What type of Borderline Personality are You?

During the initial years after my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, I thought that all other Borderlines were like me: introverted, shy, low self-esteem, self-abusive, hot tempered, angry, hollow, etc. For the most part, I assumed that the “constellation” of Borderline Personality, as described by the DSM-IV and my clinician, was the same for all afflicted with this disease. In reality, it is just the opposite. Though you may fall into the BPD diagnosis constellation, there are many different ways in which your BPD affects you, your life, and those around you.

Before I go any further, let me preface the following list of BPD variations by stating that I am not a mental health professional, nor qualified in any way to offer a BPD diagnosis. My thoughts are my own opinion gleaned from casual research on the internet and any commentary and feedback I get from blog readers.

That said, here are 5 different types of Borderline Personality manifestations:

  • Low Functioning Borderline – The “Low Functioning” borderline is what most people think of when they are first introduced to the condition. Low functioning BPDs are a living train wreck. They have intense difficulties taking care of their basic needs, are constantly experiencing mood swings. They also have an extremely hard time managing any sort of relationship with another human being. Low Functioning BPDs are often hospitalized more than other BPD types, for the very reason that they can’t live productively without constant coaching and supervision. These patients are challenging for all but the most experienced psychiatrists. Unless otherwise treated, low functioning borderlines lead self destructive lives and attempt to manipulate those around them with desperate acts, including self harm (cutting, etc.).
  • High Functioning Borderline – The High Functioning Borderline Personality shares many core aspects of the low functioning borderline personality, except for the fact that they can manage their lives, appear to be productive, and generally keep their relationships civil (even diplomatic in nature). High Functioning borderlines can appear to be normal, driven people one moment; then moody, inconsolable, and manipulative the next. Somehow, there is a mechanism within the minds of High Functioning Borderlines that allows them to lead somewhat “competent” lives, despite the fact that they are in a constant battle with BPD. High functioning BPDs are no better than low functioning: it’s basically the same face wearing a different mask.
  • Extroverted Borderline – Anyone familiar with the Meyer-Briggs personality tests will understand the psychological differences between extroversion and introversion. When these characteristics are mixed with BPD, there are two different results. The Extroverted Borderline pushes all their feelings, fears, manipulation, rage, and moodiness outward to the people around them. In essence, if you are around an extroverted BPD, you feel like you’re living through their emotions while coping with your own at the same time. Further, extroverted BPDs will attempt self abusive acts in plain view of others in order to avoid abandonment or to express their rage. For example, an Extroverted BPD might cut themselves and then immediately share it with family and friends around them, hoping to gain sympathy or attention. In most cases, these types of behaviors frighten non-Borderlines, and they wonder whether or not the Extroverted BPD should be committed to a psych ward.
  • Introverted Borderline – Contrary to popular belief, “introverted” doesn’t necessarily describe someone who is a recluse (agoraphobic). Instead, introversion is characterized by experiencing life in a self-reflective, private, and at times distant manner. To others, introverts may appear shy or lacking in people skills. This might be true, however, introverts make up for their lack of social skills with rich inner lives, thoughts, and deep thinking. As a result, the introverted Borderline primarily focuses all their BPD emotions and reactions inward. Instead of having a rage episode in public, they might retreat to their rooms and cry for hours on end, perhaps even cutting themselves for their own amusement or as stress relief. Introverted Borderlines live in an odd world: on one hand, they spend most of their time in personal thought and reflection, looking to fill themselves with a viable sense of self; but on the other, they are conflicted by emptiness and the bottomless emotional pit that BPD produces. Introverted BPDs might be harder to “spot” unless you happen to know one personally, in which case you might notice occasional depressive symptoms and evidence of self harm.
  • Transparent Borderline – The Transparent Borderline is a bit of a mix between a high functioning borderline and either extroverted or introverted tendencies. In plain terms, Transparent Borderlines live double lives: on the surface, “in public”, they appear one way, but in private, amongst immediate family and friends, they appear completely different. As a result, they may or may not be high functioning due to this conflicted state of mind. Transparent Borderlines spend most of their emotional energy trying to balance the personality demands of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the both of which experience strong BPD emotions like anyone else with the disease. Like Introverted Borderlines, Transparent Borderlines are harder to spot, and often only confess their true disposition after a harrowing rage, major break up, or other severely traumatic event that brings all their BPD feelings to the fore.

If I were to characterize myself, I would fall in the “Transparent” category, with “High Functioning” tendencies. To qualify that statement further, I would describe myself as self reliant and capable of meeting all my basic necessities, but deeply conflicted with misguided BPD emotional energy. Friends might describe me as “hard working but shy”, when in reality the hard work is just a cover for my inner persona that is constantly at war with itself.

All things considered, I really don’t think any one type of BPD is better than another. The bottom line is that each type of person is troubled by BPD, and this wreaks havoc on their lives based on the “rest” of the personality traits that comprise them. No matter what category you fall into, I would suggest educating yourself, getting treatment, and taking medication if necessary. Life is hard enough without having the BPD demon inside you.

54 Replies to “What type of Borderline Personality are You?”

  1. I searched “borderline” on tumblr and this is what I found. I was very happy to read this.

    I feel that I should state that I am a “Transparent Borderline.” I think it is great that you have posted this in an effort to help others discover who they are and put them on the path to learning to live with the disorder.

    We are all in this together and I feel wonderful having found your blog. I hope that you will share your thoughts and stories on my blog in the future. Stay strong and keep your fight going!

  2. Hi, please excuse the intrusion, not sure if this is the place to ask, but what I have read here strikes a cord.
    I have been desperately trying to find an answer to a close friends behavior and BPD keeps coming up as the answer to “why she does what she does”.

    After all my researching, I could really use some insight, guidance and help with my friend who’s behavior and roller coaster life seems to fit most of the BPD symptoms list. She is amazing in so many ways, but I think I am at the point where I can no long accept her treatment of me, the one friend who has stood by her. I am also very concerned for her safety due to her continued risky, hurtful and self destructive behavior.

    She will not seek therapy, and from what I read, unless she sees a real BPD specialist she could just be wasting her time talking around the root causes.

    – Can you recommend an sites, blogs, etc?
    – how do I approach her about getting help?
    – how do I limit the risky sexual behaviors?
    – how can I stop her from constantly reaching out to user a-holes which she seems addicted to?
    – how can I help her???
    – can I help her?

    I know you cannot change anyone, although I did try to change some basic things, like “use condoms”, and limit drinking, and step back and look at the multiple “married lying a-holes your with..”
    Well seemed like common sense to me, or like I like to call it “rare sense” because it is not that common anymore.

    Please excuse the vent,

    in need of help

  3. Hi Sean,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re in this situation. Unfortunately it is very common with BPD: the one’s closest and most loyal to the BPD person are usually treated the worst, in a strange irony of sorts.

    First, I would start with yourself. Visit this link at http://www.bpdcentral.com about the famous book Stop Walking On Egg Shells, which provides relief and coping mechanisms to loved ones who have BPD people in their lives:
    Stop Walking on Eggshells.

    Next, once you feel relieved of the stress your friend is causing, I would look for “teachable” moments when you can intellectually and emotionally reach her.

    By that I mean, if one day she is upset because she has been dumped as the result of an extra marital affair, try and sooth her and suggest non-judgmental, factual things to help the situation. For example, “Let’s talk to a counselor about starting healthy relationships,” versus “You’re a fool for thinking a married man would actually leave his wife” (Not that you’re saying that type of thing – I just mean try to use very indirect, unbiased verbiage).

    Sometimes in low moments you can reach someone with BPD (but sometimes you can’t). You could also try when they’re even keel again. You would probably know what time is better than others.

    As for the high risk behavior, I actually feel suggesting the use of condoms and/or birth control is a healthy suggestion. It doesn’t judge her behavior or encourage it; it simply reinforces commonsense sexual behavior. The last thing she needs is a pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, that will make things much worse. The fact that you’re making these suggestions shows that you really care, and is probably one of the reasons why she still gravitates towards you counsel (even if she doesn’t take the advice).

