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The principal manuals for psychiatric diagnosis have recently been updated (ICD-11 was released in June 2018 and DSM-5 was published in 2013). A common diagnostic quandary is the classification of people with chronic low mood, especially those with repeated self-harm (‘emotionally unstable’ or ‘borderline’ personality disorder). There has been a great interest in use of type II bipolar affective disorder (‘bipolar II disorder’) as a less pejorative diagnostic alternative to ‘personality disorder’, despite the radically different treatment options for these disorders. DSM-5 (but not ICD-11) clearly distinguishes between borderline personality disorder and bipolar II disorder, indicating that intense emotional experiences (such as anger, panic or despair; irritability; anxiety) should persist for only a few hours in people with a personality disorder. Both manuals now use the term ‘borderline personality disorder’ rather than ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder’. The diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder remain confusing.
After reading this article you will be able to:
•appreciate the key differences in diagnostic classification between persistent mood disorders: bipolar II disorder, borderline personality disorder and dysthymia
•be aware of the modest differences between ICD-10, ICD-11 and DSM-5 in diagnostic criteria for these disorders
•appreciate that intense emotional experiences need persist for only a few hours to meet criteria for DSM-5 borderline personality disorder and that persistent emotional dysregulation (e.g. irritability, impulsiveness, disinhibition) for a few days meets criteria for DSM-5 bipolar II disorder.
Although executive and other cognitive deficits have been found in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), whether these have brain functional correlates has been little studied. This study aimed to examine patterns of task-related activation and de-activation during the performance of a working memory task in patients with the disorder.
Sixty-seven DSM-IV BPD patients and 67 healthy controls underwent fMRI during the performance of the n-back task. Linear models were used to obtain maps of within-group activations and areas of differential activation between the groups.
On corrected whole-brain analysis, there were no activation differences between the BPD patients and the healthy controls during the main 2-back v. baseline contrast, but reduced activation was seen in the precentral cortex bilaterally and the left inferior parietal cortex in the 2-back v. 1-back contrast. The patients showed failure of de-activation affecting the medial frontal cortex and the precuneus, plus in other areas. The changes did not appear to be attributable to previous history of depression, which was present in nearly half the sample.
In this study, there was some, though limited, evidence for lateral frontal hypoactivation in BPD during the performance of an executive task. BPD also appears to be associated with failure of de-activation in key regions of the default mode network.
Impulsivity is a core symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Impulsivity is a heterogeneous concept, and a comprehensive evaluation of impulsivity dimensions is lacking in the literature. Moreover, it is unclear whether BPD patients manifest impaired cognitive functioning that might be associated with impulsivity in another patient group, such as ADHD, a frequent comorbidity of BPD.
We tested 39 patients with BPD without major psychiatric comorbidities and ADHD, 25 patients with ADHD, and 55 healthy controls (HC) using a test battery consisting of a self-report measure of impulsivity (UPPS-P questionnaire), behavioral measures of impulsivity – impulsive action (Go/NoGo task, stop signal task) and impulsive choice (delay discounting task, Iowa gambling task), and standardized measures of attention (d2 test), working memory (digit span), and executive functioning (Tower of London).
Patients with BPD and ADHD, as compared with HC, manifested increased self-reported impulsivity except sensation seeking and increased impulsive choice; patients with ADHD but not BPD showed increased impulsive action and deficits in cognitive functioning. Negative urgency was increased in BPD as compared to both HC and ADHD groups and correlated with BPD severity.
Patients with BPD without ADHD comorbidity had increased self-reported impulsivity and impulsive choice, but intact impulsive action and cognitive functioning. Controlling for ADHD comorbidity in BPD samples is necessary. Negative urgency is the most diagnostically specific impulsivity dimension in BPD.
Temperament and personality traits, including negative emotionality/neuroticism, may represent risk factors for eating disorders. Further, risk factors may differ by sex. We examined longitudinal temperament/personality pathways of risk for purging and binge eating in youth stratified by sex using data from a large-scale prospective study.
