Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD)

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Page medically reviewed by Dr Liam Parsonage (BA, MBBS, MRCPsych, PGCert) Consultant Psychiatrist at Priory Hospital North London in November 2022.

Specialist EUPD treatment for your needs

Without treatment, EUPD, which is also known as borderline personality disorder (BPD), can bring many complications. It can seem like you’ve lost all control of your thoughts, feelings and ability to manage your responsibilities. The emotional highs and lows can be difficult and you may often feel isolated, finding it difficult to connect with people. If you're struggling to cope with these symptoms, we can help you to manage their impact on your life.

Our treatment for EUPD will help to minimise the harmful effects you're facing. It will also prevent your situation from worsening, which can threaten your long-term health and happiness. We'll teach you the skills to process your emotions in a constructive way and learn to handle whatever each day brings.

At Priory, our experts have years of experience treating others with mental health challenges just like yours. You deserve to lead a fulfilling life, with hope for what your future holds. If you feel that EUPD is preventing you from looking forward to the road ahead, damaging your relationships with loved ones and stopping you from enjoying activities, it's important that you reach out for help.

Once you acknowledge your need for support, we'll guide you through the next steps to prioritising your mental health and achieving your personal goals. We’ll alleviate the pressure of your daily routine, showing you how to be content with living the life you want to lead.

Signs that you may need EUPD treatment

If you’re struggling to understand what you’re going through, it’s important to find out more about your condition and reach out for help.

EUPD is the most common type of personality disorder. It usually causes you to experience intense and fluctuating emotions, which can last for anywhere between a few hours and several days at a time. These emotions can range from extreme happiness, euphoria and self-belief, to crushing feelings of sadness and worthlessness.

The rapid and extreme changes in mood, as well as the negative feelings EUPD creates in yourself and towards others, can make it difficult to maintain stable personal relationships. EUPD can also cause you to have suicidal thoughts or carry out self-harming behaviours. If you’re in this situation, it’s crucial that you reach out for professional help, and open up to a loved one, as soon as possible. Nobody will judge you and you'll benefit from having support, as you prepare to start taking care of your mental health. It’s important to understand that none of this is your fault and many people will struggle to handle this serious – but medically-treatable – condition alone.

Signs and symptoms of EUPD

If you think you're struggling with EUPD, you may be showing some of the symptoms listed below:

  • Impulsivity
  • Mood swings
  • An overwhelming fear of abandonment
  • Extreme anxiety and irritability
  • Anger
  • Paranoia and being suspicious of other people
  • Feeling empty, hopeless and worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm
  • Having a pattern of unstable or shallow relationships
  • Rapidly changing your opinions of other people
  • Dissociation (feeling as though you've lost touch with reality)

common symptoms of EUPD

High quality EUPD treatment, whatever your situation

No matter what you’re faced with, our mental health treatment programmes at Priory can help you to get better.

Talking to someone about what you’re going through is the first step to feeling significant relief from the burden of your condition. It can take a huge toll on your wellbeing to live with something that nobody else knows about, hiding the true extent of how it feels every day. Our mental health team at Priory will treat you with the utmost compassion and empathy, taking immediate steps to lessen the strain you feel from living with EUPD.

Treatment for personality disorders helps you to realise you’re not alone, as you share the same challenges as many people we’ve helped before. Our team of mental health professionals will carry out an initial assessment to understand your needs, so they can help you to lead a better way of life. We'll structure your programme in a way that works for you and gives you the best possible outcomes, with tried-and-tested methods that follow National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

Types of EUPD treatment programmes at Priory

Your initial consultation will help to establish the level of support you need. We offer residential, inpatient treatment at our hospitals, as well as day care and outpatient treatment at our wellbeing centres across the UK. We can also offer outpatient therapy appointments over video call if this would be better for you.

We offer the following types of treatment for EUPD at Priory:

Inpatient treatment – this type of treatment takes place within the structured environment of residential treatment, where you have access to 24-hour support. Therapeutic communities are designed to help you enjoy respite from your usual routine and form healthier day-to-day habits to help you cope with symptoms, improving your social skills, confidence and self-esteem.

You'll still benefit from one-to-one therapy during inpatient treatment, but regular group therapy will be a core focus. With your fellow patients, you'll participate in activities that help you to handle responsibilities but also have fun during your programme. These include:

  • Household tasks, such as cleaning and cooking
  • Playing games and sports
  • Taking part in workshops and creative classes
  • Nurturing physical wellbeing with yoga and meditation
  • Being active in community meetings, where you’ll get to voice your own opinions

Outpatient and day care – for less severe cases of EUPD, you may be referred for outpatient or day care treatment. It may also be that you’ve already completed an inpatient programme and just need ongoing support

This is a flexible option which lets you fit hourly or day-long therapy sessions around your other commitments, while maintaining the environment of support. If you’ve been in a residential facility, this allows you to continue therapy and work on any sources of discomfort in daily life as you return to your normal routine, so it’s an ideal step-down treatment option.

Therapy options

Treatment for EUPD shares many similarities with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (or CPTSD). Therapies and treatment commonly used for EUPD include:

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

This talking therapy helps you to address the emotional challenges around EUPD. It focuses on the most crucial elements of EUPD, which are its tendency to make you emotionally vulnerable and the idea that you may have had your emotions dismissed in the past.

DBT will teach you skills to accept your feelings as being valid, while also allowing you to challenge them and substitute negative thought patterns for positive ones. The intense emotions of EUPD can be even more distressing if you’ve been taught that you’re wrong for having them.

You’ll grow to understand how being open to conflicting emotions, as a natural part of being human, can help you break the cycle of going from one extreme to another. Crucially, this also reduces the risk of your distress leading to self-destructive behaviours.

Mentalisation-based therapy (MBT)

This is a psychotherapy we usually offer as part of residential treatment, which helps you to identify and challenge your thoughts and beliefs. It basically means to ‘think about thinking’.

The reason this is effective for treating EUPD is that it can give you a greater understanding of why you may carry out impulsive behaviours (especially self-harming), allowing you to think through what's driving these actions before you act on your impulses.

If you can assess your beliefs and their impact before they cause any harm, and step back from any urges they lead to, this will be highly valuable for the long-term management of EUPD symptoms.


Medication may also be prescribed alongside therapeutic treatment, to help stabilise your mood or lessen the impact of co-occurring mental health conditions. This will be determined during your initial assessment.

Contact us to make an enquiry or for more information

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