    In general, BPDcentral.com is a good place to start in terms of websites, for both you and your friend. Another place might be Youtube.com, searching for “BPD video” or other terms. Every once in a while, there is a 2 or 3 minute clip someone makes that reaches people emotionally, and it can lead to lucid moment. Even better, YouTube.com is free and very easy, just click and watch your computer – not too hard for even the worst off BPD sufferers.

    Then, use basic Google searches to find other blogs and support forums (there are a few here and there that are worthwhile).

    Ultimately, though, she has to want to get better. It’s not your responsibility to get her treated or emotionally sane. She needs to be the one to make that decision. All you can do is find a few key emotional and/or intellectual moments when she might be open to new ideas, and give them a try.

    Best of luck and most importantly, it’s not your fault!

  4. Thanks for putting this up. I know it is never the best practice to attempt to self-diagnose, but after having gone through much emotional and mental turmoil over the past 4 years, with an sharp intensification of it this past spring, I decided that I had to do some research. The therapist that I was seeing had an aversion to labels and so would never give me labels for what I was going through. I came across BPD when I was actually searching symptoms for bipolar disorder. As I read more and more about BPD, I kept getting this shocking sensation that someone was reading my life back to me. This of course, wasn’t true in every situation, but it was often the case.

    I just want someone who can help. Since leaving my university and therapist for the summer, I have been trying to find a therapist here. I actually went to see someone today and thought it would be good to mention BPD to her. When I brought it up, she gave me this “look” as if to say “no way. you don’t have that.” She then told me that all BPDs that she has worked with in the past have been loud girls who seek attention by acting out in the psychiatric ward. I told her that my battle is often manifested more internally and she just brushed it off. The emptiness, loneliness, terror, shifting emotions, and chaotic empty shameful black hole that must be what people refer to as the “self” have me feeling trapped. I feel trapped between life and death, and it’s as if the future is closing in.

    As I searched tonight, I came across your post. Along these lines, (if BPD is indeed an accurate label) I would be the high-functioning, introverted type. Everyone who sees me on the outside thinks that I am fine, but inside, I am dying and sometimes think it is time to go. But I am afraid and stuck. The pain inside is nearly intolerable. Does it take suicide attempts or drug abuse or a wreck to get help??? Probably. I don’t know where to go for help now. No one will diagnose this. They just trivialize what I tell them by saying that everyone feels this way and that it is totally normal. Maybe I am crazy to think this is what is going on. But I am quite convinced, and usually, my intuition is right about these kind of things.

    Do you have any advice?

  5. Hi Katye,

    Thanks for your heartfelt post. It’s a well known fact that mental health professionals often steer clear of people with BPD, or who potentially have BPD, mostly because they are difficult to treat.

    Judging from your comment, it sounds like you need to talk to an experienced therapist, perhaps someone who has at least 10-15 years working with people. Also, it might be worth mentioning that you think you have BPD before you even visit, just to sort out who’s got the qualifications to see you right away.

    While it is true that some people with BPD act out , (or eventually act out) in dramatic ways, this is not always the case. Sometimes, people create self harmful situations simply by swallowing their emotions, or allowing themselves to get trapped by the utter emptiness that is BPD.

    Bottom line: Experienced therapist, perhaps knowledgeable about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and someone who is open minded.

  6. I, like Katye, have not been diagnosed with BPD and in searching for information on Bipolar Disorder I also found BPD and experienced a rush of emotion at descriptions that resonated with my life experience. When I approached my older brother, who is a mental health professional, about it (by way of accusing him of obviously knowing very little about it) he explained that he deals with it everyday and gave me a very meaningful look. This confirmation of what I recognized as traits that have caused a lot of anguish in my life really opened me up to a whole world of new understanding. I appreciate your description of the variety of ways BPD presents.

    I was diagnosed years ago with ADHD and took Wellbutrin very briefly during that time for its off-label effects on ADHD. I was wondering what your experience has been with this drug. While I no longer have health insurance and cannot afford treatment, I did find Adderall to be very effective at helping me focus and accomplish schoolwork. However, I was not aware of my interpersonal deficiencies at the time and so did not look for relief in those areas. I am interested in your experience with medications and in any suggestions you have for climbing out of BPD without the therapy ladder.

