Is borderline personality disorder a disability?

Is borderline personality disorder a disability?

The impact of mental health disorders on a person’s life varies so widely that each case is reviewed individually. Borderline personality disorder can be defined as a disability in certain circumstances, but not all of them.

In this blog, we will discover when borderline personality disorder is considered a disability and what help is available for people with the condition? Let’s read about borderline personality disorder affected in other countries and what is therapy for it?

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotional unstable personality disorder (EUPD), is a form of psychological disorder, characterized by a wide range of powerful and overpowering sentiments that can change quickly from one side to another.

People with borderline personality disorder generally struggle to sustain long-term connections and might have a distorted view of their sense of self.

Adolph Stern introduced the term ‘borderline personality’ to the United States in 1938 (most other personality disorders were originally defined in Europe).

Symptoms of Borderline personality disorder

There are some symptoms of Borderline personality disorder may include the following:

Impulsive behavior
Harming oneself
Having thoughts of suicide
Recurrent emotions of boredom or discontent
Scared of separation

Borderline personality disorder patients frequently face multiple psychological problems such as anxiety, sadness, depression, and drug misuse or consumption. 

Related blog How to manage impulse control borderline personality disorder

BPD as a Disability

To determine whether BPD qualifies as a disability, it’s essential to consider the definitions and criteria used by various organizations and legal systems.

Medical Perspective

From a medical standpoint, BPD is recognized as a serious mental health condition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists BPD as a personality disorder, acknowledging its significant impact on an individual’s functioning.

In the context of disability benefits and protections, different countries and organizations have specific criteria for what constitutes a disability.

Is borderline personality disorder a disability?

People with borderline personality disorder may be considered mentally ill if their disorder significantly impairs their everyday functioning. This might include being unable to perform daily routines such as washing and dressing, having difficulties functioning at fixed hours, or experiencing issues socializing with others.

For BPD to be considered a handicap, one of the following must be accurate:

BPD has existed for at least 12 months
BPD is going to persist for 12 months
BPD is prone to recur

Anyone experiencing signs of borderline personality disorder should consult with a medical professional to learn about the resources that are available.

United States

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. BPD can qualify as a disability under the ADA if it severely impacts an individual’s ability to perform major life activities such as working, learning, and social interactions.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) also provides disability benefits to individuals with mental disorders, including BPD, under certain conditions. To qualify, the individual’s condition must be severe and persistent, limiting their ability to function in a work setting despite receiving appropriate medical treatment.

Related blog What is Impulsive Borderline Personality, and How Does It Affect Relationships?

Is borderline personality disorder a disability in Ireland?

In Ireland, bdp consider a disability, when it interferes with someone’s ability to effectively carry out everyday tasks and completely engage in society. The Irish government offers help and resources to people with disabilities, especially disorders of the mind such as BPD. But whether BPD classifies as a disability for the reason of receiving particular advantages or modifications is determined by a number of factors, particularly the seriousness of signs and their influence on the person’s capacity to function. It is critical to engage with health care providers and disability support organizations in Ireland for individualized advice and help.

Is borderline personality disorder a disability in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is recognized as a disability in The Equality Act of 2010, describing mental health illness, which prohibits disability discrimination. The Act describes disability as an impairment of either mind or body that has a lasting and detrimental effect on a person’s capacity to perform routine day-to-day activities. According to the intensity and impact of BPD on an individual’s functioning, it may fit this description under the law. This implies that persons with BPD have the right to legal protection against prejudice and may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in several aspects of life, particularly jobs, schooling, and having access to services.

Related blog How do 5 dynamic personality tests define you?

Is borderline personality disorder a disability in Australia?

Under the Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), borderline personality disorder is defined as a ban on disability discrimination. The DDA requires suitable adaptations for people with challenges from mental illnesses such as BPD. Receiving aid from medical professionals and disability organizations can help people with BPD recognize their liberties and gain access to appropriate treatments and adjustments.

Is borderline personality disorder a disability in Canada?

In Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Act and several provincial human rights legislations offer protection from harassment. They observe an individual’s capacity to conduct everyday tasks and fully engage in society. Businesses and service providers must offer reasonable modifications to accommodate people with impairments, including those with BPD. Unfortunately, in many circumstances, these sentiments can ultimately cause suicide in instances that go untreated, which is why adequate therapy is so crucial for persons who suffer from borderline personality disorder.

Is borderline personality disorder a disability in South Africa?

The South African Constitution and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, safeguard against disability-based unfair treatment, including mental health illnesses such as BPD. People with BPD may be eligible for reasonable adaptations and support services to help them manage their disease and fully participate in different parts of life. Individuals with BPD in South Africa, must recognize their freedoms and get appropriate help.

Is borderline personality disorder a disability in Ontario?

In Ontario, borderline personality disorder is considered a disability. The Ontario Human Rights Code in employment plays an important role in helping BDP people . Service providers and employers must make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, including those with BPD, unless it causes undue hardship. As a result, people with BPD may be eligible for adequate modifications to help them participate in numerous parts of life in Ontario.

Related blog Training Your Brain for Happiness

Is borderline personality disorder considered a disability?

Traditionally, the word “borderline” referred to people who fell “in between” different diagnoses, most notably psychosis and neurosis. Fortunately, medical research has gained a better grasp of this illness. Some of its primary symptoms are:

Impulsive behavior and interpersonal issues
Notably acute episodes of rage,
Violence, identity-injury
Substance misuse
Distorted thinking or sense of self, and volatile social bonds.

Is borderline personality disorder development a disability?

Not every individual with a borderline personality disorder has the same characteristics. The degree, duration, and frequency of problems might differ amongst patients.

Some persons with BPD may still be able to find jobs. Others may be able to return to work with correct help. Because of this, not all instances of BPD are eligible for disability compensation. When you have borderline personality disorder, it may be extremely difficult to balance your career and personal life. Furthermore, the cost of treating and managing chronic conditions might be significant. For these reasons, you may actually need help.

Related blog The Benefits of Finding Meaning in Life

Is having borderline personality disorder a disability?

Individuals with borderline personality disorder demonstrate a set of inappropriate actions that make it harder for them to establish intimate connections, and they struggle emotionally as a result of their disease. For example, many people can suffer erratic mood swings that might last anywhere from a few hours to many days.

Support and Resources for Individuals with BPD

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be incredibly challenging, but there are numerous support systems and resources available to help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. From specialized therapy to disability benefits and workplace accommodations, understanding and accessing these resources can make a significant difference. This section explores various therapeutic approaches, financial supports, and practical accommodations designed to assist those living with BPD in navigating their daily lives more effectively.

Related blog How to detach from someone with borderline personality disorder?

Therapy and Treatment

Effective treatment for BPD often involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and support groups. Common therapeutic approaches include:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Focuses on teaching coping skills to manage emotions, improve relationships, and reduce self-destructive behaviors.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.
Medication: While there is no specific medication for BPD, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers can help manage symptoms.

Related blog How overcome negative bias with CBT? Tips and Tricks

Disability Benefits and Accommodations

For those whose BPD significantly impairs their ability to work, applying for disability benefits can provide financial support. The process typically involves:

Medical Documentation

Comprehensive records from healthcare providers detailing the diagnosis, treatment, and impact of BPD on daily functioning.

Functional Assessment

Evaluations that demonstrate how BPD limits the individual’s ability to perform work-related tasks.

Application Process

Submitting the necessary forms and documentation to the relevant government agency (e.g., SSA in the US, Department for Work and Pensions in the UK).

Workplace Accommodations

Under laws such as the ADA and the Equality Act, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. For individuals with BPD, accommodations might include:

Flexible work schedules
Opportunities for remote work
Modifications to the work environment to reduce stress
Access to mental health resources

Related blog Relaxation Tips for Working Professionals Stress 


To sum up, some countries do not consider BPD a disability and some not. It is curable with time. Many people even school may grant  “reasonable adjustments” to students with borderline personality disorder who are attending in order to guarantee that their illness is not harmful to them compared to their fellow students. “Reasonable adjustments” for students with BPD, providing time off for medical visits, extending time constraints, or providing an “exam prompter.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *