts.
- Legal or financial problems.
- Damaged relationships.
- Poor work or school performance.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Contrary to distinct episodes of mania or depression in people with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder involves a long-term pattern of abrupt, moment-to-moment swings in mood, relationships, self-image, and behavior that are typically brought on by conflicts in interpersonal interactions. When confronted with distressing life circumstances, people with borderline personality disorder may react excessively emotionally and frequently attempt self-harm. Typically, their interactions with people are tumultuous.
People with borderline personality disorder are also more likely to have other mental health problems. Despite the fact that trauma does not cause borderline personality disorder, they are also more likely than persons with bipolar illness to have had some form of childhood trauma. They can often have problems with addictions, eating disorders, body image, and anxiety.
Symptoms: A person with a borderline personality disorder has trouble controlling their thoughts and feelings and often has impulsive and reckless behavior. Here are the condition’s main symptoms:
- Frantic efforts to avoid feeling abandoned.
- History of unstable, intense relationships.
- Feelings of emptiness.
- Poor self-image.
- Impulsiveness (spending, sex, substance abuse, etc.).
- Self-harm (e.g., cutting) or suicidal behavior.
- Mood swings involving melancholy and fury, typically brought on by tense situations or connections.
- Tendency to see everything as either “all nice” or “all negative,” depending on the situation.
- Problems managing anger and unpleasant emotions.
Treatment: Most borderline personality disorder sufferers require long-term therapy. In order to help people manage impulses (such as suicidal urges or tendencies to self-harm when they feel upset), feelings of distress or anger, and emotional sensitivity to interactions with other people, treatment typically entails specific forms of psychotherapy, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP). Although they are not always helpful and are not thought to be the main focus of treatment for borderline personality disorder, medications are also occasionally used to aid with these symptoms. Short hospital stays are occasionally required to handle emergency situations with risks to safety and wellbeing.
Is BPD Bipolar Disorder or Is Bipolar Disorder BPD?
Despite sharing some symptoms with bipolar disorder, BPD is a fundamentally distinct diagnosis. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, whereas BPD is a personality disorder. It can be challenging to treat BPD. Research is constantly being conducted to better care for persons with BPD and enhance their quality of life.
Bipolar vs BPD Test – Bipolar Disorder vs Borderline Personality
The main difference between Bipolar Disorder vs Borderline Personality lies in the presentation of mood swings and the force of impulsivity. People with Bipolar Disorder will have more distinct periods of mania and depression, while those with BPD experience a more continuous cycle of unstable moods. Additionally, people with BPD display more self-destructive impulsivity than those with Bipolar Disorder.
Can you have Bipolar and BPD Disorders?
Bipolar disorder and BPD are both treatable conditions. While BPD can have symptoms that look like the symptoms of bipolar disorder, they are considered two separate conditions.
It is crucial to remember that BPD and bipolar disease can both result in symptoms including mood swings and trouble controlling emotions. This can make it difficult to diagnose which disorder a person may have.
There are a few key differences between bipolar disorder and BPD. One is that mood swings in bipolar disorder can be unpredictable, while the mood swings that come with BPD follow a cyclical pattern. Additionally, symptoms of BPD are typically more extreme than those of bipolar disorder and may be harder to control. An accurate diagnosis from a qualified medical professional is essential for the best treatment.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
A severe mental ailment known as borderline personality disorder (BPD) exists. It usually begins in your late teens or early 20s. More women have it than men. There’s no known cause, but it’s believed to be a combination of how your brain is built and what you experience in life. For example, you may be prone to have it based on genes passed down through your family. However, something might happen that can trigger it, such as being abused or neglected.
When you have BPD, you have a hard time controlling your emotions. This can cause you to:
- Take unnecessary risks.
- Have intense mood swings.
- Have bouts of anger, depression, or anxiety.
You may find it difficult to:
- Manage daily tasks at home.
- Perform at work.
- Maintain relationships.