  7. I, like Katye, have not been diagnosed with BPD and in searching for information on Bipolar Disorder I also found BPD and experienced a rush of emotion at descriptions that resonated with my life experience. When I approached my older brother, who is a mental health professional, about it (by way of accusing him of obviously knowing very little about it) he explained that he deals with it everyday and gave me a very meaningful look. This confirmation of what I recognized as traits that have caused a lot of anguish in my life really opened me up to a whole world of new understanding. I appreciate your description of the variety of ways BPD presents.

    I was diagnosed years ago with ADHD and took Wellbutrin very briefly during that time for its off-label effects on ADHD. I was wondering what your experience has been with this drug. While I no longer have health insurance and cannot afford treatment, I did find Adderall to be very effective at helping me focus and accomplish schoolwork. However, I was not aware of my interpersonal deficiencies at the time and so did not look for relief in those areas. I am interested in your experience with medications and in any suggestions you have for climbing out of BPD without the therapy ladder.

  8. I dont know what type of bordeline personality i am i think i was diagnosed as impulsive cause i do things but really think what happens afterwoods i know i am very cligy.I am currently waiting for treatment so i will probably learn more about my diagnosis then i only found out about 6 mounths ago plus i dont know if i want treatment.

  9. Very interesting and yet perhaps further confusing and complicating BPD for people’s understanding. Types, sub-types, and so forth, seem arbitrary to me because underneathe it all, as I’ve discovered, not only in my own recovery 15 years ago but in my coaching BPD clients (and bpd loved ones) there are emotional/psychological arrested development at the core of what BPD is and so to try to make more distinctive delinations only serves to add layers on top of what needs to be understood. Under all of these presentations or other described presentations there lies common woundedness that needs to be addressed and resolved.

  10. My mother has borderline… I have to live every day through her selfishness. Everything’s about her, and never about me, despite being only a teenager. She had a weight loss surgery, and now the only thing she talks about is how good she looks. I feel like I have to take care of her, because she’s constantly expressing the fear that I will abandon her as my other three siblings have done because of her behavior.

  11. I’ve recently been diagnosed with BPD after about 10 years of being diagnosed with a range of different mental illnesses.

    It’s been a very encouraging diagnosis because I finally feel that this one fits and I’m getting the treatment that I actually need.

    One thing that has really shocked me since I’ve been diagnosed with BPD is the amount of shame and recrimination that seems to be directed at people with BPD compared with other mental illnesses.

    I’m not sure exactly why that is. Perhaps it has something to do with BPD being seen as a personality problem and personality is usually thought to be something people choose.

    For myself, I’ve found that seeing myself as ‘bad’ or my disorder as some kind of ‘demon’ only makes it harder to do what I need to do and understand the processes behind the problems so I can change them.

    I know it’s going to take a long time to completely reprogram my thinking and I’ve found (although I don’t know if it is the same for others) that if I’m kind to myself, and try to understand instead of being judgmental, it’s a lot easier to control my behavior towards other people – which is ultimately what I want to do more than anything.

    I found your post very interesting, thanks for making it. I’m sad to say I’d identify myself as an ‘extroverted BPD’. Although I don’t self harm and being manipulative is not one of my failings, everything else fits painfully. I’ve actually been committed to a psych ward many times but now they know I have BPD rather than mental illness they let me come and go when I feel I need it to help with management of my disorder instead of locking me up. So there’s pros and cons in everything I guess :).

  12. Need help getting my Blogger (in some way, associated w/ gmail) blog out to the public. It addresses living w/ BPD and its attendant emotional problems, addiction-related subjects, and homelessness (a current problem I hope to overcome, once I have received my psych disability).

    I came late to the computer thingie, and am guessing that 25-some years of alcoholism and BZD addiction, along with sporadic use of street drugs until 8 years ago, and some ADD, among other things, contributes to my difficulty w/ same. I no longer drink, but cannot accept a lot of 12-step ideas about the nature of addiction: I believe that my own BPD came first, and kind of shoved me into substance use in order to escape the intenses pain of social rejection, and find like minded souls. (Punk rock did save my life, for awhile, but at the moment, is kind of impractical at the moment.)

    At times I slip into Gonzo journalism mode. I think I can hang with this.

