When Your Loved One Has Borderline Personality Disorder
People with borderline personality often have romantic relationships that are chaotic, intense, and conflict-laden. See how BPD can affect. “It's hard being in a relationship with someone who suffers from BPD. But if you' re dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, it is. WebMD looks at borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder, which are often They often have chaotic relationships with people.
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. 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: I must be loved by all the important people in my life at all times or else I am worthless.
Nobody cares about me as much as I care about them, so I always lose everyone I care about—despite the desperate things I try to do to stop them from leaving me.
If someone treats me badly, then I become bad.
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When I am alone, I become nobody and nothing. These thoughts may be completely at odds with your own perception of your partner, but it is imperative to understand that for them, they are very real, and can drive them toward extreme and seemingly irrational behavior. Navigating through this emotional minefield can be difficult and painful for both of you, but knowing that their thoughts and behaviors are the product of intensely powerful perceptional distortions deeply rooted in their mental health disorder, rather than a reflection of your own shortcomings, can bring some comfort.
For Thomas, educating himself about BPD helped him move from self-blame to empathy and compassion: There are a lot of nuances, complexities, and lines to be read through with BPD, but mostly I see Borderline Personality Disorder as an illness about pain, fear, and struggling to cope with all of that.
But the common conception is just [that they are] crazy, which is an extraordinarily damaging misconception to those who suffer from it. The pain and terror of abandonment and feeling unwanted can be so great that suicide feels like a better choice.
The relationship between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder
If you like drama, excitement, and intensity, enjoy the ride, because things will never be calm. Following a passionate beginning, expect a stormy relationship that includes accusations and anger, jealousy, bullying, control, and breakups due to the insecurity of the person with BPD.
Nothing is gray or gradual. For people with BPD, things are black and white.
Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder Dual Diagnosis
They have the quintessential Jekyll and Hyde personality. They fluctuate dramatically between idealizing and devaluing you and may suddenly and sporadically shift throughout the day. You never know what or whom to expect. They can be vindictive and punish you with words, silence, or other manipulations, which can be very destructive to your self-esteem.
Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
What you see is their norm. Their emotions, behavior, and unstable relationships, including work history, reflect a fragile, shame-based self-image.
This is often marked by sudden shifts, sometimes to the extent that they feel nonexistent. For them, trust is always an issue, often leading to distortions of reality and paranoia.Bipolar, Borderline or Both? Diagnostic/Formulation Issues in Mood and Personality Disorders
They may try to bait you into anger, then falsely accuse you of rejecting them, make you doubt reality and your sanity, or even brainwash you as emotional manipulation. It is not unusual for them to cut off friends and relatives who they feel have betrayed them.
They react to their profound fears of abandonment with needy and clingy behavior or anger and fury that reflect their own skewed reality and self-image.
In a close relationship, they must walk a tightrope to balance the fear of being alone or of being too close. To do so, they try to control with commands or manipulation, including flattery and seduction. Whereas narcissists enjoy being understood, too much understanding frightens the borderline.
Generally, borderlines are codependent, and find another codependent to merge with and to help them. They seek someone to provide stability and balance their changeable emotions.
A codependent or narcissist who acts self-sufficient and controls his or her feelings can provide a perfect match. The person with BPD may appear to be the underdog in the relationship, while his or her partner is the steady, needless and caretaking top dog. They each exercise control in different ways. The non-BPD may do it through caretaking.
Passion and intense emotions are enlivening to the person without BPD, who finds being alone depressing or experiences healthy people as boring. Codependents already have low self-esteem and poor boundaries, so they placate, accommodate, and apologize when attacked in order to maintain the emotional connection in the relationship.
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.