Temperament, borderline personality features, sensation seeking, ‘big five’ personality factors, and depressive symptoms were measured at five time points from early childhood to adolescence in 5812 adolescents (3215 females; 2597 males) in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. We conducted univariate analyses with these predictors of binge eating and purging at 14 and 16 years for total and sex-stratified samples. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to fit data to a path analysis model of hypothesized associations.
Of the total sample, 12.54% engaged in binge eating and 7.05% in purging by 16 years. Prevalence was much greater and increased dramatically for females from 14 years (7.50% binge eating; 2.40% purging) to 16 years (15.80% binge eating; 9.50% purging). For both sexes, borderline personality, depressive symptoms and lower emotional stability predicted eating disorder behaviors; sensation seeking and conscientiousness were also significant predictors for females. SEM identified an ‘emotional instability’ pathway for females from early childhood into adolescence (RMSEA = 0.025, TLI = 0.937 and CFI = 0.970).
Binge eating and purging are common in female and male adolescents. Early temperament/personality factors related to difficulty regulating emotions were predictive of later adolescent eating disorder behaviors. Results have important clinical implications for eating disorder prevention and intervention.
This study used a single case experimental design to investigate the use of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP) among a sample of individuals with depression and anxiety who also presented with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Eight women received individual treatment with the UP over the course of 14–16 treatment sessions, and were assessed for anxiety and depression severity on a weekly basis over a 2–6 week baseline period and throughout treatment. Three of the eight participants demonstrated reliable pre- to post-treatment clinical improvements on depression and stress scales, and one participant demonstrated a reliable reduction on an anxiety scale. Two participants demonstrated a reliable improvement in overall anxiety. The results indicate that the UP applied to individuals diagnosed with primary BPD may lead to clinical improvement in depression, stress and anxiety for some individuals. However, the majority of individuals with BPD in our sample did not show strong improvement, and this suggests the need for additional sessions of UP or an intervention that focuses on the symptoms of BPD specifically for some women.
Key learning aims
(1)To describe the applicability of the Unified Protocol in the treatment of individuals with borderline personality and co-occurring anxiety or depression.
(2)To understand the value of utilizing a transdiagnostic approach as an alternative to diagnosis-specific approaches to treatment.
(3)To identify the four core modules of the Unified Protocol and describe the general format for individual treatment.
Parental characteristics and practices predict borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms in children. However, it is difficult to disentangle whether these effects are genetically or environmentally mediated. The present study examines the contributions of genetic and environmental influences by comparing the effects of familial risk factors (i.e. parental psychopathology and borderline traits, maladaptive parenting, marital discord) on child BPD traits in genetically related (biological) and non-related (adoptive) families.
Data are from 409 adoptive and 208 biological families who participated in the Siblings Interaction and Behavior Study (SIBS) and 580 twin families the Minnesota Twin Family Study (MTFS). Parent characteristics and practices included parental psychopathology (measured via structured clinical interviews), parental BPD traits, parenting behaviors, and marital discord. A series of multi-level regression models were estimated to examine the relationship of familial risk factors to child BPD traits and to test whether children's adoptive status moderated the association.
Symptom counts of parents' conduct disorder, adult antisocial behavior, nicotine, alcohol, and illicit drug dependence, and paternal BPD traits substantially predicted child BPD traits only in biological offspring, implying genetic transmission. Maternal BPD traits and both maternal and paternal conflict, lack of regard, and lack of involvement predicted offspring BPD traits regardless of the adoptive status, implying environmental transmission.
Parental externalizing psychopathology and father's BPD traits contribute genetic risk for offspring BPD traits, but mothers' BPD traits and parents' poor parenting constitute environmental risks for the development of these offspring traits.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe and complex disorder characterized by instability across many life domains, including interpersonal relations, behavior, and emotions. A core feature and contributor to BPD, emotion dysegulation (ED), consists of deficits in the ability to regulate emotions in a manner that allows the individual to pursue important goals or behave effectively in various contexts. Biosocial developmental models of BPD have emphasized a transaction of environmental conditions (e.g., invalidating environments and adverse childhood experiences) with key genetically linked vulnerabilities (e.g., impulsivity and emotional vulnerability) in the development of ED and BPD. Emerging evidence has begun to highlight the complex, heterotypic pathways to the development of BPD, with key heritable vulnerability factors possibly interacting with aspects of the rearing environment to produce worsening ED and an adolescent trajectory consisting of self-damaging behaviors and eventual BPD. Adults with BPD have shown evidence of a variety of cognitive, physiological, and behavioral characteristics of ED. As the precursors to the development of ED and BPD have become clearer, prevention and treatment efforts hold great promise for reducing the long-term suffering, functional impairment, and considerable societal costs associated with BPD.
