Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderAnger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
~Mark Twain

We are a psychologically sophisticated society. Emotional difficulties are now shared openly — not only by celebrities but by your average person. It’s not unusual for people to tell friends that they have an anxiety disorder, anger management problem, depression, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorder, substance abuse problem, OCD or ADD.

Yet, there is a widespread psychological disorder that most people know little or nothing about. Why? Because its symptoms are largely interpersonal, causing many to view it as a relationship issue, not a mental health one. Also, people shy away from the term because of its unflattering name: Borderline Personality Disorder.

135 Comments to
Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

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  1. When I was finally diagnosed with borderline diagnosis it put me on the path to getting the help I so desperately needed – dialectical behaviour therapy & schema therapy have proved very helpful. Sad that there is such a stigma attached to having BPD, even amongst some mental health staff on acute wards. Ignorance and fear fuel the impression that we are potentially dangerous, attention-seeking, histrionic…

    • My life long best friend suffers from BPD, she has most of the traits pointed out in this article but has never been violent or abusive to anyone but can be very manipulating. We joked for years she was attention seeking drama queen. But there is so much more than that. She makes very poor choices that affect not only her but everyone around her for what seems like very selfish reasons. She thrives on crazy, when things are good in her life she creates drama, poor choices in men, baby after baby and lies to cover up lies. It is very difficult to stay supportive when I watch her self-destruct, I have had to Distance myself from being sucked into the drama she creates. I at times have felt responsible because i knew she was lying or or hating on people for no reason but to make her feel batter or get what she wants. Everything is everyone else’s fault never hers. It truly is sad to watch. She doesn’t get help because she feels she is controlling it.

    • I thought I knew my this man (my friend) of four years; although I hadn’t spent much time with him until recently. What an emotionally abusive, developmentally arrested and mercurial tempered man. Extraordinary Oncologist but his personal life is peculiar – at best. I don’t think he passed 11 or 14 years of age for some reason.
      I’m not a hundred percent myself, but at least I sought help for my problems. At the end of the day we as adults are to be held accountable for our actions. And I told him so. He has a sweetness to him that makes me stay -albeit at a distance – that leads me to believe he’s not really an Ahole, but is in pain. He’s in his mid 50′s now and cultivates an enabling and emotionally abusive relationship. That’s his problem though. I have all I can do to take care of myself, and these people (mother, father, included) are emotional leeches. But like I say, there’s some real pain there, so if I can help, by just being a friend, then I will. He fears abandonment and craves isolation; that’s fine. I’m not judging, but I have no sympathy, time or loyalty to those who are too special to attempt to be decent. “Do unto to others as you would have t hem do unto you” Or get lost.

    • Oh, yes to DBT! Don’t rescue and enable the BPD; let them hurt enough to get help. If there’s no money or ind for therapy, check out the wonderful dbtselfhelp.com, or Marsha Lineham’s own website.

      BPD’s don’t know why everything is hard and everything hurts. Many are doing the best they can. They know their best efforts only bring failure and drive people away. It’s a nightmare. Learning to Refrain and finding the middle ground in Black or White thought patterns remaps the brain away from the too-quick amygdala and out to the reasoning parts of the brain. Problems become right-sized and solvable.

      The findings on Neuroplasticity refute the “death sentence” earlier diagnoses gave BPD. People can have a whole new life, free of suffering.

    • My wife is borderline and severe. She became catatonic. She confessed to murdering her 2nd husband with enough detail to place her at the scene of his death which was ruled accidental overdose and she was near him the day he died. He had thought she was getting a large inheritance but he had just changed his beneficiaries. She was a nurse and said she was very good at snowing patients who were near death and that how she did her X. Not certain she did it but she was convincing enough to make me report it to police and her psychiatrist. She held butcher knife to my chest daring me to move. Placed glass in my bed and huge shards of glass where she knows I am going to walk which a care giver noticed and alerted me about. She poisoned my medication with a chemical and a police woman tipped me off after she was hospitalized for cutting on her arms. She is fascinated with guns and watches the advertisements. Her son had a gun and she fixated on it right away sending him in he back yard after a “stranger” and when i went out one night and she was alone she texted me that she was waiting for me with the gun then called police to report a man on the porch to set up the scene for a shooting. The gun was actually locked up when she went to get it and its gone from the house now! My point….saying that people with BPD are unfairly suspected of being dangerous is a big mistake! My wife may have never harmed anyone and just fantasized about killing her X in great detail but the knife she held to me was real the glass was real and the poisoned medication was real the threats were recorded and if i die for any reason there will be an inquiry for certain. Her X brother in law’s wife died under mysterious conditions 3 days before a final divorce. Her best friend is borderline and her husband died in a hospital they suspect from too much pain medicine leaving her millions in settlement money. 2 Autopsies failed to reveal exact cause and the evidence disappeared along with the samples. She has a secret “Plan” with my wife according to an intercepted email for starting a business together except I am alive and that’s a problem! Maybe you think i am paranoid but i have said nothing that is not documented and safe should I meet an untimely demise. The real question for me is at what point do i throw in the towel?

      • =( That is really scary. I hope you can divorce her and escape that. My husband’s ex wife is borderline and she still stalks us sometimes.

      • She sounds 100 percent psychotic, not borderline.

  2. You make it sound like we with BPD don’t know we are hurting those around us. Those who don’t see they have a problem and are not self aware, maybe, but if I explode in anger its because I’m in emotional pain I was never taught how to express my emotions in an emotionally mature way. I hurt when I explode and I hurt ten fold after for verbally hurting someone. I don’t feel righteously angry, I feel scared, overwhelmed, confused, which translates into anger, the only emotion that comes out. I can’t stand it. Also, your version of the criteria is very judgmental and not exactly correct. Its good to get the message out, but this post made me feel hated and judged. I am doing all I can to manage this horrible illness which is entirely misunderstood. Us BPDs live in a world of torment that we do not wish to have. We hold on to the hope that one day we won’t suffer so much and be able to respond appropriate and be useful people in society. Most of us don’t mean any harm, we are scared, suffering people who just want to be loved… even though we are, we struggle to believe it because we don’t believe we are worthy of love.

    • Polly and Who Cares,
      I am the author of the article. Thank you for sharing your perspectives. It’s helpful to hear from those who suffer from BPD, even though this article was oriented toward the friends and family of someone with the illness.

      • I agree that this article is riddled with misinformation, as well as being condescending and stigmatizing. Ignoring respondent’s feedback because the article “was not meant for them” is beyond ridiculous, because you are specifically writing an article ABOUT them – you are pretending to be the expert of something which you are clearly not. You are not the expert of those who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, any more than I am. I am, however, an expert of myself and I live with experience of being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

        The spread of stigmatizing language and discourse is rampant around this diagnosis and I am sincerely disappointed that its marginalization is being perpetuated on a website that reaches thousands each day. What do we expect people to think or how to we expect people to react when they read BPD from this perspective of a problem of simply of conflict and anger? That “borderlines” are highly critical? Says who? Show me your peer-reviewed research that includes the voices of those actually diagnosed with the disorder.

        Even using the image of a woman screaming as the layout of the article is offensive. Also ignored is the gendered nature of this diagnosis as females are overrepresented in those diagnosed and this can be associated with the social construction of gender roles.
        And least, but not last, addressing those with the diagnosis as “borderlines” equates their entire existence to a diagnosis that is questionable at best considering the background of the DSM and its lack of client/consumer input.

        I am saddened and disappointed that in 2013 we are still seeing articles written using such a stigmatizing discourse.

      • Dr Sapadin,

        I’m currently in pretty intensive therapy (DBT based) for BPD, and I can’t really recall too many episodes of “exploding in anger” or harshly judging those I love really ever. My behaviors are very much self-directed – a lot of self harm – and if anything, my relationships are marred by an inability to speak up for myself and a tendency to trust untrustworthy people. Does this mean I’m misdiagnosed? I don’t think so. I think your definition and explanation of BPD is flawed and skewed toward the dramatic. While we BP’s seem to feel emotions more intensely and have a more difficult time than “regular” people in returning to normal after experiencing that intensity, there are a wide range of behaviors that correspond to that. We’re not just the scary people with the big emotions. If I were a spouse or loved one of a Borderline, your article would make me very much disinclined to hang in there. The portrait you paint of life with BPD is a grim, stereotypical one.

      • Dr Sapadin, my friend is in her 50s and I’m in my 40s.I’ve had an extremely sheltered life and when I met her at the most vulnerable, due to being on my own.I suffer from PTSD form childhood abuse which she also endured.I think however she has bpd.At beginning of our friendship and for a long time expressed great love for me ,she was open,kind, loving and apologized if she hurt me. I have showered her with love and have given up much to look after her these past 2 yrs. She has slowly turned nasty and indifferent to me and to be in her company is torture.She has subjected me to such casual cruelty and to try and talk about it she’s developed such bizarre self denial blame me language. She made me so sick one time I was hospitalized and suicidal. She did nothing and blamed me . I went back and apologized to her!! which made me more sick until I finally ended our friendship.I am very sick again and no response again .I know I will loose my mind over this or kill myself as each day I feel more disturbed .Please can you tell me what happend !! Did she ever love me? Could she still love me and be so savage ? Please help!

      • Dr. Sapadin…Thank you for your article. It is very good. You are right on with the description of what BPD is all about. For those patients who were upset by what you said, they have no idea what the other side is like. I have a sibling with BPD, and the last several years, have been a huge roller coaster ride. As long as things are going the way the BPD’er thinks it should, then all is fine, but when the tides turn, and you disagree then it is a different story completely. The “I want you in my life”, then after a while comes the “pushing you away” this is very frustrating. They will also gravitate to a new relationship, with someone that will agree with them. Those with BPD are afraid of abandonment, yet they seem to work overtime at making that happen, so they can blame the other person in the relationship for walking away. Thank you for getting the truth out.

      • Dr. Sapadin-
        I have a friend who suffers from BPD and he tries so hard to get help. The biggest struggle is finding a Dr. that is able to help him in our area. Are there suggestions that you have to finding a Dr that could help with this? I am desperate at this point. Thanks.

    • Your rant just proved everything people experience with borderlines. Self-righteous pity. Boo hoo. Borderlines are evil. The best advice I could ever give to somebody who encounters one is…RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! It will cost you your money, independence, and possibly, your sanity.

      • I can tell you handled your relationship with someone with BPD the same way you responded to this article; insensitively, judgmentally, critical selfishly, ignorantly and without tact. BPD or not you deserve what was handed to you if this is how you respond to an ILLNESS.

      • I have lived with my own brother who suffers from BPD for all of my life. He has had 3 divorces, cheated on every single one of them and has 4 kids all from different moms. Although I love him, I don’t believe a damn thing that comes out of his mouth. He’s also a pill popper thanks to the Doctors! My first NEW boyfriend who I just discovered has it, exploded and threatened me for me telling him, “I don’t have time right now babe. I’m working.” He went A Wall. I thought he was going to stalk and haunt me for the rest of my life! The next day he was completely different as if nothing had ever happened. I thought to myself, “Are you kidding me? Does he NOT remember the hurtful things he said to me?” Screw that! I dumped him in a FLASH and continued to work and study. I don’t need a man that bad! He asked me for money all the time too! He didn’t even know how to take a joke! My advice for living or engaging with someone like that is to RUN!!! RUN!!! RUN!!! And the one’s who just deal with them, that’s your problem. YOU LIVE IN TURMOIL for the rest of your life. It doesn’t mean we have to! They’re also really great LIARS!!!!

