Borderline Personality Disorder – Can You Spot The Signs?

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by pixabay

NIH estimates that nearly 10% of Americans have Borderline Personality Disorder and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which represent around 23 million people in the United States alone. So it is quite likely that you have come in contact with people with borderline personality disorder, yet never realised it.

Unlike sociopaths, who fit into one of the more commonly known personality disorders, borderline personality disorder still remains somewhat under the radar. Instead, you may have been left feeling confused or affected by a person's unreasonable behaviour – especially, if you are unaware of how this mental disorder works.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Often times, people with personality disorders are hesitant to consult with a mental health professional to get the diagnosis and help that they may need. As such, they are unable to recognise how their behaviour and emotions impact upon those around them. So for those dealing with loved ones with borderline personality disorder, life can be stressful, perplexing, and full of conflict.

Those affected by the disorder are frequently insulting, experience regular bouts of rage, and make seemingly unfair and unreasonable accusations. Furthermore, you may have discovered that by reacting in a defensive way, or trying to make them see your side, only served to escalate their fury and angst. Simply, the wiring of their brain makes it almost impossible for them to see someone else’s perspective or to have empathy with that person.

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by pixabay

Here are the symptoms to look for, if you suspect someone may have borderline personality disorder.

  • Chronic fear of rejection or abandonment. They can lash out quite badly if they feel as though are losing hold of someone they are close to
  • Impulsive and risky behaviours such as drug-taking, gambling, unsafe sex, binge drinking and going on spending sprees
  • Inability to empathise with others
  • Intense mood swings that go from highs to lows
  • Severe rage and anxiety issues. This could lead to screaming, and breaking or throwing things
  • Unable to have stable relationships. Whether romantic or platonic, relationships can be difficult to maintain as they tend to verge from feeling that person is perfect, to harbouring an extreme hatred for the person. This, coupled with their anger, mood swings and unreasonable thinking, puts stress on new relationships
  • Acute suspicion and paranoia. They often over-analyse other people’s motives and accuse them of things that can even seem so unreasonable, it seems as though they have lost touch with reality. These episodes are known as “disassociation
  • A persistent feeling of emptiness
  • Thoughts of self-harm and indications of suicidal behaviour

Studies suggest that borderline personality disorder may be resultant of genetics or of an unstable childhood. In essence, the brains of sufferers operate mostly in a high alert mode which consequently can bypass their rational brain’s processes.

At present, there is no known cure for borderline personality disorder nor are there any FDA approved drugs to treat it. There are, however, medicines that may assist with other issues such as anxiety, moods, and depression.

Psychotherapy could potentially assist in improving rational thought and managing emotions, although any personality disorder is quite challenging to combat – even with professional help.

Do you suspect you may be dating a sociopath? Check out the signs in my article here to find out if you are!