Transference-focused psychotherapy concepts and techniques have much to offer experienced psychiatrists and psychiatrists in training in their work with patients with borderline personality disorder and, as a consequence, help address the stigmatisation of this group of patients and improve their clinical care.
DECLARATION OF INTEREST
W.B.-J. is chair of the Specialty Advisory Committee of the Faculty of Medical Psychotherapy, RCPsych, with governance for the content and delivery of the curriculum for psychotherapy training of trainee psychiatrists in the UK.
Early life maltreatment (ELM), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and major depressive disorder (MDD) have been associated with empathy deficits in different domains. Lack of maternal empathy has also been related to child behavioral problems. As ELM, BPD, and MDD often co-occur, we aimed to identify dissociable effects on empathy due to these three factors. In addition, we aimed to investigate their indirect effects via empathy on child psychopathology.
We included 251 mothers with and without MDD (in remission), BPD and ELM and their children, aged 5–12. We used the Interpersonal Reactivity Index as a measure of empathy on four different dimensions (personal distress, empathic concern, perspective taking, and fantasy) and the Child Behavior Checklist as a measure of child psychopathology.
Having included all three factors (ELM, MDD, BPD) in one analysis, we found elevated personal distress in MDD and BPD, and lower levels of perspective-taking in BPD, but no effects from ELM on any empathy subscales. Furthermore, we found indirect effects from maternal BPD and MDD on child psychopathology, via maternal personal distress.
The present study demonstrated the dissociable effects of maternal ELM, MDD, and BPD on empathy. Elevated personal distress in mothers with BPD and MDD may lead to higher levels of child psychopathology.
Interpersonal difficulties in borderline personality disorder (BPD) could be related to the disturbed self-views of BPD patients. This study investigates affective and neural responses to positive and negative social feedback (SF) of BPD patients compared with healthy (HC) and low self-esteem (LSE) controls and how this relates to individual self-views.
BPD (N = 26), HC (N = 32), and LSE (N = 22) performed a SF task in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Participants received 15 negative, intermediate and positive evaluative feedback words putatively given by another participant and rated their mood and applicability of the words to the self.
BPD had more negative self-views than HC and felt worse after negative feedback. Applicability of feedback was a less strong determinant of mood in BPD than HC. Increased precuneus activation was observed in HC to negative compared with positive feedback, whereas in BPD, this was similarly low for both valences. HC showed increased temporoparietal junction (TPJ) activation to positive v. negative feedback, while BPD showed more TPJ activation to negative feedback. The LSE group showed a different pattern of results suggesting that LSE cannot explain these findings in BPD.
The negative self-views that BPD have, may obstruct critically examining negative feedback, resulting in lower mood. Moreover, where HC focus on the positive feedback (based on TPJ activation), BPD seem to focus more on negative feedback, potentially maintaining negative self-views. Better balanced self-views may make BPD better equipped to deal with potential negative feedback and more open to positive interactions.
Whether borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder are the same or different disorders lacks consistency.
To detect whether grey matter volume (GMV) and grey matter density (GMD) alterations show any similarities or differences between BPD and bipolar disorder.
Web-based publication databases were searched to conduct a meta-analysis of all voxel-based studies that compared BPD or bipolar disorder with healthy controls. We included 13 BPD studies (395 patients with BPD and 415 healthy controls) and 47 bipolar disorder studies (2111 patients with bipolar disorder and 3261 healthy controls). Peak coordinates from clusters with significant group differences were extracted. Effect-size signed differential mapping meta-analysis was performed to analyse peak coordinates of clusters and thresholds (P < 0.005, uncorrected). Conjunction analyses identified regions in which disorders showed common patterns of volumetric alteration. Correlation analyses were also performed.
