17 Essential BPD Statistics to Learn in 2022
Borderline personality disorder is a mental condition that impacts more individuals than you may think. It is estimated that in the US alone, about 1.4% of the population develops it. Given this percentage and the everyday difficulties those affected have to overcome, talking and learning more about personality disorders is crucial for raising awareness about their impact.
Top 10 BPD Statistics
- People diagnosed with a personality disorder are usually older than 18.
- BPD affects around 1.4% of adults in the US.
- Individuals with this disorder make up 20% of all psychiatric inpatients.
- First-degree relatives of people with this condition are 4–20 times more at risk for BPD.
- Up to 70% of people with BPD have experienced some kind of abuse in childhood.
- Approximately 80%–96% of people with BPD also suffer from mood disorders.
- 75% of BPD sufferers are women.
- 50% of people with BPD are likely to have abused substances within the previous year.
- The success rate of BPD treatment is around 50% over 10 years.
- Prevalence of BPD among the general population reaches cca. 3.5%.
General BPD Stats
People living with a personality disorder are often given misleading (and hurtful) labels. However, no one should be seen only through their diagnosis, as something like this could happen to everyone due to a variety of causes, as mental health statistics prove.
1. Usually, people diagnosed with a personality disorder are older than 18.
There are 10 main types of personality disorders, each with different symptoms and affecting people differently. Since most of these symptoms begin during adolescence, people are largely diagnosed after they’re 18. However, there is one notable exception, i.e., antisocial personality disorder, as its symptoms start by the age of 11 in 80% of the cases.
2. The condition can sometimes be diagnosed as early as the age of 12.
Diagnosing the disorder this early is acceptable only if symptoms have been showing for one year or longer. However, this is rarely the case since the manifestations of the condition are easier to notice in older individuals. What’s more, in nearly 40% of the cases, people with borderline personality disorder have been initially incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
(Borderline in the Act)
3. Prevalence of borderline personality disorder among the general population reaches cca. 3.5%.
Along the same lines, a recent Hong Kong study estimated a prevalence of 3%–11% of the country’s population. With these figures being relatively low, it might be surprising to learn that, on a global level, BPD is associated with 50% of people seeking treatment in dedicated mental health programs and 30% of those looking for assistance from mental health services.
(The Wave Clinic)
4. The disorder affects around 1.4% of US adults.
However, this number is probably higher since people with BPD are often misdiagnosed with another disorder, including depression, ADHD, PTSD, or bipolar disorder. It is important to note that BPD is a common and complex condition, and its symptoms need to be noticed as soon as possible in order to maximize the efficiency of treatment.
BPD Facts on Causes, Treatment, and More
Borderline personality disorder can affect anyone, but not everyone is diagnosed on time or wants to admit to having any type of mental illness. Moreover, BPD is often accompanied by other mood disorders. Read on to find out who is at the greatest risk of developing BPD.
5. Patients with BPD account for 20% of all psychiatric inpatients.
Moreover, the available healthcare statistics show that people with borderline personality disorder are often seen in other types of clinical settings. Despite a community prevalence of up to 2% (according to some estimates), BPD patients account for 6% of patients presenting to family medicine, while 10% are outpatients.
(National Library of Medicine)
6. BPD statistics show that 80%–96% of those affected also suffer from mood disorders.
Other comorbid conditions that often accompany borderline personality disorder are bipolar disorder (15%), ADHD (10%–30%), eating disorders (53%), substance abuse disorder (64%), and anxiety disorders (88%).
(National Library of Medicine)
7. First-degree relatives of people with BPD are 4–20 times more likely to develop the disorder.
Since genes play a vital role in forming our nervous system, children of people with a history of mental illness are at risk of inheriting that illness. What’s more, relatives of people who have this disorder are more likely to develop other related conditions, including antisocial personality disorder, substance use disorders, or depression.
However, this doesn’t mean the cause of BPD is completely clear since most experts think this disorder is a combination of inherited markers and environmental conditions.
(Borderline in the Act)
8. BPD in women is far more common—up to 75% of all cases are females.
While these percentages seem to indicate that women are much more likely to have BPD than men, researchers think this occurs since women are more decisive in seeking help than men because of gender biases. Likewise, in most cases, BPD in males is usually misdiagnosed as PTSD or major depressive disorder.
9. Up to 70% of individuals with this condition have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse in their childhood.
Aside from genetics, other factors associated with the onset of BPD include inappropriate family boundaries, poor maternal attachment or maternal separation, and parental substance abuse disorder. Lastly, brain changes affecting the ability of the parts of the brain controlling emotion and behavior to communicate properly are also discovered in people with BPD.