    All that said, I’d like to join the blogging community, engage in dialogue about BPD and other subjects related to it, and meet, in this forum, others w/whom to exchange educational and recovery-from-BPD information.


    J Dixon


  13. No: I did not already say that.

    I need assistance getting my BPD + ‘issues’ blog out to the BPD community and others interested in the subject. Am stupid w/ computers; was asleep during the revolution.

    Something’s off here, and for once, it ain’t me.

  14. I was just recently diagnosed with bpd and before they told me I just knew…im scared personally, i have my mothers entire family as a backdrop to smother me with…schizophrenia, bi-polar, bpd, pedophilia, depression, anxiety, munchausen, etc etc…where do we turn when there is no where to turn? im so tired of things always being rotten….I am going to dbt for the first time on thursday, Im so nervous…. i already feel guilty for leaving my sons’ father, my mother, etc, i dont know if I can carry more… what do I do?

  15. I dont necessarily think its that cut and dry. I think that someone who might fall into one of those categories at one point in there life, might find themselves in a completely different one at another time. I personally can see both the extroverted and introverted types.

  16. I have BPD and have had it for many years, but was only diagnosed last year in January 2011.

    I’ve been through all sorts of types of BPD over the years. From high-functioning and transparent, to plain old low-functioning.

    I don’t think I’m any of those types now, as I seem to now be a mix of all.

  17. I was diagnosed BPD on October. All this process has been so painful,ups-and-downs. People at the hospital ISN’T actually EDUCATED!!?? So,when I feel upset,I shout,I even can act in agressive way.
    Personal at the hospital have “Discriminate,Isolate,and Neglect” me as a patient. The process has been so painful beacuse of the lack of support that I have suicidal thoughts every day. I just would like to receive the right treatment,and medications,to move on with my life.

  18. I am so happy I came across this posting.

    I have been in a close relationship with a former boyfriend, now roommate, for over five years and I can not get to understand what would be a close diagnosis to his condition.

    From my personal research, I found that most of the BPD characteristics apply to him with the exception of hurting/cutting himself. He mentioned a couple of times his condition is bi-polar disorder and he does not want to get treated because he does not want to get medicated.

    From these descriptions, he seems to be a transparent borderline with extroverted tendencies.

    – what would be the main characteristics that would differentiate a person with bi polar disorder from one with borderline personality disorder?

    – are there any treatments that won’t require medications for any of these conditions?

  19. Thanks for posting these. I’ve only previously seen descriptions of the “waif”, “witch”, etc. My comment concerns the last sentence of your description of the “Transparent Borderline”. You wrote that a Transparent Borderline is difficult to spot until a “severely traumatic event that brings all their BPD feelings to the fore” occurs. I wanted to add a caution, if you don’t mind, that not uncommonly, people with PTSD have been incorrectly diagnosed with BPD, particularly when they were repeat victims of various trauma and more specifically when it was deliberate trauma (domestic, child, intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, crime, etc.). When someone is in the midst of coping with a severely traumatic event, it isn’t a good time to diagnose someone as people often do act out of character. To be diagnosed with a personality disorder, the characteristics are pervasive and concrete, and I would counter that the rage and other issues you discuss as behavior of someone reacting to a severe traumatic event is not pervasive and concrete unless you have witnessed their Jekyl/Hyde behavior at home and in public. I caution anyone in judging and diangosing anyone based solely on someone’s reactions to or about a severe traumatic event. I’ve seen non-borderline individuals break down and show incredible rage and vindictiveness in the aftermath of traumatic events as I have with my own mother, who was borderline. The difference was the way they behaved in day-to-day life and the permanence of certain traits. Those without BPD were constant in their emotions. My mother never was and therefore, the reaction to the severe event was like comparing a category 5 hurricane to the tropical storm or category 1 or 2 that she was for the rest of the time.

  20. Thank you for this. I definitely relate to transparent with high functioning. I have always minimized my bpd because I am an over achiever, and tell myself I’m just using it as an excuse because I am “weak” or something. Truth is I hide behind my hard work to avoid social situations which bring about huge social anxiety. When I get home at the end of an incredibly busy day I sometimes lie on the floor for hours just trying to get a grip on my emotions.

