Many people with Borderline Personality Disorder share common traits with each other and while this blog post should in no way be treated as any kind of diagnostic material, it is interesting to see where the overlaps are and have some information about them. As we all know, every individual who suffers with BPD is unique and no two people should ever be lumped into one category. The characteristic personality markers say a lot about the disorder itself.
Living in an abuse cycle
Many people with BPD live in what is typically referred to as an “abusive cycle”. This means that the abuse they endure is not constant but ebbs and flows like the tide. This kind of cycling becomes familiar to the person which makes it even more difficult to break. Breaking the cycle, however, is pertinent to a BPD recovery.
Similarly, most people with BPD engage in what is termed “splitting” behaviour whereby they view other people in their life as either all good or all bad, not being able to see the grey parts. In fact, as nearly everyone who does not have BPD knows, the world is filled with grey and grey people. When they are splitting they will often use language which contains words like “always” or “never” when talking about things the other person does. This is fundamentally an untruth because people are simply not that consistent. No one always does something.
Alienation is a common feeling with BPD
Another common trait that people with BPD have is alienation. They will cut off relationships with other people in their lives when they are angry and “splitting”. This is extremely hurtful behaviour and can lead to the long-term destruction of interpersonal relationships.
Additionally, people with BPD have extreme difficulty with angry feelings. They have trouble regulating their anger and talking about it and so they will often engage in acting out behaviour and displacing their anger onto others or different things. Here is a link to help you deal with someone who has anger issues.
It is also common for people with BPD to blame other people for their problems. This is another example of “projecting”. Projecting or blaming other people is one of the best ways to avoid having to take responsibility for your own actions or feelings.
The behaviour I used to engage in on a regular basis was catastrophizing. It is still something I have to guard against on a regular basis. This behaviour occurs when your brain tells you that something bad is going to happen. It doesn’t matter how irrational the thought may be, you are utterly convinced that it will happen and it frightens you.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a highly complex personality disorder. People who live with someone with BPD can often feel like they are losing their own grip on reality because of the many mood swings and different behaviours which may be exhibited on a daily basis. There is help for the disorder and for the people who live with it as well. If someone you love suffers from BPD find a support group and GO! In Toronto, you can find support groups at this link. If you live in the United States, check this link for a free group.