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Diagnostic overlap between adolescent affective instability in borderline personality and juvenile bipolar disorder in Sri Lanka

Authors:

M. Chandradasa ,

University of Kelaniya, Ragama, LK
About M.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine

 

University Psychiatry Unit, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama

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W. K. T. R. Fernando,

University of Kelaniya, Ragama, LK
About W. K. T. R.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine

University Psychiatry Unit, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama
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K. A. L. A. Kuruppuarachchi

University of Kelaniya, Ragama, LK
About K. A. L. A.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine

University Psychiatry Unit, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama
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Abstract

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD) could present a diagnostic challenge in the adolescent due to the presence of overlapping symptoms such as impulsivity, affective instability, and sexual arousal. Of these symptoms, affective instability is a central feature of BPD, and there is a rapid shift from the neutral affect to an intense affect, and this is associated with a dysfunctional modulation of emotions. We describe three Sri Lankan adolescents presenting with affective instability, treated with psychopharmacological agents as for BD. While BPD is characterized by transient mood shifts induced by interpersonal stressors, in BD, there are sustained mood changes. A longitudinal assessment of the symptomatic profile and collateral information clarified the diagnosis as being BPD. An examination of the nature of affective instability is vital for a proper diagnosis and provision of evidence-based treatment.
How to Cite: Chandradasa, M., Fernando, W.K.T.R. and Kuruppuarachchi, K.A.L.A., 2019. Diagnostic overlap between adolescent affective instability in borderline personality and juvenile bipolar disorder in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 10(2), pp.22–25. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v10i2.8206
Published on 23 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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