  21. Thank you for this. I definitely relate to transparent with high functioning. I have always minimized my bpd because I am an over achiever, and tell myself I’m just using it as an excuse because I am “weak” or something. Truth is I hide behind my hard work to avoid social situations which bring about huge social anxiety. When I get home at the end of an incredibly busy day I sometimes lie on the floor for hours just trying to get a grip on my emotions.

  22. I have thought that I was a quiet borderline from the first time I heard about it. There is something strange though; I am extremely introverted yet I display extroverted bpd symptoms. I take out my inner rage on those who I think hate me, or are falling away from me by acting out and verbally abusing them. This isn’t my only symptom of course, but it’s an example of one which you can clearly see as confusing. My theory is that I have so much depression and anxiety that it has caused me to be extremely shy as a child, and in turn I developed bpd at a very young age. Is is possible to have extroverted tendencies of bpd yet be a complete introvert?

  23. I’ve always felt the strong emotions that come with being borderline, but i’ve never quite known if i am one. I’ve never drank, done drugs, been promiscous or cut myself or harm or attempted any bodily harm.. Most of my emotions are expressed through yelling and crying on my own. So i don’t know which category i fall under if any. But whenever I need advice on how i feel about therapy or life, the only person able to help me is someone else who’s bpd and i can relate so much. But i don’t seem like one at all… therapists always say “you strike me as completely normal” because they don’t see anything wrong i guess, nothing. So anyone feel the same?

    1. I had the same issue with a lot of therapists until I tried Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I would lie to therapists before because it was hard for me to talk about feelings of suicidality to people who I feared would judge me for it. They would say oh you seem so happy. But it was hard to talk about my complex feelings. I even ghosted on a wonderful therapist I had who was a sweet caring and wonderful woman. I am so grateful for my diagnosis because it has made me feel good now that I know there’s a reason I feel how I feel. DBT changed my life completely and has completely minimized my self harming episodes. I have skills to deal with how I feel when I feel some way no matter which way it is whether it is guilty, numb, anxious, self consciousness, self hating, people hearing, suicidal, idolizing, reclusing or whatever I’m going thru at that moment. I would really suggest it. I was the same never exhibited risk taking behaviors when it came to substances so much but had addictive tendencies towards PEOPLE which has made my life very difficult at times

  24. Check out the work of Theodore Millon who proposes BPD subtypes in conjunction with other personality disorder characteristics. I think the unstable nature of thought/behavior/emotion within BPD may manifest various ways at various times. As a licensed counselor, I’ve generally found strong correlations between self-blaming in BPD and therapeutic success with CBT/DBT (as opposed to others-blaming and things not going so well). The more you can incorporate recognition of how your thoughts/behaviors lend themselves to problematic outcomes in some way the more you begin to gain control over the negative and/or destructive patterns. However, it’s a constantly moving target so embrace the ‘process’ and not the ‘destination.’

    1. Hi Ann,

      Thank you for your advice! I will definitely research Mr. Millon’s work and educate myself further.

      You’re right about the “process” versus the “destination” description of confronting BPD thought patterns.

      My impulsiveness makes me want the destination immediately and I often lose patience with myself during difficult moments. The concept of a “process” is much more appealing: it is something I can work on day-to-day, whereas a final conclusion to my emotional distress often feels like an impossible mountain to climb.

      Visit again soon!

  25. So I’m beginning to think that I’m a high functioning, introverted borderline and that I might be in a relationship with a narcissist. A very nasty duo from what I’ve read. I started out trying to figure out what was wrong with him and stumbled across this article about borderline and narcissistic relations. It fit us to a T. I’m kinda scared about it actually because I want to lead a normal happy life. And now I’m also worried that I’m ripping him to shreds. And there’s feelings of guilt and a deep seated need to keep him around. What’s crazy is that narcissist are extremely good at feigning that they care. Anyway here’s the article..http://gettinbetter.com/dance.html

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your comment. Please seek counseling or therapy if possible. No one has to know about it: just keep it between you and your doctor.

      The BPD voices in my head scream at me all day. If I let them interact with people around me, I’d probably be locked up for good.