      • Some of these comments are very bitter and ‘tarnished’.I would suggest this may be due to the unfortunate experience of choosing ‘bad company’. It sounds as though some of these individuals may just be ‘not very nice people’ and NOT good ‘examples’ of people with a genuine BPD diagnosis. I would suggest that many of those with a BPD diagnosis are diagnosed because they are in turmoil as a result of what might be considered a ‘shortcoming’. If someone has behavioural problems and does not ‘care’ about it I would suggest their issue is NOT BPD, it may be they are just ‘not very nice’. There is a difference!

      • Thanks Depthtested. I wonder if you would mind if I corresponded with a bit, as your reply made so much sense to me. I am a woman coming out of a relationship with a BPD and would love to share perspectives. I find counselling enormous expensive here in Australia ($440.00 first visit! This is to talk background talk endlessly. Though the next visits are less, I can’t help thinking it is better to just have a fee things of my chest with someone who understands practically what happened. I’d appreciate your reply. eoliver39@gmail.com. Best wishes ‘Stella

      • While not the most sensitive comment it’s very accurate. As someone dealing with a very violent charming bpd who I have children with. I can tell you that when she is normal we have the best time but when she gets upset for any little thing ww3 breaks out. It’s so true you will never come up in life no matter how much money you make. Your Dreams will be shattered, your children will be emotionally scarred you will want to die.

      • I totally agree.. If my partner accepted it and wanted help, I’d stand by him all of the way. But being in love with a BPD in denial has left me physically, emotionally, and financially drained.

    • Thank you for saying that. I know what you mean. I’m sick of feeling like i’m only out to get the one’s i love. It paints a picture like were selfish and i’m so not im so selfless. I just wanted to be loved and not left.

      • Love is a two way street. I am very tired of those who DEMAND understanding, love, etc. , asking everyone to understand and cater to their illness but making little to no attempt to rein in their own behavior. Your suffering does not give you the right to impose abuse on others. I have finally come to see that this “disease” is really all about clinical narcissism. The intense navel gazing leads them to never really see other people with thoughts and emotions, only their own “pain”. After years of dealing with this, we as a family have decided to leave her to face the consequences of her choices. Lest you say it was somehow our lack of parenting skills that somehow caused this, we have two other delightful, loving responsible adult children who are sad about this but have decided to be kind to her, but at a distance so she doesn’t destroy their lives. I recently read a blog written by a BPDer that was filled with what everyone dealing with them shouldn’t do. A person would have to be God to follow their maxims, as it took someone beyond human to do it. The blog was actually very belittling of anyone who didn’t get how to talk to a BPDer. Funny that we are so afraid to call evil and malicious behavior exactly what it is. Maybe Hitler and Stalin just had borderline personality disorder?

    • I hate seeing BPD people comment on all these articles about awful and judgmental the articles are. It’s just another example of how people with BPD are self-involved. I’ve had 3 family members, 1 friend, and a boyfriend who’ve had BPD. It’s so infuriating and hurtful watching them be mean and self-destructive and then act like it’s MY fault. Yes you have a psychological illness. But stop blaming everyone else and accept responsibility!!

      • Yes, Yes, Yes! My GF now 52 could be the centerfold for BPD Monthly. Over the 3 plus years we dated break up fights happened at least 30 times. All her doing and demands, devaluations, demeaning, and discursively. She would rarely, closer never ever-never admit she was wrong, actually change the subject to examples of what she thought I had done not to her liking or approved or even created by her imagination, created, stored, always available to be brought up time and time again. I will give an example following this which I have done on a phone.

    • Thank you.. it is nice to see someone understands . I hurt more for the pain I cause my loved ones. I wish they would just let me go. They get mad and say I am disrespectful for saying it but the way I see it.. it would be easier to have me gone than to always hurting people and not being who they want me to be

    • BPD may be a reason or explanation why we act a certain way. It is *never* an excuse.

      We all “want to be loved”. But–illness or not, we all need to learn how the world works.

      1. Nobody owes us anything.
      3. Love is a gift of others’ free will, not coerced.
      2. We cannot expect to be loved when we act unlovable.

      • You’re talking about something you obviously know nothing about.

  3. I find this article to be extremely condescending towards those with BPD. Your statement, “If you’re motivated to change” pretty much insinuates that the behaviours are a choice – this is a mental illness that causes the behaviours, not a choice.

    You also make them sound like very angry people. I’ve had clients come in that had seen other therapists or psychiatrists whose main focus was anger management. They don’t need anger management, they need people to treat them with empathy and compassion so their frustration levels don’t escalate.

    My daughter suffered with BPD for seven years before she took her life. I have counselled a few BPD clients. The one belief they all carried is, “I am a monster” – so they are well aware of their behaviours and believe that they are unloveable.

    The sad fact is that psychotherapy is marginally helpful (with DBT being the most successful) and medication rarely touches this illness. Group therapy can be beneficial so that they don’t feel so alone with their illness. Fortunately, the disorder usually goes into remission somewhere in the 30′s, but keep in mind that they then have to struggle to achieve goals that may have been delayed because of the illness.

    How does one really live with somebody with BPD? Let go of your ego (this avoids unnecessary arguments), be loving (even though it may be rejected), be aware that you are dealing with a very sensitive person, respect their physical boundaries, show empathy and compassion, set your own boundaries; and, yes, I agree: keep your word.

    • this was so beautifully put thank you.
      BP- sufferer

    • Thank you for your kind words. I am motivated by hope. :)

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I was diagnosed with BPD, but my dr wouldn’t tell me what my diagnosis was because she felt I couldn’t handle it-her words. It was only in reading papers filed for my disability, three years later that I learned what it was. I felt like a freak, reading what others said about my diagnosis and thus about me.
      I wonder if your daughter had access to anything others have written about the diagnosis that was in a more positive light? I wish I had the link by one Dr who’d said he liked treating BP’s as they were capable of real change. Becoming self-aware was a big change for me.
      I have a lot of accumulated rage from severe abuse including becoming homeless at 13, rape and abuse by others including a spouse, and more recently, retaliation and firing by my employer when I complained about work conditions including OSHA safety violations and sexual harassment by two different managers. It goes on, but learning about my black and white thinking pattern has been the tool I needed to make changes. And you’re right about the antidepressants they did nothing but stupefy me and make me a fat, sitting duck. What I needed were thyroid supplements. Still, I’m alone today; it’s hard to stay alive and I struggle with it. My heart goes out to you in your loss.

    • Lord. Can you imagine telling a borderline diagnosed person to “forget your ego” and get used to “not feeling loved” ?

    • I am sorry, but I’ve been dealing with one person or another with BPD or the like, for my ENTIRE life. I have reached the end of my compassion for people who endlessly hurt me and think or tell me I deserve it.

      I’m sorry if they are overly sensitive and fear abandonment, but I am not sacrificing myself on the alter of this disorder anymore. Its nothing but a black hole and sucks the life out of me. People with BPD need compassion and understanding??? Really? Well I think they’ve gotten ENOUGH compassion from me. Since when is it ok to demand more and more compassion from people you continually hurt? And all while you insist you are not the problem or argue with a professional that they don’t know what they are talking about. Give me a break. All your comments just serve to prove what is in the article.

      I’ve dealt with it in various extremes for 47 years. I’m DONE.

      If those with BPD want relationships, then they need to seek treatment and DO what is needed to have a healthy relationship. All too often they never think there is anything wrong with themselves. Instead the ones I dealt with would re-write history to suit themselves and tell me I was the one that didn’t remember it right. I second guessed myself for YEARS until I caught them in this behavior and was relieved to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the problem was definitely NOT ME.

      Now that I know what I’ve been dealing with and I’m intimately acquainted with the signs, I will be avoiding people like this like the PLAGUE.

    • Yay! Much better. And don’t forget that a flourishing life can be obtained by ANYONE, with or without the “symptoms” of “mental illness”. Life hurts at times, but there is always hope… if you lose yours, borrow someone else’s for as long as it takes. And people who experience BPD- you are lovable and loving. It is your extreme sensitivity that makes you feel raw- remember that this makes you special and worthy of love, even if you are misunderstood by others who misinterpret your behaviour.

    • Yay! Much better. And don’t forget that a flourishing life can be obtained by ANYONE, with or without the “symptoms” of “mental illness”. Life hurts at times, but there is always hope… if you lose yours, borrow someone else’s for as long as it takes. And people who experience BPD- you are lovable and loving. It is your extreme sensitivity that makes you feel raw- remember that this makes you special and worthy of love, even if you are misunderstood by others who misinterpret your behaviour.

    • Sorry for your daughter and many thanks for your worlds.

    • It’s very had to live with a BPD spouse. In four year marriage, my wife hurts me physically every single day of life. I have been accused of cheating every single day of my life.
      It’s extremely hard to love some one who abuses you so much even knowing very well that the person has BPD.
      I have been hurt intensely so many times with every object that she can get her hands on.
      I get bruises all over my body but I cannot show to anyone and cry because I am a man.

      The only reason I cannot leave her because I have two kids with her. The innocent lives of my kids will be ruined if I get a divorce.

      Most people in society doesn’t know that some father can love the kids more dearly and selflessly than some mothers.

    • Well said

    • Thank you for posting your response^^. I am a sufferer of bpd. Having been able to identify it changed a lot for me. I finally had an explanation for my symptoms. It sucks. It sucks for everyone. The person who has it lives in emotional pain. It’s exhausting to have outbursts, calm down, realize that you hurt those who love you, and then turn around and not be able to control it…leaving it to happen again. To all you non-sufferers who have to deal with bpd people, be grateful. You can leave at anytime and recover. We are stuck with ourselves. We live with all of the failed relationships, rejections, and the knowledge that we are responsible for not feeling loved. Also, to the non-sufferers, I am so sorry that you had to experience us. I know it’s horrendous and you feel the same amount of rejection when you try to love us and we don’t know how to accpet it and return it in appropriate ways. Honestly, I would not want to be my husband. He is amazing and I am so grateful for him. If you’re a sufferer, please look for DBT. Also create lifestyle changes, so that you, too, can start to feel and interact more positively when you’re faced with your triggers.

      • “You can leave at anytime and recover.”

        Really??? When there are children involved and you are afraid for their safety and well-being? When all your friends and family have been driven away by your crazy wife? When your family life has been destroyed and you feel hopeless? When you’re worried about the threats and the stalking and afraid for your own safety as well as your property? When after years of ABUSE and trying to help, you finally just give up and wish for a quiet, peaceful death? Just leave and recover, eh? Spoken like a BPD. PLEASE! What a shameful comment. I have been very kind, considerate, loving, understanding. What I end up with is the desire to quietly die in my sleep and the need for therapy with over 2 decades of abuse, also with children needing therapy.

        I think most people with BPD are super-selfish, only looking at their own pain, and taking it out on others a thousandfold, on those who did not cause it, rarely bothering to consider what they are doing to others, pretending their rages are either your fault or didn’t happen.

  4. I found this article helpful however I have an added complication – I’m bipolar II – and sometimes my child and I can trigger each other into reactions. I would love to see an article on how to deal with being the parent with an MI and a child with a similar MI. BTW I am a single parent and I have 2 children – one with BPD and one with anxiety – its an intersting life in our house some days

  5. After years of association with my ex-husband who refuses counseling (“I don’t need a nut doctor, I’ve always taken care of it myself!”), I finally have a name for the craziness I have experienced for the last 25 years. (My apologies but that’s what it has been from my perspective.) I’ve known for a long time something was wrong but could not convince him of that. My children and I have taken much abuse (verbal and physical). It was bad enough at home but when he starting being abusive to others out in public, it became very embarrassing for us. Then he would be angry because I didn’t support him. Part of the reason I was afraid to leave was because he is so bent on revenge for those who have “wronged” him. He has also pushed away anyone close to him – always found some fault with them. Then the anger and depression became more frequent. I couldn’t help someone who wouldn’t help himself. Today, at 60 he is bitter and very negative. I’ve read where symptoms decrease with age but he seems to be getting worse.

    • Hey ex wife. Im trying to be the ex husband of a undiagnosed BPD individual. I luckily only have 15 months of marriage but it still sucks getting divorced. This was my second and last marriage. I prayed for a very long time for God to send me my Proverbs 31 woman and when I met my wife, I thought she was it. I had my first signs with in 3 weeks of getting married that maybe I was wrong. I just didnt know how wrong. I just assumed it was anger management issues or her just being mean. I left my home of 14 years a month and a half ago because her outburst started one day and didnt stop for 3 weeks till I left. I was scared for my life because it started to get physical. I just found out 2 weeks after I left about BPD. From what I have read, it is a horrible illness. But I have noticed that there are plenty of sites on the web for those who suffer and for ones who have loved ones with it and have to stick it out, such as fathers and mothers and sister and brothers and children. What I want to know is where are the sites for those who DONT want to stick it out. My mother is Bipolar and I have dealt with her illness my entire life. I have learned that it is controllable if she stays on her pills but if she quits, then the world gets loopy. But she is responsible for that! Not me. If she stops taking them and starts to become manic, I do what I have to to get her committed (which use to be hard but not with the POA i have now). BUT SHE HAS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER ACTIONS. In saying this, if you have BPD and know it, then TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for it. How do you do that? STOP DATING!! STOP BEING IN RELATIONSHIPS!! And on the slim chance you do get in a relationship, DONT HIDE IT!! Tell the person you are with. Im very sorry that so many people have this illness but stop saying, “Oh. Poor is me. I act this way and everyone should just deal with it!” Thats BS. My life was perfectly fine til I married this woman. Now, I am homeless and she is sitting in my house while I have to continue to pay the bills. She runs into court and makes up crazy lies just to “make me pay” and I end up getting a protection order against me. My step father was one of the most abusive people I have ever known. He beat me daily basis, molested by sisters and my other brother, and beat and cut my mother all the time. If he ever got on a website and said, “Im sorry. I just cant help myself. Thats just who I am and you should feel sorry for me”, I would have puked. No. I dont have to accept you. If you have BPD and think the world owes you sympathy, then great. But just dont drag others into your hell and then tell us you should be loved and accepted as you are. Dont dog me down and then be pissed cause I leave. Stand up and say, “This is who I am and dont come near me cause I may kill you”
      Stop making us victims feel like we caused it.
      OK sorry for venting. I ask for forgiveness from anyone I did offend. Im just mad cause my life has been taken away by someone who has this horrible illness and she wont even get help.
      Stay strong ex wife and know that it is not you nor your childrens fault!!
      (((((((HUG)))))))))

      • Wow, maybe you’re the one who needs to stay out of relationships. Be open about it? So I meet you and you ask me out and my reply should be, I have BPD, just thought you should know? Since you seem to be a sociopath with the inability to feel empathy and compassion, I suggest you seek professional help. And please when you meet someone,please inform them that you are a sociopath. You may also want to look into anger management and help for your over the top bitterness, as well.

      • Bless your heart, how horrible. Your childhood was a nightmare! If you haven’t already my suggestion is to seek help for PTSD.
        I suffer from PTSD and BP :P I have a supportive family and a wonderful therapist I see weekly.
        Best of luck to you and yours.

      • Okay, let me start off by saying that your post’s level of sterotyping was off the charts. “Don’t get into relationships”?! Why do you have any more right to seek a loving, stable relationship than I do, or any other person with BPD? Do you think that you are some how ‘stronger’ or superior to us in some way? yes, congratulations, you don’t have BPD. Do you think I want this? I have been fighting this for more than a year, along with additional issues I’ve had from a warped childhood. I try. Every single person that I have gotten close to, or that I am or was close to, I have told them about my diagnosis, and I have educated them to the best of my ability. I HATE hurting other people. Now, i’m afraid to go the doctor when i’m in pain because the last time i did, i was told it was all in my head. Do you have the slightest idea what it’s like, having your pain passed off like it’s nothing?

      • Hi Shane, I found your post helpful knowing they can make your life hell as my friend has made mine. But where my friend seems to differ from other things ive read of bpd behaviour is that my friend expressed great love for me and physically showed it. She spoke of us being soul mates and of our future together and saying how much she needed me. Slowly she has turned nasty but most of all totally indifferent to me.As if I’m a drag and totally unwanted .I’ve ended friendship because You can’t be around someone who treats you like a nothing.To talk to her was torture, she wouldn’t even look at me and conversations turned into mean put down language and disinterest in everything about me my life and my feelings.Do you have any experience with this? She’s been gravely ill this past yr and a half and I’ve given my soul to her looking after her. I’ve shown more love to her than my late mother , who was my world! Our relationship has been going for over 2 yrs. Can you please tell me what you think. Im so ill now and I feel I can’t survive this .

      • Just found this site and comments!!! I’ve been dealing with issues with my girlfriend, so painful!! bpd is serious !!! All comments on both sides so helpful!!
        Thanks!! Help is Anwser , but as article said earlier , don’t be a rescuer, it just gets worse!! They have to find themselves !! I’ve don’t believe in giving up on someone, but part of bpd is the cycles ( in year half things keep repeating ) to the point I could guess what’s happening , I thought it was anger issues, and it’s hybrid , just enough to be roll coaster ride becomes unpleasant !! Thanks for having place to share!! Jhdm

    • Hi! I read your post and can relate to what you have gone through. I am 31 and my husband is 28. My husband is bitter and constantly yells at me and my 5 year old daughter. He has no close relationships with anyone. I have been in a long struggle trying to get him to move out, but he just wouldn’t leave. He has been verbally and physically abusive toward me for the past year. I finally made him leave and changed all my locks. I am scared every day that he will come back here. He also seeks revenge on people he feels did him wrong. Thank you for your post, it makes me feel like I am not alone. This article made me cry because I can relate his behavior to this disorder and I now know that I am not crazy (even though I am constantly told I am).

      • I can relate to everything you say . My ex was verbablly and physically agressive to me. I had to involve the police in the end. He also would like to take revenge… He could never leave anything. Always brining up the past. I now know he must of had borderline personallity disorder. It ticks all the boxes. He said I was the crazy one too . x

  6. It should say they MAY have angry outbursts. Because it is one symptom, doesn’t mean we all have that symptom. I do not have angry outbursts hardly at all, like I used to. We are not abusive. We are reactive.

    • my daughter has been diagnosed with BPD resulting from a brain injury and severe bullying in high school. I agree that she is more reactive and also very anxious and depressed. she only occasionally has outbursts, but what female doesn’t?

      it annoys me that doctors will diagnose this but not tell you where to go for help!

      as a parent, what things do you suggest that I can do? too many people think I don’t push her enough, although if she is pushed too hard, the anxiety takes over. she is not a spoiled brat and is a very caring, loving and helpful person.

      any suggestions would be appreciated.

      • Hi Mom, I’m not a medical professional but share your daughters diagnosis, including the severe head injury. My suggestions on helping your daughter follow.

        If you’re able to, please get a work up from a neurologist, and make sure those results are known to anyone prescribing meds to her. My psych dr dismissed my head injuries and discouraged me from getting the same workup I’m advocating for you. (She said it would look like “Dr Shopping” which I find ridiculous, now that I’m off the meds she dumped on me and can think again.) Research done in Sports Medicine on head injury is revealing that more damage happens to the brain that was previously known and this includes depression and suicide, even years after the injury. Increased light sensitivity can be a problem, itself with employment and social consequences. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine can also act differently in an injured brain-I can’t tolerate any of them.

        I’d never had a psych Dr wait and order a medical evaluation before prescribing. Man, is this a group that loves to languidly wave their medical wand from their throne. When one considers the side effects of their drugs, this is criminal.
        BEFORE your daughter gets on psych meds I’d advocate for a complete physical and blood work. Be sure her thyroid’s checked. Getting that supplement has transformed me.

        We’re not used to thinking of restoring intestinal flora integrity as the root of “emotional” problems, but I’d encourage you to look into the bona fide medical info emerging, especially on probiotics. How silly we’ve been not seeing this basic connection!

        As regards behavioral, the single best thing you can do for her is educate her on her black and white thinking vs. social norms, then hold her accountable. I’ve read DBT is a terrific therapy that’s getting results. BPD is a treatable condition, not a pass to act out with impunity.

        She’s lucky to have you. I’m hoping for the best for you.

      • Hi
        I just wanted to express my relief to find other carers are suffering similar to myself. I’ve been dealing with my daughters emotional needs for 28 years. I have always put her needs before my own until recently when I refused to give in to her demands. This has resulted in her becoming very emotionally unstable and finally a diagnosis of bpd. I have felt so isolated as I have dealt with this condition. There really should be more help for those of us on the frontline of this illness.

    • Yes! Reactive. I think that some of these people either triggers or lumping badly behaved people in wtih this illness. I am never aggressive until I have been triggered. However, I never know when the trigger is going to be pulled. I do find that it’s usually after someone accuses me, passes judgement on me, when others are being treated unfairly, or when I perceive these things to be true. I don’t walk around just looking to pick fights with my loved ones. I am, however, hypersensitive. When someone says something crappy to me, it hurts very deeply, feels like my skin ignites and my muscles burn. Then I react…and it’s not to everyone, either…usually only to the people that I feel close to. Other random people saying crappy things to me, usually has little effect on me.

  7. Thank you for recommending my first book Stop Walking on Eggshells. May I suggest that you also take a look at my most recent book The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder. I wrote this a decade after SWOE and it is much more up to date. Thanks!

    • Randi,

      Thanks for the update. Will definitely look into it. Your first book was amazing and I’ve recommended it to dozens of people.

      Keep up the good work.

  8. OK, first off, both “Ex-Wife” and “Shane” are claiming that the people they were with had BDP but were NEVER DIAGNOSED. HUH? Did you just stumble on this article and go “OH YEAH, finally, I can label them and feel better about myself?” BPD is very hard to diagnose and is often mistaken as something else or is accompanied by other disorders. It also comes from a host of different issues in someone’s background. They don’t just decide one day to ruin your life. Lack of empathy on both your parts is exactly the reason people DON’T get help and AREN’T up front about it. Shane in particular, I agree with TNLady. Stay out of relationships. You have no idea how to be a decent person. You just came on here to vent about another failed marriage and a bad childhood. Nothing you said was helpful. Your language is offensive and so self-pitying, I wonder how much you did to exacerbate her problems. I feel sorry for HER for having to put up with you on top of any underlying issues she had (obviously, you have NO idea that she in fact had BPD, you are jumping to conclusions to make yourself the good guy). I have BPD and am a very nice, calm person. The only time I get angry is when my S.O. would prod me until I snapped, then point at me and tell me it’s all my fault. He knows I have BPD, that I am in therapy and work hard at it, and I’ve tried talking to him about how to help me. He’s a lot like you – no sympathy, all about poor little him. You did your wife a favor by walking out. You want to know the sites for people who decide to bail on someone who needs help? Try Match.com or a host of anonymous sex sites…Also try therapy, because, wow buddy, do you have some anger issues.

