Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complicated psychiatric disorder that is more commonly diagnosed in women. This may be the result of genetics or because women are more likely to seek a diagnosis for their symptoms.
But just because females are more likely to get a BPD diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that males aren’t at risk for developing the disorder. Research shows that men may develop BPD just as often as women, but are more likely to be diagnosed with another psychiatric disorder, such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder.
BPD Symptoms in Males
Borderline Personality Disorder often presents itself with unpredictable mood swings and violent behaviors, things you may shrug away as male behavior. If you are wondering if your son has BPD, here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Unstable relationships: People with Borderline Personality Disorder have a difficult time maintaining any type of interpersonal relationship. They often see situations as completely black-and-white, and have a tendency to idolize and devaluate the same person within the span of a few hours. If you notice that your son can’t seem to maintain healthy relationships with friends, girlfriends, or employers, this may be an indication of BPD.
- Impulsive behavior: BPD is often associated with impulsive behaviors, such as reckless driving and drinking. Younger individuals, however, are more likely to express this trait in the form of rebellion. They might run away from home or engage in sex with multiple partners. No matter the age of your son, keep an eye out for unhealthy impulsive behaviors that your son is engaging in.
- Identity crisis: People struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder often have identity issues and issues with self-esteem. It can be hard for them to figure out who they are and what they are supposed to do in life. While these may be considered normal questions to have during your teenage years, if it persists into adulthood and is impacting your son’s ability to become independent, this may be a sign of BPD.
- Feeling empty: Depression and hopelessness are common among people with Borderline Personality Disorder. Take note if your son is constantly feeling depressed, unmotivated, unfocused, or unhappy, and has no interest in participating in activities he once enjoyed. This may be a sign of depression, or a symptom of BPD.
- Self-harm: People with Borderline Personality Disorder often engage in self-harm. This can show up in the form of cutting, burning, or hitting themselves, as well as various other self-harmful behaviors. If your son is engaging in any type of self-harmful behavior, whether or not BPD is present, get help immediately before something life-threatening occurs.
Get Professional BPD Treatment
Of course, even if you recognize these signs of Borderline Personality Disorder in your son, the only way to get a true diagnosis is through a mental health professional. Many of the signs of BPD can be symptomatic of something else, or behavioral issues that need to be addressed.
Once you do get an official BPD diagnosis, your son will likely need Borderline Personality Disorder treatment to make a complete recovery from his symptoms. Find a BPD treatment center that uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which has been found to be the most effective treatment for BPD, along with other evidence-based therapies.
BPD treatment will include individual and group therapy to address all of your son’s symptoms and any co-occurring disorders. Depending on your son’s individual needs, he will enter a residential, day, or outpatient BPD treatment center.
If you have any questions about BPD treatment or diagnosis, contact a BPD treatment center to be connected with a BPD professional.