Are you in love with someone who has a borderline personality disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness marked by unstable emotions and behavior. An individual suffering from BPD will have extreme difficulty functioning in successful relationships due to their stormy outbursts and illogical thoughts.
Borderline Personality Disorder can develop in varying degrees, some cases far more severe than others. You may be wondering if your partner’s outbursts indicate a serious issue or merely signify the occasional mood swing. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the indicators of BPD, in order to identify which symptoms are present in your partner.
Six Indicators of Borderline Personality Disorder
1. Aggressive Tendencies
A person suffering from BPD is unable to regulate their beliefs and emotions. In the blink of an eye, your partner will go from satisfied to fuming with rage, sometimes for no observable reason. These bursts of aggression can either be displayed inwardly or outwardly. Inward aggression is categorized by self-injury or threats of suicide. Outward aggression is categorized by verbal or physical abuse directed at a partner, family member, or friend.
2. Distorted Perceptions
Unlike gaslighting, which is caused by a person’s inability to empathize with others, people suffering from BPD do not lack empathy completely. However, the severity of their own emotions overpowers their ability to understand the emotions of others. The individual finds extreme difficulty in acknowledging their partner’s perspective, causing distorted perceptions. If someone attempts to point out an inappropriate behavior, your partner will respond with defensive anger, refusing to accept blame.
3. Black or White Thinking
Black or white thinking, also known as splitting, is a common habit of someone suffering from BPD. People with BPD unconsciously “split” themselves and others into two separate categories. They alternate between believing something to be either good or bad, never a combination of both traits. This can be exemplified by your partner exclaiming “I love you more than anything,” to the next day insisting, “I absolutely hate you.” Your partner will focus on the extremes, rarely attempting to find the middle ground.
4. Indecisive Attitudes Towards Relationships
A person suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder has an overwhelming fear of abandonment. They will attempt to gain control of the relationship by any means necessary. However, if a person with BPD holds too much control in the relationship, they will begin to distance themselves from you. It’s a never-ending cycle; your partner pulls you closer to gain control, consequently pushing you away if they feel you are too close to them.
5. Impulsive Behavior
Your partner frequently engages in reckless behavior that puts themselves in harm’s way. This includes substance abuse, unprotected sexual activity, or excess spending. They will impulsively cut ties with friends, family, and partners for what seems to be trivial or non-existent reasons. They instigate a fight with you and lash out with hurtful words, rarely pausing to think about the consequences of their actions.
6. Accompanied Mental Illness
Many people suffering from BPD also experience additional mental illnesses such as depression, addiction, or eating disorders. Your partner may enter a depressive state that causes sadness and isolation for periods lasting hours or days. They remark on feelings of emptiness or boredom, resulting in frequent alterations to their life path and career goals.