Borderline Personality Disorder

What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a developmental disorder that is characterised by intense emotional dysregulation, impulsivity and unstable interpersonal relationships. 


Unfortunately, BPD can often be misdiagnosed. Some people with BPD are given the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. However, BPD mood changes tend to be much more rapid and can shift significantly within the same day.

What are the symptoms of BPD?

To be diagnosed with BPD, the person must experience at least five of the following symptoms:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Unstable or changing relationships
  • Unstable self-image; struggles with identity or sense of self
  • Impulsive self-destructive behaviours (excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance misuse, binge eating and others)
  • Suicidal behaviour or self injury
  • Mood instability with varied mood swings
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Difficulties with anger, including frequent loss of temper or physical fights
  • Stress related paranoia or dissociation


If you are worried that you are suffering from BPD, it is important that you have a specialist assessment to verify or exclude the diagnosis. There is often co-morbidity between BPD and other disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance misuse or eating disorders.

consultation taking notes

Treatment for BPD

BPD can be a serious condition. Many people with BPD are at risk of attempting suicide at some point in their life – which is why it’s so important to get the right support. With the right therapy approaches and medical treatment, the outlook for BPD is positive over time.


There are several specialist psychological therapies that can be effective for treating BPD. Following your initial assessment, we will assess which approach we believe will be most effective for you.


Medication is not recommended for BPD by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. However, there is some evidence that it can be helpful in managing the symptoms of depression and anxiety that people with BPD often experience.


All our psychologists have specialist experience in the treatment of BPD and treatment will often also include medical reviews with our Consultant Psychiatrist, especially if your symptoms are severe.

Frequently asked questions

It’s important to seek help for BPD if you find that your relationships are suffering big ups and downs, you’re having difficulties with anger, self-harm or you are engaging with other kinds of self-destructive, impulsive behaviours.

Contrary to popular belief, you can absolutely recover from BPD. After receiving evidence-based therapy, people very often no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for BPD. Even though your difficulties may feel pervasive, things can change and improve with the right therapeutic approach.

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.