BD 101


I Got This


Everyday, people like you are learning how to live thriving, successful lives with Borderline Disorder. With the Black Sheep Project, you’ll find a combination of support, knowledge and resources that can help you gain better control of your life. But perhaps most importantly, you’ll find a community of people who are sharing their stories about living with Borderline Disorder.  

Borderline Disorder stems from disturbances in brain pathways that regulate emotion and impulse control, affecting different people in different ways. Defined in the American Psychiatric Association's fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as “...a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity,” Borderline Disorder is a true medical disorder impacting millions of people around the world. 

With the Black Sheep Project, you have a chance to understand what the Disorder may mean for you in your life and to advocate for yourself around your own treatment and therapy, using the knowledge you find here to start your journey.

Welcome to the Black Sheep Project, a place where you will be able to confidently say "I’ve Got This.”


Black Sheep Stories


Our strength as a community stems from our capacity to share our stories, to listen, to hear, to know the struggles and successes others experience.

Listen to Sarah share her compelling story. Through her commitment to therapy, her treatment plan and herself, she has found a way to be present and create a beautiful and fulfilling life around her personal dreams.

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MYTH: Borderline Disorder is Not a Real Psychiatric Diagnosis.

FACT: There are times when it might feel that way, but the fact is the American Psychiatric Association has formally recognized Borderline Disorder (also known as Borderline Personality Disorder) since 1980. It’s important you create a relationship with a clinician who is able to determine how the complex dimensions of Borderline Disorder may be at play in your life.


What BD is to Me


Borderline Disorder is complex, and understanding how it may affect you can help you know which resources will support you the most.

The purpose of this simple self-assessment is not to provide you with a diagnosis (only a trained clinical professional can do that), but to give you a sense of how the dimensions of Borderline Disorder may be affecting your life. 

This self-assessment takes most people 2-4 minutes to complete. Once completed, you’ll see how your responses fit with the criteria many clinical professionals use to discuss Borderline Disorder.

What does the Black Sheep Project do with your responses? 

The results of your survey are yours. The data the Black Sheep Project gathers from your survey are combined with the results of others, helping paint a better picture of how the Disorder is affecting people around the world. Any information Black Sheep Project gathers is managed anonymously, and no data is collected that identifies any single answer as coming specifically from you. 

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Black Sheep Stories


Knowing the overall scope of Borderline Disorder is important to understanding the role it may play in your own life.

Our unique stories are powerful, carrying messages of hope, bravery and perseverance from people who are living everyday with the impacts of Borderline Disorder. We invite you open yourself to being inspired by the people who have shared their stories and to think about how your story could inspire others.

Watch Reed's creative expression of his own experience with Borderline Disorder and the Black Sheep Project.


By its Very Nature,
Borderline Disorder Defies Easy Definition

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-5) defines Borderline Disorder as “[a] pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self image, and affects, and marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.” That “variety of contexts” challenges even experienced professionals, meaning that despite its prevalence, Borderline Disorder is still often misdiagnosed.

Extensive research has helped us better understand the combination of genetic, biological and environmental risk factors that places people at higher risk for developing Borderline Disorder, though much more research still needs to be done. Click below to learn more about what we know right now about the Disorder’s Genetic Causes and Environmental Risk Factors.

Borderline Disorder varies in type and severity for different people. The four Behavioral Dimensions of the Disorder can make it easier for many people to understand the Disorder in the context of their lives. Click below to learn more about the Behavioral Dimensions of Borderline Disorder.

Another way to help place the impact of the Disorder into context for yourself is to understand roles different co-occurring disorders may play in your life. Many co-occurring disorders are, in and of themselves, individual mental health diagnoses. This is part of what makes Borderline Disorder so difficult to diagnose.


Formerly known as “dual diagnosis” or “dual disorder,” the term “co-occurring”  is now used to describe when two or more mental health conditions or substance abuse disorders occur at the same time. This may help clinical professionals both better define how the disorder impacts you and how you may be treated in the future. We’ve identified six co-occurring disorders below to focus on.


Co-Occurring Disorders



Join The Community

The widespread scale of Borderline Disorder knows no boundaries, affecting people around the world. With increasing research and better ways to understand and diagnose and treat the Disorder, we are discovering just how many people are affected around the world.

As individuals living with the disorder we can feel very alone. It’s not until we look at the magnitude or Borderline Disorder from a global perspective that we can see how, with continued work to raise awareness, lead advocacy and promote new research that we can use to bring Borderline Disorder out of the shadows.

By including your information, you’re helping develop better data about the scope and scale of Borderline Disorder’s impact. With each new data point, we have a better sense of how diverse our Black Sheep community is and how dispersed the scope of Borderline Disorder is across the world.




Below are some of the resources the Black Sheep Project has selected that you may be interested in. Visit the Black Sheep Project’s online store for more books and for the complete line of Black Sheep Project’s branded gear.


As with anything complex, Borderline Disorder comes with its own language. The Black Sheep Project, working with clinical professionals, has assembled this glossary to help you understand key terms that you are likely to encounter as you explore our site and learn more about how Borderline Disorder affects you and those you care about.