Diagnosis and Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder in Young People

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2020 Apr 25;22(5):25. doi: 10.1007/s11920-020-01144-5.


Purpose of review: We review recent research concerning the diagnosis and treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in young people. We examine evidence for the need to define an appropriate age for detection, and the suitability of current classification methods and treatment.

Recent findings: Evidence supports early detection and intervention for subsyndromal borderline pathology or categorical BPD across an extended developmental period. A range of structured treatments are effective for BPD in young people, although the role of treatment components in successful outcomes is unclear. Substantial evidence suggests that a stronger focus on functional outcomes, especially social and vocational outcomes, is warranted. Effective treatments for BPD are rarely available internationally. There is a need to assess whether less complex interventions might be developed that are scalable across health systems. A clinical staging model should be considered, addressing clinical distress and co-occurring psychopathology, as well as diagnosis.

Keywords: Adolescence; Borderline personality disorder; Diagnosis; Early intervention; Treatment; Young people.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Borderline Personality Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder* / therapy
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Psychopathology
  • Treatment Outcome