      My introversion – which would normally be healthy and productive – tends to be tortuous at times.

  26. Is the writer of this post — admin — still there? I would like to ask you a few questions about your introverted BPD.


  27. Thanks so much for this site, very helpful. I am a recovering alcoholic and am now in therapy. My psychologist says that I am within the borderline spectrum. So if I am understanding this correctly you can have traits of the disorder but not necessarily a diagnosis? Does an actual diagnosis really matter? Thanks for any input on this topic. 🙂

  28. U can join my groups on FBook

    BPD & Support with Problem-Solving – Borderline Personality Disorder

    Learn Dialectical Behaviour Therapy FOR Borderline Personality Disorder bpd

  29. was wondering if a high functioning introvert suddenly become a low functioning extrovert? sounds weird but after a stressful event i was wondering if a person suffering from this can experience a shift..

    1. Hi Dev Sharpie,

      I think it’s certainly possible for someone with BPD to be a good Mom. However, I must state that a Mom with BPD should be seeing a therapist on a regular basis, attending a DBT group, and/or taking meds if necessary.

      Just as a mother with Type 1 Diabetes or a physical chronic condition must keep herself in optimal condition to raise her children, a mother with BPD must ensure her mental illness isn’t clouding her better judgment or otherwise negatively affecting her parenting abilities.

      So yes, with constant and diligent therapy throughout. Look at therapy as a chance to not only vent and get frustrations out in a safe environment, but truly help the children.

      I would be concerned about either a father or mother raising kids with unchecked BPD, it’s simply too poisonous to ignore.

  30. I was extroverted high function person, so maybe transparent. I was very social, geberally liked. A breakup caused a public alcohol fueled meltdown. After that it has been low functioning or alcohol fueled extroversion. Both alienated people around ne.

    Is that even possible?different

  31. I believe that I have BPD, but I’ve already suggested a few disorders that I may have to my therapist, but she didn’t believe me then, so I’m afraid she won’t believe me now. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, but the meds don’t help that much. I’ve heard about depression being diagnosed, then would have to be re-diagnosed as otherwise, which repeats and could go on for a long time without correct treatment, so I think that’s what has been happening to me. I thought I was bipolar, but it didn’t seem correct because the mood changes were over longer periods of time, so this makes way more sense. I think I have high functioning introverted BPD with slight extroverted tendencies. I’ll never break out in rage, and I’ll cry at night for hours, but I’ve thought that telling people of my depression was the only way of getting people to even just look in my direction. Mostly because that’s how I got through this school year.
    I know what you’re going to say, go to your therapist, but she probably won’t believe me, considering I’m just 14. I’ve done lots and lots of research, and I believe this is it.

    1. Hi Natalie,

      You should speak with a *different* therapist or see a diagnostic psychologist. Most therapists with a doctoral degree in psychology can identify a personality disorder. Initially, they might not give you a full diagnosis. Some therapists do not like to label patients with symptoms which overlap across different disorders. Others need to know you over several sessions. Few therapists will diagnose on day one.

      A diagnostic psychologist perform several tests, symptom surveys, inventories and interviews. This process is thorough but expensive. It is rarely covered by insurance in the USA. Even then, the psychologist will consult with your therapist regarding your disposition over recent visits.

      If necessary, you might get referred to a psychiatrist for medicine.

      Find a therapist who will listen to you. Occasionally therapists speak very objectively to relieve anxiety in patients. Ever visited a doctor for a bad cold? After suffering for a few days, you probably feel upset and anxious. Doctors won’t feed this anxiety. Rather they’ll act a little distant, be positive and say everything will be fine. 95% of the time, they’re right.

      Good luck and continue reaching out to everyone. Depression should never be ignored.

  32. I was diagnosed with BPD in 2005. I was diagnosed bipolar in 2003.
    Someone asked about differences between BPD and bipolar. The basic difference is INTENT. Here are a couple of examples:
    I would have sex multiple times per day. When manic, my sex drive was in hyper drive. When in BPD mode, I would have sex as often as my boyfriend wanted it- fear of abandonment.
    When manic, I thought I was literally indestructible…nothing could hurt me. (Charlie Sheen) This led to seriously reckless behaviour…mostly with sex, and driving. When in BPD mode, the sex and reckless driving were passive ways of trying to kill myself…or get myself killed.
    Depression has always been infused with BPD self loathing and guilt, even after a bout of mania. After a manic episode, depression consisted of being in bed, 24/7 for longer periods of time than BPD alone depressions.
    I hope this is useful….