    And shame on Dr. Sapadin for writing this article which is so condescending and skewed, and for fueling people like Shane and Ex-Wife for taking no responsibilities themselves for treating another person with compassion. We are not monsters, we are hurting. Not everyone displays these symptoms, and you explained NOTHING about the actual illness, the reasons some people develop it, or how the person with it is feeling inside. I was so happy when I saw the title of this article, but no way I’m sharing it with anyone. Try again.

    • This is pretty much symptomatic of the views of many BPD sufferers. Even when they are not the subject of discussion they try to make themselves so. The article was aimed at those living with sufferers, not the sufferers themselves. I thought it was very informative and one of the few articles I’ve seen that consider the effect BPD has on those around those poor souls who are afflicted with it. The wording in this particular post bears a chilling resemblance to those I have heard. ” You don’t care”, “You don’t understand”, “I don’t have a problem, everyone else does”, “You need help, not me”. I empathise so much with Shane and Ex Wife. After my experience of trying so hard to deal with someone who suffered in a major way with BPD I’m now inclined to agree with Pat. Run afar, run fast. If they can’t or won’t accept they have a problem it will just drag you down. Incidentally, I have been on numerous BPD related sites and while there is no defined set of behaviours that define BPD there is a clear pattern and my ex matches every one. One site listed 102 ‘symptoms’ of BPD and stated that just because you identify 1 it doesn’t mean someone has BPD. I calmly and objectively compared my ex’s behaviour and found an exact match for 73, occasional matching behaviour for 11 and no match at all for 18. Pretty conclusive I’d say. Unfortunately I can’t find the link now otherwise I’d share.

    • The fact that the people with BPD are here defending themselves (not accepting responsibility) against what seems to be a resemblance of the abuse endured by the people who have to deal with BPD sufferers validates Dr. Sadpadin’s article. As Dr Sapadin’s peer (I am a PhD and a published author) I think that the article met the scholarly framework to pass for informative work. It has enough citation, appropriate, to support the subject matter. Good job Dr. Sapadin.

      • You hit the nail on the head. All these BPD sufferers are crying poor me. There are no words for being bullied and ridiculed by BPDs. My sister at one point said she wanted to KILL ME with a gun and shoot my brains out and I’m supposed to just be like poor thing! She has BPD??? NO sorry I’m going to be your doormat. Get help and get over yourself.

  9. Run the other way when dealing with someone like this.Life is too short for such aggravation. I had a mother and older sister with this condition . It took me until age 50 to realize that I didn’t need to deal with their abusive personalities any more. What liberation. Let them stew in their own venom and get away as soon as you can.

    • That’s exactly how I feel. My 16 yr old daughter has the disorder (with self-inflicted injurious behaviour), along with OCD, and reality becomes so absurd and ridiculous when everything is everyone else’s fault. She can’t look herself in the mirror and when she does, she just wants to self-mutilate, and does. I just want to walk away from this chaos, but I’m still legally responsible for her. Except she’s old enough to choose if she wants help or not, and what kind of help. What a conundrum. I can’t just walk away. Though I’m looking forward to the day I will have that freedom. It’s funny all the self-righteous, I’m a martyr comments made on this blog by BPD afflicted folks. OK, I don’t have the disorder and I don’t want it. And I don’t want to understand any more than I already do about it. I just want to be free of it. What a waste of time and energy. Absurd. It’s absurd.

    • Couldn’t agree more Pat. Whether the disorder originates from genes or environment is completely irrelevant. I have endured a life-time of abuse from my mother and 2 daughters afflicted with this condition, and it has been nothing short of a living HELL! For a long they had me convinced the problem lay with me. I’ve had several “breakdowns” and required hospitalization, antidepressants, anxiolytic meds and therapy to help me survive the unrelenting, sadistic torment. And despite this, I have remained loyal, tolerant and committed to helping, but this has gone unrecognized and unappreciated by all three who do not have one single complimentary or kind word to say unless they WANT something from me. Basically it is me who is the psychiatric basket case according to these horrid individuals. Fortunately, the therapy finally kicked in and I see it for what it is…..A WASTE OF YOUR PRECIOUS LIFE! These people are NOT rehabilitation material….it’s WHO they are and is permanent. Life with them is no life at all. My advice is to have as little as possible to do with them; preferably run in the opposite direction and leave them to deal with it. The point is, we teach people how to treat us and by permitting this toxic behavior to infiltrate our lives, we are enabling it. I am over being the rescuer. Time has shown me I cannot win this challenge and I’m fed up with stepping up to the plate to demonstrate my love when all I get it is a kick in the teeth and a ticket to mental illness myself!!
      One thing that stands out like a beacon here is the way those with this “illness” come out with all guns blazing to excuse themselves, justify their antics and CONTINUE to BLAME, ABUSE and BERATE well adjusted individuals. And all done in a vicious, defensive tone. THAT’S what Dr.Sapadin is talking about….they are oblivious to the havoc, chaos and carnage they visit on others. It is always someone ELSE at fault, never them. If you do get an apology it’s insincere and with ulterior motives. Anyone who has studied basic philosophy will know of the “utilitarian” theory which states “The ethically right choice in a given situation is the one that produces the most happiness and the least unhappiness for the largest number of people.” That being the case, and given the sheer numbers these people emotionally & mentally annihilate, it stands to reason that it is in the best interest of the masses to avoid Borderline P.Ds like the the Black Plague!! Unless of course you have a masochistic personality or enjoy being the wronged martyr. My heartfelt advice is to run like the Devil is after you….because SHE is!!!!! It’s their problem, let them deal with it. It’s a perpetual fight to maintain one’s sanity. Please show me where it is written that I must tolerate this artfully applied maladaptive behaviour?? Get out as quickly as you can, end the communication and refuse to engage in the many and varied destructive interactions. Do it now or risk a strait jacket in a padded cell during which time your Borderline will be happily tripping round trying to locate and ensnare her next unwitting whipping post. Horrible, nasty, toxic people….whether they can control it or not! Go….go NOW!

      • Thanks Anaphylaxis for sharing. You heartfelt advice is well taken and I assure you that I am going to put it to use. You have enlightened me on what I have been dealing with for over 13 years. Again thanks for sharing.

  10. Appalled that Psych Central contributes to mental health stigma by continually inserting freakish looking pictures of people alongside articles written about specific diagnosis like the one posted here. I recently noticed also that there were several articles about schitzophrenia that did the same.

    Actually-more harm is done when such pictures are published on mental health websites. People with mental health disorders are fathers, mothers, sons, sisters, teachers, scientists, restaurant servers, policy-makers, artists, students, nurses, and everyone in between.

    I feel bad for those suffering from borderline personality disorder. They didn’t ask for it or cause it. It’s primarily a disorder which stems from childhood trauma.

    P.S. Didn’t even read the article because I stopped at the picture.

    • Fawn, “I feel bad for those suffering from borderline personality disorder.” You should try living with one, for decades. I bet you would have a very different opinion.

      • I agree punching bag, I feel bad for those that suffer with BPD, but it is just as bad being a loved one of those suffering. We endure significant abuse and emotional trauma. Whether of not the BPD can help it or not, is not the issue, the abuse hurts just the same. My husband of 13 years has put me through the ringer with this disorder. I now suffer from depression and anxiety. I try to buffer as much as possible for my sons. This has taken a toll on every relationship we have with friends, family etc. I try to apologize or make excuses for his behavior but folks are tired of it and aggravated with me for sticking with him. I’ve almost lost my job because of him and now have a strained relationship with my family whom I’ve always been close with. People get upset with me for taking the abuse and for the fact he has drained me as a person both emotionally, mentally and financially. For those on here that say we aren’t compassionate about their BPD, if like to say that I’ve paid quite a price for this man. I am a very loving, empathetic, loyal person that is educated and has a good professional career. I know if I kick him out he will be on the streets because his family can’t deal with him and neither can any of his so called friends which are far and few between. Going through what I have gone through, I can understand exactly why so many people are bitter toward their BPD loved ones. Human beings can only take so much before they break. So the abuser may have a disorder and they are most likely suffering too– abuse still hurts as I’ve said before. It’s like someone kills you in a car accident –maybe it was an accident maybe they didn’t intend to harm you, the fact is you are still dead. That’s how it feels when you are abused by the behavior of a loved one with BPD. It’s a devastating disorder where everyone loses. I wish everyone the best and pray that one day we will be free from this horrid situation.

  11. I too must object to the way this article implies that all people with borderline personality disorder have anger issues. I have te diagnosis and I’ve never, ever had a rage at anyone, nor have I ever physically or verbally abused someone else. Also, there are other criteria that I do not have. For example, I don’t cut, I don’t threaten suicide, etc. There is a very real, and under-represented, group of people with BPD that do not “act out” and that actually take on far too much responsibilities for the problems in their relationships. These people have often been mistreated in childhood and have grown up with terrible self-esteem and then get into relationships with people who abuse them in the same way they were treated as a child. They actually try too hard to be perfect and never feel good enough. Psychological professionals need to start noticing and differentiating between these two very different groups of BPD sufferers. I’m shocked that so little it known about this.

    • Thank you – you said it perfectly.

  12. kate, your reply said it all.

    I think some of the confusion lies in the fact that DSM diagnoses for personality disorders describe those who externalize emotions and struggles, while those who internalize often don’t meet the criteria.

    Psychodynamic therapists don’t functionally use descriptive diagnosis. I think the lack of awareness comes from lack of psychodynamic (really psychoanalytic) thinking as shown on many of blog posts.

    I also dont meet the DSM diagnosis but think I am fairly borderline. Just as you described, I’m an internalizer too.

    Best to you.

  13. My girlfriend evokes many of the symptoms that are noted in this article. She was diagnosed as being depressed a year ago but the medication she was put on did not help her so she is now on new meds.

    The main issue in our relationship is her jealousy, I’m not allowed to have female friends(even lesbians). I’ve had her fly into rages over females that I work with. She even sent one an email telling her to back off (how humiliating). If I’m seen in any form of communication with another female she blows up, threatens suicide etc. The rage is uncontrollable, nothing I say can drag her out of it, and it can last a week if I don’t give in to her demands. It will always resurface too, even if I’ve given into her demands.

    We tend to brush her jealous rages under the carpet as she is on medication. I try to remain consistent and have told her I wont abandon her like others have done (I’ll keep my word despite how hard this is). I do feel trapped though and I’ve read that putting up boundaries is important. How exactly do I put boundaries in place?

    I’m consistently monitored, have to keep in hourly contact, everyone else is demonised and belittled so maintaining friendships is difficult. Going out with (male) friends is also difficult as she doesn’t believe where I’m going. I don’t want to be another person to abandon her. Funny thing is, none of my family or friends have a clue, she is brilliant at maintaining a happy public image.

    She is extremely sensitive to what I say, listens for slip ups (and creates slip ups), extremely conscious about her weight even though she is thin, anxious about all aspects of everyday life and doesn’t believe she is worthy of being loved. On a rare occasion she will realise how much she is loved and say thank you but then it just slips back to unhappiness. Help me help her please.

    • Hey Anton,

      Your girlfriend is definitely displaying characteristics of a Borderline. I am sorry you are having to deal with such abusive behavior.

      I currently am living with my girlfriend of almost 15 years and she has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I have experienced many of the same things that you have. I feel your pain.

      I would say the most important thing that has helped me in my relationship is made it clear that I only have one life to live I will not spend it with someone who is willing to abuse me for any reason. When you make a promise like saying you won’t leave no matter what you open yourself up to infinite amounts of abuse and manipulation.

