How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5838
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but I have a lot

Resolved Question:

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but I have a lot of symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Could my doctor be wrong or are the symptoms just that close?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by depression (sadness, trouble with sleep and appetite, possible suicidal feelings) and mania (extreme feelings of wellbeing, excitability, grandiose beliefs, etc). It has many subcategories to address the different ways the depression and mania express themselves.

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by instability with interpersonal relationships, chronic feelings of emptiness, suicidal gestures, instability in mood.

Bipolar disorder is considered an Axis I disorder, a major mental health disorder. Borderline is considered an Axis II disorder, which is a secondary disorder.

The similarity between the disorders is the mood instability. Both have shifts in mood. However, with Bipolar the mood lasts longer than with Borderline, which is a more unstable mood shift. The mood shifts with borderline disorder can be as a result of situational changes (trouble with a friend, bad day at work) and the change in mood does not include feelings of mania, whereas Bipolar tends to come on suddenly and includes the mania.

You can be diagnosed with both disorders at the same time. That may be a possibility, and it is not uncommon to have an Axis I and Axis II diagnosis. Ask your doctor if this is possible for you. However, if you are unsure about your current doctor's diagnosis or he/she is not willing to reevaluate you, it never hurts to obtain a second opinion. Express your concerns to the evaluator and they will help you sort out your symptoms for a more accurate diagnosis or at least confirm the one you have.

I hope this has helped you,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you