The Longitudinal Course of Borderline Personality Disorder

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2018 Dec;41(4):685-694. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Oct 16.


Findings from decades of longitudinal research have challenged the long-held notion that borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronically disabling condition. Instead, several prospective, long-term follow-up studies have found that most patients with BPD experience a remission from the disorder, and many experience a full recovery over the course of their lives. These studies also indicate that symptoms of BPD wax and wane over time, although more acute, behavioral symptoms of the disorder tend to remit rapidly and recur rarely. Further, findings regarding predictors of good and poor outcomes in BPD could influence further developments in treatments for the disorder.

Keywords: Borderline personality disorder; Course; Longitudinal research; Recovery; Remission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence