Among clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) has a set number of diagnostic criteria. These include issues with abandonment, unstable interpersonal relationships, unstable self-image, impulsive behavior, suicidal behavior, mood swings, and feelings of emptiness, inappropriate anger, and paranoia.
But what does this look like in real life? How can you tell if you or someone you know might have Borderline Personality Disorder? Take a look at some of the common traits below and talk to a treatment professional if you suspect that BPD might be causing them.
Lies, Lies – All Lies!
If you have Borderline Personality Disorder, you might have been called evil or manipulative in your lifetime. In an article for the American Psychological Association, Dr. Patricia Hoffman Judd said that’s because people are often quick to moralize the behavior of people with BPD.
If you have BPD, you may have noticed that asking for something that you want or need is incredibly anxiety-provoking. You learn to avoid anxiety at all costs by instead becoming passive-aggressive, telling small lies, or emotionally manipulating others. The more you obtain results with these behaviors, the more you use them.
It’s a Family Affair
For years, researchers have assumed that Borderline Personality Disorder started in the family. Abusive or neglectful parents were thought to be behind most cases of BPD. Now, research is suggesting that genetics may play a role in the manifestation of BPD, although your childhood environment might have something to do with whether or not these genes are expressed.
Nonetheless, as you go through life with Borderline Personality Disorder, you may recreate relationships you once had with close family. If you didn’t trust your family members, then you may have a very difficult time trusting others. You may even have a difficult time trusting yourself. Coincidentally, this ties back into a person with BPD’s tendency to lie – a fundamental distrust that needs will be respected and met.
Hot and Cold
Mood swings are no stranger to people with Borderline Personality Disorder. You might feel elated one minute but inconsolably depressed the next.
These feelings are generally in reaction to an outside event. For instance, you may be criticized at work, and immediately hold a grudge against the person who criticized you. Then you may make plans to leave your job, or in some other way sabotage your place of business. These thoughts might consume you even after you leave work, leading you to inform friends and family that you will leave your job. However, if you are offered a perk or some praise the following day, you may enjoy working for your company again.
If you find that people, things, and ideas are either in a “good” column or “bad” column, then you might have BPD.
Have you been working on a trait or skill and just can’t seem to get anywhere with it? Maybe you’ve been trying to clean your house on a regular basis, show up on time for appointments, or control your anger toward your kids. But no matter how many reminders you leave yourself or how many self-help books you have read, you just can’t seem to change your behavior.
If you have Borderline Personality Disorder, you might think that you are internally and irreparably flawed. With this unconscious thought in mind, your brain may come up with ways to defeat even your best efforts of improving yourself.
If you exhibit any of the traits above, you may have Borderline Personality Disorder, and there is effective BPD treatment that can help you to control your behaviors and live your life to the fullest.