      I highly recommend you talk with her and let her know that while you love her and want to make things work with her, you are not okay with certain types of behavior. It is very important to be able to set boundaries. If you make promises that allow her to take advantage of you (i.e. I will never abandon you), then you will never be able to effectively address her behavior and you will continually be victimized.

      I know how hard it is to love a person like this but the key to being successful starts with respecting yourself enough to stand up for yourself. Patience is important too, it allows you to work through these things constructively without escalating situations.

      I wish you all the best of luck!

      Remember you only live once… always take the high road when you can and enjoy your life! You don’t have to be a martyr. If the benefits aren’t outweighing the negatives then I hope you all consider adjusting your situations.

    • Anton,

      Thank you for your honesty and empathy. I’m diagnosed with BPD, and though I don’t behave the same way your girlfriend does I can probably give you a little bit of insight. First and foremost: though it sounds strange, you might want to check out an organization like Alanon, or at least some of that group’s literature, as developing boundaries is a primary goal there. Like at least one previous commenter, I think you are setting yourself up by saying you won’t leave, ever, if what you mean by that is that you won’t ever leave the romantic relationship. You can be there for her as a friend if being there for her as a lover becomes too much. She won’t like the change in roles, of course, but her reaction is not your responsibility. In dealing with her, sensitivity and trustworthiness are important. Complete compliance with impossible demands is not. Some of the most successful relationships I’ve had are with people who express their understanding of my less rational thoughts while refusing to bend their lives around them. You are not the cause of her reaction. Live your life with integrity and sensitivity, but live it. Limiting your friendships is not really the right reaction to her reaction. In the end, your girlfriend needs therapy, and she’s not going to get it (or at least not the right kind) unless you start disobeying her with compassion because there is not a strong enough reason. Just my opinion. For her, I really suggest she look for a dialectical behavior therapy program. It has helped me tremendously.

  14. Hi, though I heard many bemoan their characterization but it is true no matter how much they suffer or realize or feel bad about what they do. What more MOST will never acknowledge the emotional pain n heart ache they put the non-BPD person thru. Its very cruel as they the non-BPD unfortunately try harder to please and love their BPD even more only to have their whole world destroyed by them. Yes certain technique help but its a punishing way to live to try to help save or satisfy them. It literally breaks you in two n you become sick either emotionally or phy. Or both. So please why I feel deeply for BPD people since they suffer as well,but make no mistake on the damage they cause intended or not. To those in relationship with them I truly wish both as many peaceful days as possible. I loved mine miss her but it was insanity to stay even though she love me too the best she could. Summary, its a very punishing life style but if they truly stick w counseling. (Good luck w that) you’ll have a chance.

  15. I spent 16 years married to someone with BPD. She would do anything to make sure that attention was always on her and systematically isolated me from my friends and family. She had a total obsession with cleanliness and insisted on me washing my hands several times a day. I was not allowed to touch the TV remote in case I got it dirty and if I stayed away on business I had to wash my feet at the door before entering the house. These are just a few of the issues I faced. About 4 years into our marriage I sought help form Relate. My wife refused to attend for the first 4 sessions and then came along. Because she didn’t hear what she wanted to hear she refused to attend again. I carried on but in the end the counsellor said it was very commendable I wanted to sort things out but without my wife’s attendance it was pointless. I spoke to our family GP about it and due to patient confidentiality said that she was unable to do anything. My wife found out and went absolutely ballistic. After 16 years I began to have dark thoughts about taking my own life and left. I then endured 10 years of relentless abusive phone calls, voice mail messages, text messages and letters. Admittedly, these have now finally started to reduce in frequency. I am now in a wonderful relationship with a marvellous woman. I feel I did everything I could to help my ex to address her problems but it had no effect.

  16. Listen folks, if you feel the article doesn’t apply to you personally, then fine, but he fact is that most people with BPD do have the characteristics listed here. You can disagree all you want and get angry and attacking all you want, but know that, very ironically, all it does it demonstrate exactly what the article is saying about righteous anger. Other people don’t exist just to make sure you don’t ever feel judged or uncomfortable by their statements or articles, no matter how much you chastise them and try to make them feel like terrible people. You believe the author should change their article just to avoid offending you and making you feel condescended to, as if anyone saying anything you maybe simply don’t want to hear about yourself automatically makes them wrong, judgmental, condescending, spreading lies, etc. and another example of your life as a poor victim of other people’s mistreatment. You would all do well to stop the “My life is bad because you are a terrible person who spreads lies about BPD” routine, get some insight and take some personal responsibility.

    • Tb,

      You and others are missing a key point of those who are responding with outrage at this author’s stigmatizing view of the diagnosis of BPD: that this information is heavily biased toward seeing those diagnosed with BPD as nothing but creatures of conflict and anger. Clearly, those who respond and say “Yes! That is my girlfriend/sister/mother exactly!” are unfortunately subscribing to the same world view. It is absurd to say that those who respond with outrage are “proving the author right” by being outraged. This article and its stigmatizing discourse is a legitimate reason to be angry – saying this anger is due to the diagnosis rather than a legitimate reason is beyond oppressive and it honestly saddens me. In addition, perpetuating the myth that those with mental health diagnoses choose to be sick is not helping anyone at the end of the day. If you are seeking to label someone with a mental health diagnosis simply to put them in a box and blame them for their problems, I am curious to know why you are interested in psychology in the first place.

    • YESSSS! My feelings exactly! The responses from the BPDs here simply demonstrate the accuracy of what the author of the article is saying! That’s why they’re unable to be rehabilitated….they just DON’T GET the impact of their behaviour. Males who exhibit similar conduct are known as “psychopaths”, whilst their female equivalents are diagnosed with having “Borderline Personality Disorder.” Different dog, same action, to a greater or lesser degree. After what my 3 female relatives have put me through I now have as much empathy, compassion and sensitivity for them as they’ve shown me…..NONE! Put the Nikes on people, make your escape and count yourselves lucky to be beyond the range of toxic, acid rain fallout!!

  17. I have been married to someone with BPD for 11 years, have a 10 year old son and I am at the end of my rope. At this point, I have chosen to leave and leaving my son behind with my wife. She has been verbally and physically abusive to me, kicked me out of our home which I built and paid for, left penniess and manipulated our son to ignore me and hate me. I have tried to be compassionate, empathetic, and understanding, to no avail. I have recently retired and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and in her bouts of rage she has wish for me to die. I think I am done…

    • Don’t let her insanity bring you down…..fight because you’re a fighter you lived through life with her and you can not give up….dust yourself off and get your head straight, your worth being around for someone who can really love you this time!! I hope your treatment is going well for prostate cancer…stay positive friend you are not alone anymore!!

  18. I have a sister who is diagnosed BPD. She is has all of the symptoms described. She cutoff contact with me and her family (and her husband’s and ex-husband’s family) for slights that were never explained. Never apologizes for years of silence! I have learned to navigate away from being pulled in. I feel deeply for her plight, but have my own things to deal with. Recently, I worked for someone with BPD–very similar to my sister’s behavior, and it was the worst job as I never knew from moment to moment how she would treat me. It was a relief to be laid off! This is a very challenging situation for anyone suffering with BPD and for those who live with someone who refuses to seek treatment. Prayers for all!

  19. I personally have just been dumped by my BPD girlfriend of 3 years. I’ve been working with a therapist and read everything on this illness now and my feeling is, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and acts like a duck, it’s a duck.
    The pain guilt and shame I am going through is unimaginable. I am in the mental health field and did not recognize BPD initially. I just thought she was a little emotional. By the time I realized it and only after my colleagues who listened to my stories of woe stated, “she sounds like a borderline” It was too late. I was in love and thought I will try to manage this and make it work. It never does ! These poor souls maybe suffering but what they do to otherwise healthy nons is criminal in my opinion. Most won’t even recognize the damage they cause, They use sex as a means to get you and everyone else they bed hooked on them. The minute you start trying to make them happy you’re doomed. You can’t, and they will tell you all the things you don’t do right and remember and throw up everything you’ve ever done wrong. It causes you constant sorrow. When they are happy you are in heaven but when they are not, watch out ! I am out of it now and she was already sleeping with someone else and of course told me about it with such a vengence and callousness. It’s sickening but this is what these individuals will do. I am so lucky I did not marry her and or buy her the house she wanted us to live in. I was spared an array of things that could have ruined my life emotionally and financially. I’m still in the I love her and want her stage. It quickly turns to anger at times but I have maintained the no contact rule going on 3 weeks now. I am praying the insideous pain and thoughts will go away soon. I think of her 2 children who I got so close to and what they must feel or what she has told them.Her ex husband told me when I spoke to him right after the breakup that she is “pathological” and my best option was to move on. I will hopefully not overlook those little red flags in the future.

  20. I very close friend has BPD. I am trying to find out some answers so I can stay friends with him because I do care for and love him. My question is, when things are going well between us, why does he all of a sudden act out or try to remind me that he is “very mean” or a “monster” as he says. Is he trying to test me to make sure that I still love him even if he acts out? If any one can answer it would be appreciated as I would like to understand the pain he goes through so I know exactly how to act or react

  21. It’s funny that BDP sufferers are defending themselves on this blog. Ummmm you realise you’re defending yourselves and splitting hairs BECAUSE you have BDP?

    This article was written for those people who have to deal with BPD sufferers – shock horror, an article not about ‘you.’

    The article is spot on and if you’ve got BPD and disagree then it’s probably you’ve got BPD.

    • Patronizing people who have a mental disorder…
      Does that make you feel empowered? Whether or not this article is ‘spot on’ those that suffer from BPD are not always ignorant of the damage they cause. Perhaps it is possible they were brought here to try to find clues as to how to help those around them while they persevere through their own inner turmoil. I hope whomever you know who has BPD receives more patience and faith from you than what you displayed here.

      • I reject this comment. A) you’re presuming I’m being patronizing. Absolutely not. B) Your rhetorical question of whether the comment makes me feel empowered is insulting, shame on you.

        “those that suffer from BPD are not always ignorant of the damage they cause” .. what is the point of this comment? Of course they’re not and of course ‘not all’ are violent but it’s still prevalent and a serious issue.

        “Perhaps it is possible they were brought here to try to find clues as to how to help those around them while they persevere through their own inner turmoil.”

        I disagree and beleive this is a small possibility, rather they stumbled upon it on google. I would also disagree that, in the vast majority of cases, they are trying to help those around them.

        “I hope whomever you know who has BPD receives more patience and faith from you than what you displayed here.”

        I could rip this comment apart for its rhetoric but I’ll take it on face value. To answer your STATEMENT, yes the person I know has 24 hour support from not just myself but 2 medical practitioners, 3 family members and 1 mate.

        Patience, trust, sympathy and empathy should be applied sparingly to those with BPD in my opinion as it can reinforce some abhorrent behaviour.

        If providing the sympathy they crave assists them in managing their disorder then i’m all for it but if it just assists them overcoming their latest episode then I would definitely warn against this.

        Again, a fantastic article for those that have to deal with people with BPD.

    • Yes, I agree BPD sufferers always like to make everything about them, please this page is for the ones who have had a tornado hit their lives and we are not looking to argue or defend ourselves against more BPD’s. We can have our own discussions without you…Thank you very much you can’t control everything!! I’m happy not that others have been through hell like myself but that there are others out there who have experienced similar situations that I can relate to, and I don’t feel like the only one going through this…Thank you for this page and non sufferers for sharing your experiences!!

