Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
Most people first encounter borderline personality disorder (BPD) on screen: It's the condition behind Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction. A woman living with bipolar disorder discusses why people are wrong about What People Get Wrong About Dating With Bipolar or Borderline. Many of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder overlap, particularly with type 1 bipolar disorder.
Begin Your Recovery Journey. Struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder? We're Here to Help. Email Us Passion and Fear in BPD Relationships Borderline Personality Disorder is a chronic and complex mental health disorder marked by instability, and interpersonal relationships are often the stage on which this instability plays out. Barbara Greenberga clinical psychologist who treats patients with BPD, explains: Often, this emptiness and intense fear of abandonment are the result of early childhood trauma and the absence of secure, healthy attachments in the vital formative years.
Paradoxically, the overwhelming fear manifests in behaviors that deeply disrupt the relationship and pushes partners away rather than pulls them closer, resulting in a stormy and tumultuous dynamic that typically emerges in the early days of dating.
When they are in relationships they get very intensely involved way too quickly.
Dual Diagnosis: Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder
But then what comes along with it, a couple of weeks later, is: Everything is done with passion, but it goes from being very happy and passionate to very disappointed and rageful. Prior to her diagnosis, her boyfriend, Thomas, used to blame himself for her hot and cold behavior.
Although each person has their own unique experience, these are some common thought patterns people with BPD tend to have: Your doctor will also consider your mental health history. Often, this can provide insight that can help distinguish one disorder from the other.
For example, both bipolar and BPD tend to run in families. The treatments of bipolar disorder and BPD are different because each disorder causes different symptoms.
Bipolar disorder requires several types of treatment, including: Medication can include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications. Examples include talk, family, or group therapy. This may include electroconvulsive therapy ECT. If insomnia is a symptom, your doctor may prescribe sleep medications.
BPD is primarily treated with talk therapy — the same type of therapy that can help treat bipolar disorder. But your doctor may also suggest: Sometimes medication can worsen symptoms, especially suicidal tendencies. But sometimes a doctor might recommend medications to treat specific symptoms, such as mood swings or depression.
What It’s Like to Date Someone With Bipolar or Borderline | The Mighty
Hospitalization may be necessary in treating people with both disorders. The manic episodes that go along with bipolar disorder combined with the suicidal tendencies sparked by BPD may cause a person to attempt to take their life. Setting a boundary can sometimes snap them out of their delusional thinking.
Calling their bluff also is helpful. Both strategies require that you build his or her self-esteem, learn to be assertive, and derive outside emotional support. Giving in to them and giving them control does not make them feel more safe, but the opposite. See also my blog on manipulation. BPD affects women more than men and about two percent of the U. BPD usually is diagnosed in young adulthood when there has been a pattern of impulsivity and instability in relationships, self-image, and emotions.
They may use alcohol, food, or drugs or other addiction to try to self-medicate their pain, but it only exacerbates it. Like all personality disorders, BPD exists on a continuum, from mild to severe. To diagnose BPD, at least five of the following symptoms must be enduring and present in a variety of areas: Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Unstable and intense personal relationships, marked by alternating idealization and devaluation. Persistently unstable sense of self.
Risky, potentially self-damaging impulsivity in at least two areas e. Around eight to 10 percent actually commit suicide. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
Frequent, intense, inappropriate temper or anger. Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms. The cause of BPD is not clearly known, but often there has been neglect, abandonment, or abuse in childhood and possibly genetic factors. Research has shown brain changes in the ability to regulate emotions.