Are you dating a man with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? BPD is diagnosed far more frequently in women than in men, which may give the false impression that it occurs far more frequently in women. In fact, men are less likely to seek BPD treatment and, when they do, are more likely to be misdiagnosed and ineffectively treated as a result.
Due to this disparity, most BPD literature focuses primarily on how the disorder manifests in women. With men, there are some important differences in how the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are both acted out and interpreted by others, and you may not even realize that your boyfriend is displaying symptoms of BPD.
While an official diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder is always recommended, here are some signs that your boyfriend might have BPD.
Fear of Abandonment
The underlying issue in people with Borderline Personality Disorder is the same for men and women: a fear of abandonment, often caused by abuse or neglect experienced in childhood. In the beginning of your love relationship, your boyfriend may have made you feel that you had finally found a man who didn’t fear commitment and appreciated you for the wonderful woman that you are. He might have presented himself as sensitive, loving, and extremely attentive.
However, when he felt confident that he “had” you, his behavior may have changed drastically and suddenly the honeymoon and romance were replaced by constant conflict. Fear of abandonment is the root cause of him pushing you away: because he is sure you will leave him, he may feel the need to criticize and reject you. While he likely has strong feelings for you, his innate fear of abandonment may keep your relationship from progressing unless he gets BPD treatment.
People with Borderline Personality Disorder may have outbursts of intense anger. Displays of aggression are interpreted in men differently from how they are perceived in women. When men rage, it is generally seen to be more acceptable than expressing the fear, depression, or insecurity they may actually be feeling.
Men are also more likely to express rage physically than women are. Even if your boyfriend doesn’t lay a hand on you (and let’s be clear that men with BPD do sometimes abuse their partners physically), if he acts out physically in other ways such as punching walls or kicking things when he is angry, this is a sign that his “anger issues” may be indicative of something far more complex.
Addictions and substance abuse have been shown to be more prevalent in men with Borderline Personality Disorder than in women. Compulsive behaviors such as sex addiction and gambling may also be present along with other signs of Borderline Personality Disorder.
While compulsive behaviors are often problems on their own, they may be a sign of a more complex psychiatric disorder such as Borderline Personality Disorder.
There is something to be said for intuition as well. If you feel in your gut that something is very “off’ with your relationship and the ways your boyfriend reacts to seemingly benign incidents, trust those feelings and explore the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder further.Readingthrough a full description of BPD symptoms will surely ring bells if your boyfriend is suffering from it.