This can lead to divorce, separation from family and friends, and severe financial issues. BPD isn’t an isolated issue. If you have it, you will likely have other mental health challenges. You may experience anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and thoughts of suicide. Many cope by turning to drugs and alcohol, which can create more problems. Though there’s no apparent cure, the intensity of BPD may lessen with age and treatment.
Borderline Personality Disorder BPD Causes
Healthcare providers believe borderline personality disorder (BPD) results from a combination of genes and environmental factors. Causes of BPD include:
- Abuse and Trauma: People who have been sexually, emotionally, or physically abused have a higher risk of BPD. Neglect, mistreatment, or separation from a parent also raises the risk.
- Genetics: Borderline personality disorder runs in families. You’re more likely to develop the condition if you have a family history of BPD.
- Differences in the Brain: In people with BPD, the parts of the brain that control emotion and behavior don’t communicate properly. These problems affect the way the brain works.
Symptoms Of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) usually appear in the late teenage years or early adulthood. A troubling event or stressful experience can trigger symptoms or make them worse. Over time, symptoms decrease generally and may go away completely.
Some people have a handful of BPD symptoms, while others have many. Symptoms can range from manageable to very severe. Since BPD symptoms are similar to those of bipolar disorder, people sometimes confuse the two conditions. The most common signs of BPD include:
- Frequent and intense mood swings: If you have BDP, you may experience sudden changes in how you feel about others, yourself, and the world around you. Irrational emotions — including uncontrollable anger, fear, anxiety, hatred, sadness, and love — change frequently and suddenly. You may quickly lash out at others and have trouble calming down when upset.
- Fear of abandonment: It’s common for people with BPD to feel uncomfortable with being alone. They have an intense fear of being abandoned or rejected. They might track their loved ones’ whereabouts or stop them from leaving. Or they might push people away before getting too close to avoid rejection.
- Difficulty maintaining relationships: People with BPD find it challenging to keep healthy personal relationships. Their friendships, marriages, and relationships with family members are often chaotic and unstable.
- Impulsive and dangerous behavior: Episodes of reckless driving, fighting, gambling, substance abuse, and unsafe sexual activity are common among people with BPD. Self-destructive behavior can be difficult or impossible to control.
- Self-harm: People with BPD may cut, burn or injure themselves (self-injury) or have suicidal thoughts. They have a distorted or unclear self-image and often feel guilty or ashamed. They also tend to sabotage their progress. For instance, they may intentionally fail a test, ruin relationships, or get fired.
- Depression: Many people with BPD feel sad, bored, disappointed, or “empty.” Feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common, too.
- Paranoia: If you have BPD, you may worry that people don’t like you or want to spend time with you. People with BPD may feel confused, lose touch with reality, or have “out-of-body” experiences.
BPD Racing Thoughts
A person with BPD may experience tremendous emotion and a complete lack of control, making them feel powerless. Even when a person may not want to, they may act out due to racing thoughts and strong emotions; this can be called bipolar lashing out.
BPD vs Bipolar Disorder: Differences Between BPD And Bipolar
Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder can present similar symptoms, including impulsive conduct, powerful emotional reactions, and despair. This leads to confusion between the two conditions. However, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are two distinct conditions with various symptoms and available therapies.
Despite sharing some symptoms with bipolar disorder, BPD is a fundamentally distinct diagnosis. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, whereas BPD is a personality disorder. It can be challenging to treat BPD. Research is constantly being conducted to better care for persons with BPD and enhance their quality of life. Discovering the appropriate treatment and therapist may take some time, so it’s essential to keep looking.
In general, bipolar illness sufferers can benefit greatly from a regimen of both medication and psychotherapy. Self-management and complementary medical practices are additional strategies that may help lessen symptoms and enhance general mental health. With the proper care, people with bipolar disorder can frequently go for long stretches without experiencing any symptoms. Compared to the general population, those with BPD and bipolar disorder are more likely to experience suicidal thoughts.