  22. I have a two year old son with my bsd diagnosed girlfriend. Our relationship started 5 years ago and in the beginning she was very sweet. Open and honest about her feelings in a way that was just amazing to me and I fell deeply in love. There were no outbursts of anger back then but strange episodes of sudden rejections or irrational behavior. Now our relationship is more or less like described in the comments above.

    Reading all the comment here i recognize all of it in our conflict. Very much selfrichous outrage from both of us. I feel hurt by her childish and aggressive behavior and in my anger i want her to see me and my feelings. Unfortunatly my first way of communicating feelings is by blaming, accusing and oftentimes sarcasm. I have tried to speak more about my feelings rather than accusing her of beeing a psychpath but it is almost too hard. It seems like an easy enough thing to do but i just dont seem to be capable in these situations. So our conflicts mostly excagerate into craziness, sometimes resulting in her throwing stuff at me, cutting herself or suicidal threats.

    I try to find meaningfulness in all of this. After all i chose her. We got a baby. And even if she wasn’t as aggressive in the beginning i kind of knew of her difficulties. Most of the time i still see myself as a victum. But i don’t want that. I’d like to think that there is some purpose, something to gain for me in all this madness.

    One thing is, my life was pretty lonely before i met her. Not that i didn’t have friends, but i often felt lonely even with them. Like we met without really connecting.
    Now i haven’t really felt lonely since i met her. It might be a personal thing but maybe someone else has the same experience?

  23. Absolutely fabulous string of comments: I too am married to a borderline and going through many of the trials described by the posters here. I’m in therapy, she’s in therapy, and now she’s coming to my sessions and, of course, making them “her” sessions. Solution? I’m on a good Medicare Advantage plan with no restriction on number of mental health related therapy sessions so I’m quietly seeing my therapist on a different day as I feel the need to let him help me work through what’s going on in my marriage.

    She’s been “temporarily” living with her married daughter and son-in-law for a couple of months. They have a now three year old son who is smart and fun to be around so my wife probably won’t be coming back any time soon. I am a little concerned about what might happen as he ages and becomes more a person and less of a playtoy for my wife but as is so often said: More Will Be Revealed.

  24. I did not read all comments but for the most part anyone who suffers with this illness seems to be in attack mode at the ones who have lived with someone who has this illness, we including myself have or are still living with the nightmare that affected the one we love. Some say they really don’t want to hurt anybody but they do, they just want to be loved,but how is someone suppose to get close enough to show you love? We walk on egg shells & torn down by the very person we are trying to help,love and understand. but we have feelings to and just because we don’t suffer from this illness doesn’t make it alright for this illness to continue destroying us, it’s frustrating day after day having empathy for someone is negative,destructive, verbally abusive etc. I have been trying to make a better life with someone for 11 years, who will not get help,who abuses alcohol, pills, drinking and driving, money, our relationship. We have a child together who is 6 and he tells her sad things like he is the worse daddy in the world, that he shouldn’t be alive or outburst that he needs drugs!!( just to name a few) Enough is enough and I am sorry for those who suffer with this I think that your mentally not strong enough to deal with what life throws at you and you act like a child when things don’t go your way and then you want a pity party. I have been kind,loving, understanding,his therapist, his best friend all to be continuously treated badly with a few exceptions… Before attacking me consider what your illness has done to others, because I’m done with feeling sorry. By the way in one of his binges he decided to leave and go drinking thinking he could come home 2 days later….nope not again, I won’t let him back he has been gone for over a year and still tries to manipulate his way home and it almost worked but for the sake of our child and my sanity thank god I stayed strong. Truth is some of you who suffer with this is you do turn into monsters and you want us to say no your not….but you are!! Again you will make this illness a pity party well poor you guys grow up life is hard and is not fair not even to you who feels the world does owe you something because it does not!! I wish the world well and peace!!

    • I feel badly for those people suffering from BPD who read this article and feel stigmatized. I, however, lived with a man for 12 years who I am fairly certain has it. I’ve had a doctor and a therapist suggest this is the issue and hopefully I can get a psych eval ordered by the courts. He is emotionally and mentally abusing my children because of me. It is a heavy weight to carry as a mother of 5 children, 4 of them are his. All of us are or were in counseling, EXCEPT for him. We were court ordered to do co-parenting sessions with a therapist. It is a living nightmare. It’s like being married to him again. He is one of the violent ones and I even had a protection order out at one point. I tried for years but the best thing I ever did for me and my children was get out. Now I spend every day doing damage control and praying that the courts will finally see what is going on and reduce his visitation. Or I pray he goes to jail. I wanted it to work but I can’t fix him or make him get help but I can try to help my children. Living with this is pure hell and nobody deserves to live that way.

  25. I found this article insulting to sufferers of BPD. Not only are there crazy wide generalizations, but the tone makes borderlines sound like dogs who need to be trained. It also doesn’t talk about the neurology of this disease, and in ignoring that, you reinforce the idea “it’s just a character problem.”

  26. I had not less than 3 relationships with BPD woman, one of them with Bipolar II, this means I have a vast experience about it. The article is surely cold, but it’s right. It’s mistake is only to do not put emphasis that there wonderful things about BPDs.

    Here is my hint to people that deal with BPD:

    1- Stay cold, but have empathy: Yes it’s hard. You must retain a sense of inner calm always, BPDs feel threatened by the minimal sign of confrontation. In fact even a dissent word may be considered an humiliation, you must be sweet when criticizing, in fact, make suggestive words is more effective than just put BPD mistakes into table. Instead of saying “you are doing it wrong”, say something as “Maybe you would try to do it another way”, instead of saying “you are being cruel and manipulative” say something as “You are so sweet, maybe it will be better for will to act with more kindness, it’s more according to your good nature”.

    - If the BPD is in crisis, say nothing, or say little: They will have the tendency to blame you for everything, they can hurt you, sometimes without knowing, sometimes really wanting to hurt you, they rarely notice cause and effect, they have a problem about knowing their own feelings and when they enter in outbursts of anger nothing rational that you said will work, so say nothing, but don’t ignore them, if they ask something, answer in a neutral tone, suggest that it’s better to slow down the behavior, and don’t touch about anything she said in the crisis later, ever.

    - Love them, have empathy, but don’t try to be a savior: Show to them that you understand their feelings, don’t try to achieve what is the cause of their feelings, not even them know, show that you love them the way they are, this will raise the possibility of they be extremely kind and lovable to you. Sometimes they will show just no gratitude at all, and even became insulted, because they sometimes invert the meaning of your emotions and acts. But despite stereotypes, they can barely recognize basic feelings, if they mistreat you, later they will probably try to compensate with huge acts of love and kindness. Sometimes they can show a false lack of empathy, don’t be silly, they are feeling more intensity than ever, they just hide it because they mostly fear abuse (my 3 BPD ex were abused sexually, physically and psychologically, several times) it’s obvious that they will create an emotional disguise, ironically it’s on this state that they are having the most intense turbulent feelings and thinking. They may become emotionally dependable on you, and feels rejected if they feel you are not giving your life to help them. You don’t need to be harsh and say “I will be not your savior”, but you may show love to them giving to them strength to help themselves, it will not always work, they are mostly unstable with random emotion, but it’s your only hope.

    - Show extreme love when they are feeling empty: The emptiness maybe is the best time to act without the fear of a sudden crisis, show that you love her, that you care, they are love hunger, hug her, kiss her, if she refuses, talk calmly to them, with a sweet voice, saying that you are sad too when she’s feeling empty, do not try to even suggest her to get out of the emptiness, it will not work at all, respect her dark moment, saying that you are with her, sad because she is sad, raise a bound of empathy that probably she will remember when it ends, she will love you more and be extremely kind showing her love for you, and it will be a very, very intense love, she will make you feel in a paradise dream, you will never feel so loved in your lifes.

    Now the hints for BPDs, from somebody that had relationships with people like you, and have friends like you.

    - In crisis, go to an isolated place: It’s not because you do not deserve attention or are not desired. It’s because you might hurt yourself and the people you love with this. It will make the crisis end faster and people that do not understand you will not escalate into hurting you. You don’t want to hurt yourself, your love, your parents, your children, you care about them.

    - If you make self-destructive acts, tell it to the medic and people you trust and love: If you are self-harming, using drugs, having suicidal thoughts tell it, even if you think it’s their fault, don’t tell him, just ask them for help, if they tell you to stop, please understand that most people don’t understand that these acts sometimes become out of control, you would not do self-harming or drugs if you did not have a psychological pain, but most people don’t understand, ask for them to help, maybe they will not know how to do it or will not do it right, but remember that they love you, even if your feelings say to you that they hate you. They are trying to do their best, if your love, parents, children and friends did not love you, they would be not near you, living with you, trying to live with your crisis and with you the way you are, “they love you, you are important to them”, just keep this mantra, don’t matter what your mind say. Sometimes they will flee, and you will feel abandoned, most of the times it’s a desperate act of a person who loves you but are desperate and don’t know what to do to help, they love you so much that they burst in crisis too, they want to see you happy and not destructing yourself.

    - We love you more than you think: Most of the times you get confused about how people thinks about you, and that’s ok. But unless your love, parents and children beat you, bully you or sexually abuse you, they really love you, they suffer with your pain too. We have empathy with you. Sometimes as I say before you must ignore your feelings and keep this in your mind as a mantra. We are living with you sometimes making sacrifices we were unwilling to do with other people… for… you… This is pure love.

    I don’t regret any of my relationships with BPDs, of course there was a lot of crisis, anger, cruelty, sometimes manipulating and deceiving behavior, that really make my heart bleed a lot. But there was a lot of love, caring, sweetness caring and even help in my depression crisis (yes, the BPDs helped me a lot in my own crisis, sometimes even when they were in their own crisis as well!). And the intensity of love that my BPD girlfriends give to me was unmatched by any other girlfriend I have, it was full love, the heat of her arms, their passionate kiss, I never felt a so great and true love from a non-BPD girl. I know that it’s a dangerous love, but the rewards are much bigger than the price of dealing with BPDs extreme emotional instability.

    Keep on the search of knowing yourselves BPDs, don’t care about medics and people saying you are incapable of that. It’s much harder to you, because you have a disease, but it’s not impossible and if you get it in the end it will be very rewarding.

    And thanks for the big love you give to me, you BPDs hurt me and make my heart bleed in an ocean of sadness a lot of times, but it does not compare to the times you make my heart stop to bleed from my chronic depression and feel full of happiness in an ocean of true love.

    Sorry for my broken english, I’m brazilian.

    Thank you.

    • Fantastic comment, thank you for taking time to post. I’ve been married 15 years to as yet undiagnosed BPD wife and you really did a beautiful job of sharing two perspectives…that is really needed.

      thanks again.

    • Very beautifully said, and perhaps the most insightful comment so far.

      You’ve a good soul.

    • Your post seems very insightful, but after 12 years of abuse and feeling like I was living in hell, I’ve lost any inclination to coddle or go above and beyond to help this man. Nor do I want my daughter to grow up thinking this is how a man should treat her or my sons to think that is how to treat women. It is a sick, revolving door. Your suggestions may be helpful in a relationship with no children, but I left that relationship to try to minimize the damage being done to my children. They shouldn’t have to tip toe around their father or sacrifice themselves because of their father’s illness. The children are the victims in these situations.