Patients with BPD showed decreased GMV and GMD in the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex network (mPFC), bilateral amygdala and right parahippocampal gyrus; patients with bipolar disorder showed decreased GMV and GMD in the bilateral medial orbital frontal cortex (mOFC), right insula and right thalamus, and increased GMV and GMD in the right putamen. Multi-modal analysis indicated smaller volumes in both disorders in clusters in the right medial orbital frontal cortex. Decreased bilateral mPFC in BPD was partly mediated by patient age. Increased GMV and GMD of the right putamen was positively correlated with Young Mania Rating Scale scores in bipolar disorder.
Our results show different patterns of GMV and GMD alteration and do not support the hypothesis that bipolar disorder and BPD are on the same affective spectrum.
Two types of mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) have been developed and empirically evaluated for borderline personality disorder (BPD): day hospital MBT (MBT-DH) and intensive out-patient MBT (MBT-IOP). No trial has yet compared their efficacy.
To compare the efficacy of MBT-DH and MBT-IOP 18 months after start of treatment. MBT-DH was hypothesised to be superior to MBT-IOP because of its higher treatment intensity.
In a multicentre randomised controlled trial (Nederlands Trial Register: NTR2292) conducted at three sites in the Netherlands, patients with BPD were randomly assigned to MBT-DH (n = 70) or MBT-IOP (n = 44). The primary outcome was symptom severity (Brief Symptom Inventory). Secondary outcome measures included borderline symptomatology, personality functioning, interpersonal functioning, quality of life and self-harm. Patients were assessed every 6 months from baseline to 18 months after start of treatment. Data were analysed using multilevel modelling based on intention-to-treat principles.
Significant improvements were found on all outcome measures, with moderate to very large effect sizes for both groups. MBT-DH was not superior to MBT-IOP on the primary outcome measure, but MBT-DH showed a clear tendency towards superiority on secondary outcomes.
Although MBT-DH was not superior to MBT-IOP on the primary outcome measure despite its greater treatment intensity, MBT-DH showed a tendency to be more effective on secondary outcomes, particularly in terms of relational functioning. Patients receiving MBT-DH and MBT-IOP, thus, seem to follow different trajectories of change, which may have important implications for clinical decision-making. Longer-term follow-up and cost-effectiveness considerations may ultimately determine the optimal intensity of specialised treatments such as MBT for patients with BPD.
Declaration of interest
P.L. and D.L.B. have been involved in the training and dissemination of MBT.
To obtain rich information about the cognitive diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD), this study attempted to retrofit a traditional borderline personality questionnaire so that the improved assessment (called CDA-BPD) could provide more diagnostic information. The retrofitting processes included the following steps: (1) applied an cognitive diagnosis model to analyze the psychometric characteristics of the traditional questionnaire; (2) under the guidance of cognitive diagnosis assessment (CDA), high-quality items were chosen to develop the CDA-BPD and tested on 1,097 subjects; (3) the quality of the CDA-BPD was evaluated; (4) the structure of the CDA-BPD was analyzed. Results indicated that: (1) the CDA-BPD had acceptable reliability and validity; (2) the CDA-BPD had sensitivity of 0.985 and specificity of 0.853 with area under curve (AUC) = 0.956; (3) the two structural factors of the traditional questionnaire were confirmed in the CDA-BPD; χ2 was 83.01 with df = 26, p < .0001, comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.97, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.045. It was concluded that the practice of retrofitting a traditional borderline personality assessment for cognitive diagnostic purpose was feasible. Most importantly, under the cognitive diagnosis model framework, CDA-BPD could simultaneously provide general-level information and the detailed symptom criteria-level information about the posterior probability of satisfying each symptom criterion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) for each individual, which gave further insight into tailoring individual-specific treatments for borderline personality disorder.
The relative burden and risk of readmission for people with personality disorders in hospital settings is unknown.
To compare hospital use of people with personality disorder with that of people with other mental health diagnoses, such as psychoses and affective disorders.
Naturalistic study of hospital presentations for mental health in a large community catchment. Mixed-effects Cox regression and survival curves were generated to examine risk of readmission for each group.
