1.) In the United States, research has shown that 1.6% of the population has BPD.
That means that there are over four million people with BPD in America alone, yet BPD isn’t as well known as other disorders. It’s actually more common than schizophrenia.
2.) Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with BPD than men. About 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women.
That means that 3 women to 1 man are diagnosed with BPD. Researchers don’t know why this is. It could be that women are more prone to BPD, or that they may be more likely to seek treatment.
Men with symptoms of BPD may be more likely to be misdiagnosed with another condition, such as PTSD.
Or it could be because BPD is a very sexist diagnosis due to society’s normalised attitudes towards male aggression, and the idea of women being overly emotional.
3.) Around 70% of people with BPD will make at least one suicide attempt in their lifetimes. Between 8 and 10 percent of people will have a successful suicide. This is more than 50 times the rate of suicide in the general population.
Why these rates are so high is not known. It may be because people with BPD don’t know where to turn for treatment or are misdiagnosed and not treated appropriately. They may not be supported by adequate mental health services. Impulsive tendencies of the illness may play a part. I myself have almost attempted suicide several times on a whim.
4.) While 1.6% is the recorded percentage of people with BPD, the actual prevalence may be even higher. In a recent study, over 40% of people with BPD had been previously misdiagnosed with other disorders, such as bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder.
These are easier to treat than borderline personality disorder, are less stigmatised, and based on symptoms, very similar.
5.) It’s common for those with BPD to have comorbidities or other illnesses alongside the BPD.
As many as 20% of people with BPD have also been found to have bipolar disorder, making their diagnosis and treatment more complicated than treating one disease.
6.) While BPD is a serious mental illness, it is by no means a life sentence.
Research has shown that the prognosis for BPD is actually not as bad at once thought. Almost half of people who are diagnosed with BPD will not meet the criteria for a diagnosis just two years later. Ten years later, 88% of people who were once diagnosed with BPD no longer meet criteria for a diagnosis.
This is what causes relapses.
7.) BPD is a life long neurological disorder that cannot be “taken away”.
There is evidence that the BPD brain developed “abnormally”, and it’s severity is like a spectrum, much like autism. In fact, a high rate of women with BPD actually have Asperger’s, and vice versa.