What is the Difference Between BPD and Bipolar? Difference Between Bipolar and BPD
BPD is a fundamentally different diagnosis from bipolar disorder, despite some similar symptoms. BPD is a personality disorder, whereas bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. BPD can be challenging to treat. Research is constantly being done to improve care for people with BPD and their quality of life. Finding the right therapy and treatment may take some time, so it’s crucial to keep looking.
In general, a medication regimen and psychotherapy regimen can be quite helpful for those with bipolar disease. Additional tactics that could help reduce symptoms and improve overall mental health include self-management and complementary medical procedures. People with bipolar disorder can frequently go for extended periods without any symptoms when given the proper care.
Is BPD and Bipolar Disorder the Same? What’s the Difference Between Bipolar And BPD?
BPD symptoms vs Bipolar? Similar symptoms of bipolar disease and borderline personality disorder can include impulsive behavior, intense emotional responses, and desperation. The two situations become mixed up as a result. However, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder are separate illnesses with different symptoms and treatment options.
Do I Have Bipolar Disorder or BPD? Similarities Between Bipolar Vs BPD
Since both conditions have the trait of mood instability, several experts have suggested that BPD and bipolar illness may be connected. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings from depression to either hypomania, comparable to mania but less severe, or mania, marked by euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, and increased activity.
Mood swings, emotional dysregulation, or affective instability are linked to BPD. People with BPD may go from feeling entirely well to terribly upset in minutes. Both those with BPD and those with bipolar disease usually exhibit impulsive conduct.
Bipolar And Borderline Personality Disorder Dual Diagnosis – Bipolar And BPD Dual Diagnosis
Can you have bipolar disorder and BPD? Absolutely, it is possible to have both BPD and bipolar disorder at the same time. The presence of both BPD and bipolar disorder can occasionally cause severe symptoms. It’s possible that the patient needs acute hospital inpatient care. Sometimes people with both conditions just require outpatient care, not hospitalization. The severity and intensity of each condition determine everything. One of the illnesses’ symptoms could be more severe than the other’s.
Bipolar disorder and BPD are chronic illnesses. For either of these disorders, it is essential that you collaborate with your doctor to develop an individual treatment strategy for you. By doing this, you can be sure that your symptoms won’t worsen. If you think your treatment isn’t working as well as it should, get in touch with your doctor right away.
The treatment for borderline personality disorder with lorazepam is not commonly used. 2% of the members reported trying it and gave positive effectiveness reports. Ranked as the 20th most tried and the 33rd best.
Reclaim Your Life From Borderline Personality Disorder And Bipolar Disorder, We Level Up Behavioral Center
We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. In addition, we work as an integrated team providing information about the difference between Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder and other aspects of treatment. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
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Difference Between Bipolar and BPD Video
We explore the Difference Between Bipolar and BPD, providing information on their symptoms, causes, risk factors, complications, and treatment options. The video also touches on the possibility of co-occurring Bipolar and BPD disorders. Relevant tags and hashtags are included for improved discoverability.
Search We Level Up FL Bipolar and BPD Resources
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 Merck Manuals. Borderline Personality Disorder. (https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mental-health-disorders/personality-disorders/borderline-personality-disorder-bpd) Accessed 10/10/2020. The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) Analysis.
 National Alliance on Mental Illness. Borderline Personality Disorder. (https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Borderline-Personality-Disorder) Accessed 10/10/2020. The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) is Discussed.
 National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder. Overview of BPD. (https://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.org/what-is-bpd/bpd-overview/) Accessed 10/10/2020. The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) Findings.
 Bipolar and related disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Dec. 2, 2016. The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) Review.
 Bipolar disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml. Accessed Dec. 2, 2016. The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) Presentation.
 Bipolar disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder-tr-15-3679/index.shtml. Accessed Dec. 2, 2016. The Difference Between Bipolar and BPD (BPD vs Bipolar Disorder) Fact Sheet.
Medscape: “Clinical Differentiation of Bipolar II Disorder From Borderline Personality Disorder.”
National Alliance on Mental Illness: “Bipolar Disorder,” “Borderline Personality Disorder.”