10. According to a survey, 50% of people with BPD are likely to have abused substances within the previous year.
As is the case with almost all mental health conditions, increased levels of substance abuse are a risk for people with BPD as well. The condition may be triggering substance abuse as a means of managing the inexplicable feelings brought on by BPD. However, drug and/or alcohol use can complicate identifying the disorder’s symptoms and initiating the proper treatment.
(The Recovery Village)
BPD Life Expectancy and Suicide Rates
People living with borderline personality disorder often feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with who they are. These feelings are often accompanied by a sense of worthlessness and purposelessness, which frequently leads to suicidal thoughts. In the following section, we’ll be taking a look at the suicide rate data and other related info.
11. The APA states the BPD suicide rate in the US reaches 8%–10% of the diagnosed individuals.
Since BPD is usually diagnosed in the 20s, which is a rather sensitive age, there is a significant risk of people feeling suicidal. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts are more common in people with BPD due to impulsivity and numerous intense emotions.
12. 30% of people who die by suicide are likely to have a personality disorder.
What’s more, personality disorders are present in nearly 40% of people who attempt suicide and around 50% of psychiatric outpatients who die by their own hand. Since with BPD, episode length often spans a couple of hours, people suffering from this condition can use a variety of methods to try and dissociate from the intense suicidal thoughts.
13. The success rate of BPD treatment is around 50% over 10 years.
The important thing is that treatment works, although it can take a while for the patients to start showing improvement. Since BPD both feeds into and is supported by some of the comorbid conditions (for instance, substance abuse), when treating it, it’s essential to target the whole person and not just the disorder.
Since BPD outcomes are much worse if the condition is left untreated, people suffering from it are strongly encouraged to seek help from qualified professionals. Unfortunately, due to the particularities of the disorder, some therapists are reluctant to take on patients with BPD, making reputable online therapy sites the only alternative for an increasing number of people.
(The Recovery Village)
14. With BPD, one’s life expectancy is severely reduced to approximately 20 years.
The disorder has various negative effects throughout a person’s lifespan. These include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, substance abuse, extreme mood changes, anxiety, and increased risk for physical illnesses, notably cardiovascular. Also, certain psychiatric medications commonly used for the treatment of BPD can add to the metabolic burden. All this, individually or combined, reduces life expectancy.
Interesting BPD Stats and Facts
What are some of the main symptoms of BPD, and what’s the BPD Awareness Month? Find out in this section.
15. BPD symptoms can be classified into four main groups.
The intensity of these symptoms depends on the person, and it could range from mild to severe. The four main groups are:
- emotional instability
- disturbances in perception and cognitive processes
- impulsive behavior
- intense and volatile relationships with others.
16. Famous cases of borderline personality disorder include celebrities like Sinead O’Connor, Pete Davidson, and Brandon Marshall.
The condition recently got quite a bit of prominence when the actress Amber Heard was evaluated by a clinical psychologist as having borderline personality disorder. Since the evaluation occurred during a high-profile trial, experts and BPD patients worry about the impact this kind of exposure could have on this already stigmatized group.
Other celebrities who exhibit symptoms typical of the condition (but don’t have the official diagnosis) include Angelina Jolie, Courtney Love, Robbie Williams, and Britney Spears.
(SELF) (People) (Cosmopolitan)
17. In 2008, the US House of Representatives proclaimed May the BPD Awareness Month.
This is especially important because of the relatively high percentage of the population with borderline personality disorder.
The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder tried educating legislators about the condition by organizing hearings before Congress in 2007. The following year, this personality disorder got its awareness month. During May of every year, the NEABPD publishes a daily blog to inform people about borderline personality disorder.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, personality disorders are still far from sufficiently understood. This is why we hope these BPD statistics will enable someone who is struggling with it to understand the condition, or assist those who don’t know how to help someone with this disorder.
What are the 4 types of BPD?
A person suffering from borderline personality disorder may experience a change in their symptoms. What’s more, while some fall into one or more of these categories, others may not fit into any.
The 4 types of BPD include:
- discouraged borderline personality disorder
- impulsive borderline personality disorder
- petulant borderline
- self-destructive borderline.
How common is BPD?
BPD is not a rare condition. According to some surveys, the prevalence of BPD is 1.4% in the general population and 20% in the inpatient psychiatric population. What’s more, it is more common than both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
(NIMH) (National Library of Medicine)
Is borderline personality disorder more common in males or females?
BPD is predominantly diagnosed in women. Around 75% of BPD patients are female, and thanks to this 3:1 gender ratio, there have been numerous speculations about the reason behind it. The cause is still unclear since the theorists couldn’t determine whether this gap is caused by sociocultural and biological differences between the genders or a diagnostic bias.
What is BPD life expectancy?
Due to physical health conditions in patients with BPD that are life-shortening, risky behavior, and proclivities towards self-harm and suicidal ideation, the available BPD statistics indicate that this condition is associated with a substantially reduced life expectancy of around 20 years.