This is a short summary of the nine official criteria used to make the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. The individual has to display at least five of the symptoms which are pervasive and started by early adulthood.
1. Unstable relationships caused by excessively finding faults in themselves and others
2. Impulsivity that can be self-damaging, e.g., sex, drugs, binge eating, reckless driving
3. Emotional instability
5. Suicidal or self-mutilating behavior
6. Identity disturbance
8. Abandonment fears
9. Lapses in reality testing
These criteria are listed according to their relative diagnostic importance according to the father of the official Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis, Harvard professor John G. Gunderson, M.D. This listing can be found on pages 9-15 of his 2001 book Borderline personality disorder: A clinical guide. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.