Borderline Personality Disorder, Menstruation, and Emotional Vulnerability

Researchers have found that symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) worsened the week before and during menstruation by at least 30%, which is the equivalent to going from moderate to extreme depression on a rating scale. That is almost two weeks out of every month!

For those with BPD, emotions and stress are already harder to manage and a 30% increase of symptoms is significant, especially for those who are suicidal. Stable levels of estrogen and progesterone can improve mood and have been proven to have an anti-anxiety effect; therefore, the results of this study have prompted researchers to wonder if a hormone-stabilizing treatment in those with BPD would be helpful in reducing hormonal triggers and emotional vulnerability.

These results are also helpful for clinicians with clients who are suicidal and experience menses in the safety planning process. If you have BPD and think your symptoms worsen in relation to your cycle, talk with your clinician about coping strategies to use when feeling particularly vulnerable.

Ashley Allen