Of 2894 people presenting to hospital, patients with personality disorder represented 20.5% of emergency and 26.6% of in-patients. Patients with personality disorder or psychoses were 2.3 times (95% CI 1.79–2.99) more likely than others to re-present within 28 days. Personality disorder diagnosis increases rate of readmission by a factor of 8.7 (s.e. = 0.31), marginally lower than psychotic disorders (10.02, s.e. = 0.31).
Personality disorders place significant demands on in-patient and emergency departments, similar to that of psychoses in terms of presentation and risk of readmission.
Self-inflicted injury (SII) in adolescence is a serious public health concern that portends prospective vulnerability to internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, borderline personality development, suicide attempts, and suicide. To date, however, our understanding of neurobiological vulnerabilities to SII is limited. Behaviorally, affect dysregulation is common among those who self-injure. This suggests ineffective cortical modulation of emotion, as observed among adults with borderline personality disorder. In borderline samples, structural and functional abnormalities are observed in several frontal regions that subserve emotion regulation (e.g., anterior cingulate, insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). However, no volumetric analyses of cortical brain regions have been conducted among self-injuring adolescents. We used voxel-based morphometry to compare cortical gray matter volumes between self-injuring adolescent girls, ages 13–19 years (n = 20), and controls (n = 20). Whole-brain analyses revealed reduced gray matter volumes among self-injurers in the insular cortex bilaterally, and in the right inferior frontal gyrus, an adjacent neural structure also implicated in emotion and self-regulation. Insular and inferior frontal gyrus gray matter volumes correlated inversely with self-reported emotion dysregulation, over-and-above effects of psychopathology. Findings are consistent with an emotion dysregulation construal of SII, and indicate structural abnormalities in some but not all cortical brain regions implicated in borderline personality disorder among adults.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and mentalisation-based therapy (MBT) are both widely used evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder (BPD), yet a head-to-head comparison of outcomes has never been conducted. The present study therefore aimed to compare the clinical outcomes of DBT v. MBT in patients with BPD.
A non-randomised comparison of clinical outcomes in N = 90 patients with BPD receiving either DBT or MBT over a 12-month period.
After adjusting for potentially confounding differences between participants, participants receiving DBT reported a significantly steeper decline over time in incidents of self-harm (adjusted IRR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.87–0.99, p = 0.02) and in emotional dysregulation (adjusted β = −1.94, 95% CI −3.37 to −0.51, p < 0.01) than participants receiving MBT. Differences in treatment dropout and use of crisis services were no longer significant after adjusting for confounding, and there were no significant differences in BPD symptoms or interpersonal problems.
Within this sample of people using specialist personality disorder treatment services, reductions in self-harm and improvements in emotional regulation at 12 months were greater amongst those receiving DBT than amongst those receiving MBT. Experimental studies assessing outcomes beyond 12 months are needed to examine whether these findings represent differences in the clinical effectiveness of these therapies.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a heterogeneous clinical phenotype that emerges from interactions among genetic, biological, neurodevelopmental, and psychosocial factors. In the present family study, we evaluated the familial aggregation of key clinical, personality, and neurodevelopmental phenotypes in probands with BPD (n = 103), first-degree biological relatives (n = 74; 43% without a history of psychiatric disorder), and non-psychiatric controls (n = 99).
Participants were assessed on DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses, symptom dimensions of emotion dysregulation and impulsivity, ‘big five’ personality traits, and neurodevelopmental characteristics, as part of a larger family study on neurocognitive, biological, and genetic markers in BPD.
The most common psychiatric diagnoses in probands and relatives were major depression, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and avoidant personality disorder. There was evidence of familial aggregation for specific dimensions of impulsivity and emotion dysregulation, and the big five traits neuroticism and conscientiousness. Both probands and relatives reported an elevated neurodevelopmental history of attentional and behavioral difficulties.
These results support the validity of negative affectivity- and impulse-spectrum phenotypes associated with BPD and its familial risk. Further research is needed to investigate the aggregation of neurocognitive, neural and genetic factors in families with BPD and their associations with core phenotypes underlying the disorder.
Emotion dysregulation is a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD), which often co-occurs with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) have been linked to lower high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), a measure of autonomous nervous system functioning. However, previous research on vagally-mediated heart rate in BPD revealed heterogeneous findings and the effects of comorbid PTSD and dissociation on HF-HRV are not yet completely understood. This study aim to investigate HF-HRV during resting-state and an ER task in female BPD patients with comorbid PTSD (BPD + PTSD), patients without this comorbidity (BPD), and healthy controls (HC).
57 BPD patients (BPD: n = 37, BPD + PTSD: n = 20) and 27 HC performed an ER task with neutral, positive, and negative images. Participants were instructed to either attend these pictures or to down-regulate their upcoming emotions using cognitive reappraisal. Subjective arousal and wellbeing, self-reported dissociation, and electrocardiogram data were assessed.
Independent of ER instruction and picture valence, both patient groups (BPD and BPD + PTSD) reported higher subjective arousal and lower wellbeing; patients with BPD + PTSD further exhibited significantly lower HF-HRV compared with the other groups. Higher self-reported state dissociation predicted higher HF-HRV during down-regulating v. attending negative pictures in BPD + PTSD.
Findings suggest increased emotional reactivity to negative, positive, and neutral pictures, but do not provide evidence for deficits in instructed ER in BPD. Reduced HF-HRV appears to be particularly linked to comorbid PTSD, while dissociation may underlie attempts to increase ER and HF-HRV in BPD patients with this comorbidity.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterised by recurring crises, hospitalisations, self-harm, suicide attempts, addictions, episodes of depression, anxiety and aggression and lost productivity. The objective of this study is to determine the use of direct health care resources by persons with BPD in Ireland and the corresponding costs.
This prevalence-based micro-costing study was undertaken on a sample of 196 individuals with BPD attending publicly funded mental health services in Ireland. All health care costs were assessed using a resource utilisation questionnaire completed by mental health practitioners. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis, using a Monte Carlo simulation, was performed to examine uncertainty.
Total direct healthcare cost per individual was €10 844 annually (ranging from 5228 to 20 609). Based on a prevalence of 1% and an adult population (18–65 years) of 2.87 million, we derived that there were 28 725 individuals with BPD in Ireland. Total yearly cost of illness was calculated to be up to €311.5 million.
There is a dearth of data on health care resource use and costs of community mental health services in Ireland. The absence of this data is a considerable constraint to research and decision-making in the area of community mental health services. This paper contributes to the limited literature on resource use and costs in community mental health services in Ireland. The absence of productivity loss data (e.g. absenteeism and presenteeism), non-health care costs (e.g. addiction treatment), and indirect costs (e.g. informal care) from study participants is a limitation of this study.
Individuals with a borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from a constellation of rapidly shifting emotional, interpersonal, and behavioral symptoms. The menstrual cycle may contribute to symptom instability among females with this disorder.
Fifteen healthy, unmedicated females with BPD and without dysmenorrhea reported daily symptoms across 35 days. Urine luteinizing hormone and salivary progesterone (P4) were used to confirm ovulation and cycle phase. Cyclical worsening of symptoms was evaluated using (1) phase contrasts in multilevel models and (2) the Carolina Premenstrual Assessment Scoring System (C-PASS), a protocol for evaluating clinically significant cycle effects on symptoms.
Most symptoms demonstrated midluteal worsening, a perimenstrual peak, and resolution of symptoms in the follicular or ovulatory phase. Post-hoc correlations with person-centered progesterone revealed negative correlations with most symptoms. Depressive symptoms showed an unexpected delayed pattern in which baseline levels of symptoms were observed in the ovulatory and midluteal phases, and exacerbations were observed during both the perimenstrual and follicular phases. The majority of participants met C-PASS criteria for clinically significant (⩾30%) symptom exacerbation. All participants met the emotional instability criterion of BPD, and no participant met DSM-5 criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Females with BPD may be at elevated risk for perimenstrual worsening of emotional symptoms. Longitudinal studies with fine-grained hormonal measurement as well as hormonal experiments are needed to determine the pathophysiology of perimenstrual exacerbation in BPD.