  27. I’m a victim of my sister’s terrible BPD. It doesnt suprise me to hear that people (mostly women from my investigations) that have this condition constantly claim to be the victim, when its them that is doing the abuse. So far my sister has alienated the rest of the family from me by telling them spin and half truths, refused to give me my personal possesions back ( 4 sets of keys ) and then eventually dumped a load of trash through my letterbox in ‘revenge’ because I asked for me keys back. She has recently set out on a campaign to try to have me detained by the police as she told them that I was suisidal (Im not). Last week she sent me an email out of the blue calling me a ‘nasty little sh*it’ which had approximately 12 exclamation marks after it. She frequently has rages so much so that she physically shakes. She spends hours sobbing and says to the rest of the family that I have caused this without ever giving an explanation of what I may have done. Her most recent project is to get one of her friends to publicly tell everyone on Facebook that I need to see a psychiatrist. Her friend by the way has panick attacks, is suisidal (she has a diary of how she is going to kill herself), physically fights with her husband, has an eating dissorder and has trouble holding jobs down…… Non of the rest of the family are prepared to send either to a psychiatrist.

  28. I have BPD and I’m just confused with all the misunderstandings being talked about on here. I really try to help my husband deal with me. I don’t have any hostility or anger issues thank goodness. But what makes me feel badly for him is that I also have multiple sclerosis (I can walk), fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis and arthritis. He has to deal with those limitations of mine too. I am 58 and was just diagnosed. I am also in DBT and individual counseling for depression and for whatever else comes up!

    • Kat,

      I’m so sorry that you have so many health issues. I have lupus and it is not easy. With regard to your BPD, you seem to have a good insight as to what is going on. That is huge and you should be commended. Having lived with someone who I am certain has it, someone who is violent and manipulative, someone who is emotionally and mentally abusing my children, someone who doesn’t realize what HE is the problem, I have lost hope that he will ever recognize the issue and get help. Best of luck and God bless!

  29. I’ve been living with my partner who has BPD for 12 years. Yes, she was diagnosed by a psychotherapist. This article is spot on. My life is a living hell because of this person. She lies, manipulates and is verbally abusive to those who love her….but strangers are her best buds…..till they get to know her. She threatens suicide, has attempted suicide and been in a psych ward because of it. She had been sexually abused by her older brother for years when she was young. He watched her after school while Mom and Dad where too busy working. To this day it is denied by her family. Her new addiction is Facebook. Safety there I guess….she can paint a pretty picture of herself and get the attention she thrives on. One day she loves you to the moon and back, then the next she hates your fucking guts. This goes for anyone who disagrees with her, or any imagined slight. Drama, chaos and daily abuse is ALL you are going to get from a relationship with a BPD person. There’s no reasoning with them, once they are in the red zone of anger like a dog, you can get seriously hurt. I’ve gone from being her true love to her caretaker. Let there be no misunderstanding that I cow tow to her….I stand up for myself and will not tolerate her abuse. I don’t soothe her down with loving words….I stand my ground. Yes I am staying with her…..everyone else has jumped ship. I come from the school of hard knocks….so dealing with craziness comes natural to me. As much as she can dish it out….I give it right back…..till she’s finally taped out of anger and goes to bed for two days. Then walks out good as new….till someone else pisses her off. My advice for those in this kind of relationship….get out…it is not going to change….they are not going to change…..you are living with a Sybil. They will say anything to hurt you, humiliate you in public and throw u under the bus at the first opportunity. They will seek revenge thru family and friends to hurt you. They remember every little slight and perceived slight, and will always pull that arsenal of slights out with each argument. They even write them down. I found a whole load of slight notes under her mattress. They will talk smack behind your back to friends, family and co workers. They will blame you for the problems they create. They go on spending sprees and rack up the bills then will blame you for it. Life is all about them and their needs….they have no interest in you or your needs. As of now I am being paid quite well to take care of this person by the family that made her this way. That is the only reason

  30. I feel compelled to share….I am the eldest sibling of someone who only recently was diagnosed with BPD. He was “troubled” and diagnosed with just about eveything from about aged 7 and over medicated and in therapy constantly until he became an adult….stopped meds and decided “nothing is wrong with me”. As a family member you just want those you love to be happy, healthy & successful. He has lived with other family members briefly and sabbotaged those situations and bailed out of college so many times we cant keep track. He is so abusive, angry and threatening no one will even deal with him anymore. He was homeless 2 yrs ago and I was the last and only person left who made a committment to provide him a stable environment contingent on the fact he work and go to school. Well after two years of living hell and my sanity being compromised, I had it. When I made moves to remove him from my home he attempted suicide (which as a classic case he has done fairly consistently since aged 12) then after being hozpitalized and jailed brieflly, out of guilt, I took him back. Honestly, within hours he was raging and threatening again and attempted taking his life again. It was horribly violent and insane. This time while in the, psych ward, he was given a concrete diagnosis. When the nurse and doctor discussed it with me, I just cried. Finally, I understood. He exhibited all the characteristics…ALL of them. Everyone in the family had resigned to the fact he was simply a bitter, angry, selfish, narcissistic jerk who thrived off chaos, sabotaged evey decent opportunity presented and didnt care about hurting those who constantly expressed they loved him. I knew I told him I loved him enough, knew I hugged him enough, listened enough…god knows I provided everything for him even paying for college he either flunked out of or just dropped. Asking him to turn down the TV was a risk for him launching into a tirade of obscenities. Even the neighbors expressed concern for my safety. So now, we have hope. He is aware, understands and agrees with his diagnosis. He takes low doses of meds for anxiety and depression and will begin therapy next week. The entire family has rallied with a new understanding and acceptance. We all wish this had happened sooner, but technically he really couldnt have been diagnosed prior to adulthood, and he took himself out of the therapies he was afforded while still a minor. We always thought, nothing helped him, so he’s just an A hole who will mangle his life and emotionally destroy those around him. Now we know and can help him more constructively. Since I am his “caretaker” I am learning ways to manage his emotional state and will seek my own therapy. I appreciate this article and look forward to reading the recommended material. Those posting here that suffer and take umbrage with others perspectives, dont take it personally. Maybe more introspection is in order. I’m just thrilled at a definitive diagnosis and plan for healing not only my brother, but our entire family. I havent been able to host a holiday for two years as no one wanted to be around him. I am grateful he has taken responsibility and is practicing improved behaviors consistently.

  31. During her episodes, as I choose to call them, I feel like someone being stood in front of a train rushing towards me. I can do nothing to avoid being run over and I feel totally helpless and exposed. I have been with her for five years now. I love her and will do almost anything for her. I forgive her for all the pain but the episodes keep escalating and I now fear for mine and her safety.

  32. My mom has BPD and everyday is a struggle to live with her. I constantly have to apologize for the little things I have done to hurt her feelings whether it is talking to my dad on the phone (her ex) or not texting her back in the span of 5 minutes. I honestly don’t know what to do. There have been many events where I have walked out of the house, to go and live at my dads for a month or so because I could not take the hostile environment. The thought of her hating herself makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and sympathetic, but I personally do not know if I should be focusing on giving her sympathy or focusing on myself and maintaining a healthy mind emotionally. It is as if everything I say creates an argument that can never end. Whether it is a day, a week, or even a month of a peaceful relationship with her, there is always an episode that occurs and comes back. During these episodes, she usually brings up past events (like 5 years ago), saying “I miss the old you when you were a child and sweet, what happened?” When she says this I think to myself if she just thinks back on the past because she is extremely unhappy with the present. Does anyone else have an experience like this and know how to deal with such events? If so, it would be very helpful because I don’t know what to do anymore. She is my mom and I lover her a lot, but it is almost impossible to deal with her. It is as if she expects me to be the adult and act more mature than her.

    • Your statements were so well thought out and well written. Your situation is so much like mine, except that it’s my son who has BPD. He is our only son, and the problems we’ve been facing, dealing with him on a daily basis, has drained us, made life with my husband a constant strain, and is slowly destroying any shred of happiness in life.

      We’ve been to many counselors over the years, and they all say the same thing – Let him go. Allow him to face the painful consequences of his behavior.

      Once he hits bottom and lives in a homeless shelter, he may decide to get help, and he may not. But things will not get better if we continue to give him a place to live, food to eat, new clothes, a car, internet service and a cell phone, etc. etc.

      He’s not working or going to school, and he doesn’t do much of anything around the house – our house – which he lives in by himself because he’s just too violent and threatening to live with.

      I think the only possible way to handle life with a loved one with BPD that doesn’t want help is indeed the tough love approach. We just haven’t been able to do it yet.

    • My mom is the same way, and its only getting worse. She started with my sister. She ended up leaving, and never coming back. Then my mom started in on my dad. Accusing him of all kinds of crazy things, from 30 years ago. She takes one little minor thing, and dwells on it until its this huge plot against her. She even screams at my 90 year old grandma, telling her what a horrible mother she was. Blames grandma, my sister, my dad, and now me for everything wrong in her life. I don’t know what to do. She’s convinced shes gonna end up alone with nobody, and its everyone else’s fault. She accuses me of things now. Taking her money, trying to steal her car…things that I would NEVER do. She attacked me yesterday, screaming and yelling, throwing things, accusing me of hating her for divorcing my dad. I’m 35 years old for f…ks sake. According to her, shes the only one who knows shes perfectly sane, and we are all the ones who’re crazy. And, she’s right. In her own head, there is nothing wrong with her. I cant hold it against her, if she truly doesn’t know shes sick. But, I cant let her do this to me either. She’s going to kill herself one of these days. I can’t let her die thinking I don’t care about her. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out a way to help her.

  33. This disorder elicits emotionally charged responses regarding this article from those with the diagnosis & those that love/live/care about the diagnosed. I had no previous knowledge of this disorder until I started a relationship with a woman that has BPD & the confirming diagnosis, but withheld that information. I knew something was askew & after several months thought she was symptomatic of PTSD, bipolar & depression. The stories of her childhood also led me to these assumptions (they were assumptions & I’m cognizant of that slippery slope), but I still didn’t have a feeling of a true understanding & that was my motivation; understanding. Long/Short, over next one & one-half year, encouraged & gently led her journey into substance abuse recovery & therapy for her BPD as well as the PTSD, bipolar & depression. Through research & experience, found this disorder “usually” isn’t an island unto it’s self, but is comprised of several, which makes it all the more difficult for the person diagnosed as well as devising a line of treatment or adaptability for lack of a better description. I have no words of wisdom or deep insights other than I truely believe that at any given moment, that is the absolute best that they can do at that moment. In all castings, as angel or devil be mindful that this too shall pass.
    Best wishes to all.

  34. Simply Put:

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find Out What It Means To Me

  35. I am an alcoholic in rehab after 6 years of PTSD and anxiety and depression caused by involving myself with a married woman that has about 8 boyfriends and a drug problem . Her current boyfriend Rob now calls me and leaves sick messages on her behalf. I pray that they are both happy and live a long life. Her lies to one and all eventually will be her undoing. O dont have a borderline personality but she has that and way more. I have had professionals attend to me . She hasnt and never will. I pity her and her sad life. She is evil, sick and in need of help .

  36. I think my mom has BPD. She is very resistant to any mention of her ‘issues’ in life. She is in denial that she has any problems. If I mention this she’ll explode and yell that she “isn’t crazy” however, my dad (her ex husband, married for 33 years divorced for 2), my sister, and her close friend all agree with me. We have all come to the same diagnosis on our own. Do I risk upsetting her and telling her? Can I call her counselor (who I know because our kids go to school together) and mention our concern to him? Or do I just let it be? I completely appreciate this post, as I don’t know how to respond when she swings. But there is so much hurt she is causing as a result and I am so tired of hurting. If there is a name, then there is a pattern of help we can all follow.