  33. VERY rarely do I see anything on BPD that DOESNT CONTINUE TO STIGMATIZE IT.
    The VERY first thing you say in low-functioning borderlines is “these people will manipulate you.” Thats literally as far as I read, then I looked at the comments. The very first COMMENT I read of yours is recommending Stop Walking on Eggshells to someone, which is literally THE MOST STIGMATIZING BOOK ON BPD.
    Really?? Lets not teach loved ones of BPD sufferers to help UNDERSTAND them more; no, lets teach them how to “DEAL WITH” the BPD sufferer and how to “cope” with them. That is EXACTLY what that book is about. Its completely disgusting, absolutely pathetic and it is the saddest thing to see even all of these articles stigmatizing us so much. Absolutely shameful!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Savannah, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you found this article troubling, and mean that in an empathetic way.

      Many BPD individuals manipulate others. This is well established behavior and part of the growth process each person must work through. I wrote that in the context of those who use cutting, suicidal threats, etc. to influence the decision making of others, particularly family, partners and friends. In no way, shape or form is threatening self-harm a reasonable way to control someone else’s decisions, interests or motivations. It’s simply unacceptable and ultimately extremely risky for the BPD in the long run.

      Look deeper. Peel back the layers. Underneath the hurt, pain, rage and sadness is the answer. Some painful emotions are motivating that level of desperation, and it needs to be examined at the deepest levels. The problem with BPD is that it is extremely difficult to help people through their pain when they are holding everyone around them hostage under threat of injury or death. Marsha Linehan, the mother of DBT, stated all feelings have causes (paraphrased).

      What is causing someone to do that? It goes deeper than “this person doesn’t get me” or “my partner wants to leave me” or “someone pissed me off at work”.

      These are extreme examples. But they are occasionally what Non-BPDs experience and don’t understand, hence the Stop Walking on Eggshells suggestion. Yes, the Nons may not get you, me or others with BPD. But they are likely not the person, thing or idea you’re truly mad at. That’s why they come to this blog utterly devastated and confused by people they really love but can’t live with.

      BPDs often see themselves as victims, and this is rightly so: some 2/3s of female BPDS and a sizable percentage of males suffered abuse as children. That abuse was unacceptable, unwarranted and is NEVER the fault of someone with BPD. Nor is it a BPDs fault for getting BPD, it’s part environmental, part genetic.

      The feeling of not being in control, of being abused and treated at a sub-human level clouds the emotional and reasoning faculties of the BPD sufferer. As a result they see everyone as someone they need but can’t stand, someone they love but also fear, someone they hate but can’t be without.

      It’s not your fault Savannah and I hope you realize that. At the same time, I encourage you to really soul search and process the feelings inside. I wish you the best in your journey.

    2. I completely agree with you and had that feeling when I came to this thread for self help reading on BPD. Unfortunately that’s what we as BPD people have to deal with is that even fellow people with BPD or those who love us will view us in these ways without trying to understand WHY a BPD person feels a certain way. BPD people are very highly sensitive people and things that seems irrational to a normal person will with some explanation from the BPD person make sense. We are deeply effected by our environments and can even feel other people’s emotions. If we are in a desperate crisis we may resort to behaviors that are perceived as manipulative by someone who doesn’t understand. MANIPULATIVE IS NOT THE RIGHT WORD. Unfortunately I can’t clme up with one word. Maybe desperation. It is a feeling of desperation that the BPD person feels.

  34. That was a reply intended for Savanna’s post. The feeling of being upset at being treated as subhuman is something that people with disabilities of all kinds feel in this society. While it is true that this feeling can feel extreme in the person who is feeling it, they are not wrong or delusional for feeling it. Our feelings are very strong which can indirectly manipulate people’s emotions unintentionally and maybe intentionally for some I can’t speak for all

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