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In addition to the psychological symptoms of BPD, research has shown that BPD may have a major impact on your physical health. A study by researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that BPD was associated with a history of chronic pain disorders, osteoarthritis, obesity, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. BPD was also associated with less healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, alcohol use, lack of regular exercise).

The good news is the same study found that people who once had BPD but no longer meet criteria for the disorder are less likely to report many of these health concerns. While much more research is needed to explore why BPD is associated with health problems, this study suggests another reason to get treatment: it may be good for your health!


Frankenburg, F, and Zanarini, MC. "The Association Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Chronic Medical Illnesses, Poor Health-Related Lifestyle Choices, and Costly Forms of Health Care Utilization." Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65: 1660-1665, December 2004.

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