  37. I have being in relationships with 2 people (one for 4 years, the other for a year) who fit the diagnosis for BPD and although I am fully sympathetic and empathic to their issue, it is easy to forgot how difficult it is for their partners too.

    Essentially, my conclusion is that sometimes there is nothing you can do to help that person and if after months or years of being truly supportive and trying to get them help and they still do nothing, to the extent where your own mental/physical health is suffering as a result, then I believe the best thing to do is give them the ultimatum of leaving or getting help. If they still won’t get help then leave because it doesn’t get better without intervention.

    I had mental health issues and was lucky enough to realise I needed help and had the support to get me through (I was never unpleasant to people; I was depressed and introspective). I realise some people don’t have this luxury but I do know that most people with mental health issues who have hurt people and are self-aware of the hurt caused (as with some cases of BPD) also have the capacity to seek help but mostly don’t, mainly due to being scared.

    My point is that there is only so much that a partner can do to help the sufferer get help. I have tried being everything that person needs, and creating a safe environment for them to feel comfortable getting help, yet they still refuse to seek help. It is those cases where I feel it is best to leave because it really grinds you down and can leave you with mental health issues of your own.

  38. I find this article one of many that make out that everyone with BPD are some Glen Close character in Fatal Attraction. We aren’t! Whilst your article makes some valid points, others is one sides and the manner in which it is written just is pretty tasteless in all honesty. Thankfully there are SOME people out there who understand. People with BPD are exactly that. People. Stop making out everyone is some manipulative, psychotic, toxic loony tooney.

  39. I’m currently dating someone with bipolar disorder. It can be difficult to understand her ups and downs. I find myself constantly wanting to help her and show her that she’s in the heart and hands of someone she can trust, and who she can tell her problems to. It can get frustrating sometimes to communicate with her. I think, though, with these tips, I’ll be able to make some more progress.

    Thanks,
    Liz Ellsworth | http://www.sojo.ca

  40. I am well aware of my disorder. This makes it even more difficult for me because I really do try my best to not be this person. For those who have BPD, you know what I mean. For those who condemn us, saying that we are selfish, awful people, you could benefit from a therapist as well. Narcissism is a disease found much too often these days, and you have it. Congratulations on being so in control of your emotions. It’s not that difficult when you fail to care about anyone more than yourself. Those of us with BPD are not on a mission to hurt others. It’s actually quite the opposite. Believe me, we would change our patterns of thinking if we could. This does not bring us joy, nor do we feel rewarded in any way. We care. Most likely more than you, (the douchebag with the disparaging remarks). There is help and there is hope. Don’t try to take that from us. You haven’t experienced what we have, nor do you want to. As for the self righteous rant you’re sure to post, just know every letter you type emphasizes your ignorance.

    • THank you for your comment. I am married for 15 years w/BPD person, and your perspective is very much appreciated…

      My question…how to ever get a BPD person to at least acknowledge that they have issues and its not always their partners’ fault??? My wife is manipulative and not only have I put up with her manipulation, mind games and stretched myself thin trying to be there for my kids while she is in her never ending self-pity party…but through all of that she not only doesnt realize that and the pain she’s caused me, she openly says i’m emotionally abusive and she should file reports on that…

      So how do we talk to someone w/BPD? How do we get them realize the self destructive path they are on? They are professional victims, but in this scenario we are the victims–how do get them to realize that and let the healing start????

      • I really feel for you. We have stick together, us ‘normals’, as the BPD has a habit of turning their problems onto us as OUR fault! Their bleating about how hurt they are belies the fact that they are slashing and burning those who dare try to love them, all the while crying ‘poor me’! I’m tired of it, and will never be a ‘nurse’ or a ‘mommy’ to one of these vicious hypocrites again! Life’s too short to drown in someone else’s problems, we al just HAVE to be decent people, no matter how much we are (or imagine we are) hurting from OTHER people. imho, and with wounds to prove it, if you are with a BPD, run, before they eat you alive. And then ask why you would again ever want to be a rescuer, a helper, a nurse, or a crutch, for someone who has no conscience, and who, most likely, will never change. They LIKE the attention of others and are used to it. Many good people have fallen by the wayside trying, I’m sure you’ll have a happier life with a more balanced and kind human being than what we fleetingly see with these people. Sorry, but I’m tired and look forward to having my own life back, health and happiness to all – but you gotta work at it, gently, steadily, and with a good heart, and that’s hard to do while you are intermittently being ripped to shreds! (and yes, I know there are all grades of seriousness in abuse; I guess I just happened to get the worse).

    • I second this.

  41. I suffer from this disorder, we are not bad people just from bad and dysfunctional backgrounds! I have suffered from this disorder since childhood but I was just recently diagnosed. The ignorance I have read in some of the comments just appalls me! And goes to show some of the true reasons why people are suffering from this illness! We do not intend to place blame just a reaction, although truth be known it is not our choice to suffer nor make anyone else suffer! This illness is very tiresome and being undiagnosed as well as uneducated adds to the fatigue of BPD. So those that were negative and ignorant take a long look in your mirrors. People like you are huge contrbuters as well as massive roadblocks!!! We love wholeheartedly with the fear of being abandoned in the end our reactions and views are distorted due to experiencing major traumatic events at sometime in life. We are mortified whenan episode passes and reality that we stepped closer to the very thing we fear, as well as the scars our illness created on the ones we love will never completely heal have occurred. We do none of this out of malice but only by nature of self preservation, not excusing the actions but educating so that hateful people do not prolong the healing process!!

  42. Thank you for this. I am starting a blog about getting out of a relationship with someone who has severe personality disorder characteristics. Would love folks’ feedback: dearjohnnarron.wordpress.com

  43. I would suggest people to stay away from a relationship with anyone with BPD. I married a woman and she was diagnosed with BPD after a year. I read the forums and all and thought she would be different. But you know she isnt. She just was very manipulative and managed to control BPD for a while. I should have taken a divorce when I had a chance. Now she is pregnant and Im totally stuck and screwed. My advise is you cant change them – the medication give them some level of control but its only while they are on it. And they wont always be on it. Im so depressed but I have nowhere to turn to since she slowly isolated me from everyone. I love her and despise her equally. My life is screwed but please dont make the same mistake I did. The good times are not worth the bad times. Somethings that are broken you just cant repair and “No your partner is never going to be any different how much ever you convince yourself they will be and that love will conquer all” .

    And to all those with BPD please try and understand your partners point of view – I know we are are flawed too and not perfect but really dont treat us like that.

    • I wish i would have known what you knew before I got married to one. She had already had the unwanted child with her first husband and he took off out of state. Her second husband’s death was ruled an accidental overdose but a year after his death and cremation she told me that she killed him! i thought she was joking and laughed and then she reminded me of that day he died and where she was… in her home town picking up her sons birthday gift from her X! And how her 25 years of nursing gave her knowledge of how to “Snow” a patient when near to death. Then I stopped laughing as she suggested the same might happen to me. Since that time she has chased me with a butcher knife and held it to my chest, threatened to cut my moms throat, laid a huge box of glass shards where I usually walk, poisoned my medicine and too many other things to report plus all the psychotic episodes, catatonic episodes, schizophrenia episodes. This all started to take shape after about 4 years but her history reeks with borderline indicators. Last kid picked for school activities, fights for moms attention, mother daughter conflicts, infidelity, “nervous breakdowns” cutting, Inflation deflation, ect. Of 60 or more behaviors listed on out of the fogs BPD indicators she has about 98% of them. She has bilked my business account, and I caught her on a date with a man but she doesn’t think she did anything wrong because i only have pictures of them holding hands and he post on face book how he loves her and will never give up! When will I give up is the real question? She won’t get treatment because nothing is wrong. I got her to a marriage counselor and she freaked her out when i played a threatening message she had left at my moms assisted living where she pretended to be a social worker and my wife could not recognize her own voice on the tape! The counselor said that introducing my wife to that other person doing the hanus things could be very dangerous and forbade me to out my wife’s other self in her office so nothing got accomplished there. How can I continue? I have never divorced someone that I love and I am an unrelenting rescuer! She froze in her tracts in the road once and i carried her to the restaurant we were to eat at and 6 police shook me down as staff took it as some kind of assault and instead of telling the police what happened she just sat down and ate a nice meal as if nothing happened and i started walking the 30 miles home. I have had to get out of the car and walk away from incredible abuse and her begging me to hit her which i won’t ever do but her last two did do it eventually. I used hate them for hurting her in her past thinking that i was dealing with her baggage from them and though i feel there is never an excuse to hit a woman the more i see the more sorry i feel for those guys!

      • It sounds like she has Antisocial personality disorder. Maybe check into that. Also what Charles Manson has.

    • Its wrong to generalize a group of ppl by telling others to give up on a person with bpd. And that they arent worth it. Your comment is very unappreciated.

      • I cannot understand some of the turbulent comments associated with nons. I have been dating a bpd sufferer for 4 years and have educated myself not only about the condition and the fallout of the symptoms but how I personally compute things and what my personal wants and desires are in a relationship. Together we have identified that when he is symptomatic it is his illness that hijacks his reactions and not him personally and a totally different hat needs to be worn to adjust and apply the necessary boundaries to starve the symptoms and realign his thought processes. It’s actually very easy to do when u learn that the symptoms are the perpetrators and not the man you love. When his symptoms go to sleep you see a genuine beautiful soul. I dint apply myself in the same way when his symptoms manifest we make adjustments he seeks counselling and is committed to going through the immensely painful discussions and he leanson his professional support network and not me. I am there when he is functioning and we are bringing positivity to each other. Both of us take responsibility is what I’m saying bothof Us move through the cycles with acceptance compassion and respect and tailor our relationship accordingly. We both want the text book relationship but naturally until his symptoms decline and until he acknowledges and embraces control over his reactions we can’t. But I hsve learnt great skills from my sufferer I have also seen my flaws and an appreciation of just how privileged my life has been. I respect my wants and desires and when his mirror mine when his symptoms stop squashing those for him and he is released from this wickedness inflicted in him by others with no ctrol over that it will happen. If things do not improve I will remain a friend with the same rules in place and I will always remember that this infliction is an illness and his and my reactions are due to the cruel symptoms and not who we are as individuals. I am proud and I am glad I came to know this beautiful man and I am glad of the awareness that symptoms are born from much cruelest people than he will ever be. So I challenge nons to take charge instead of expecting normal or do not get involved at all its very irresponsible.

  44. Wow this article really implies that those of us suffering with bpd are monsters. For those of you who do not have bpd and dont know what it is like to actually struggle with it, this article paints the wrong picture. I am 24 and was just recently diagnosed with bpd, though I have been struggling with it my whole life. I would say that this mental illness affects the ill far worse than those around them. In fact many of my friends had no idea about my struggle before I had a mental break down a few months back. We suffer within more than we show. Which is why often people with bpd commit suicide because they never find help or people who understand what they are going through. When someone with bpd is being “reckless” they are feeling the need to destroy themselves, not those around them. If you care about someone with bpd help them by understanding what they are going through. Dont judge them. My fiance truly saved me. Im lucky I found someone so understanding and caring.

    • Jeri-

      Your statement “my fiancé truly saved me” is quintessential BPD thinking..also, the need to be understood and sympathized with rather than called out for the very destructive behavior the disorder unleashes to loves ones. Also I have to disagree that those with BPD suffer more than those around them. You unfortunately are speaking like someone with the disorder. Rather than shine the light if responsibility on your own hurtful behavior and having the maturity to reflect on the pain it causes those who love you, you rally people to understand YOU. I don’t mean to attack you Jeri. I know it’s hell having to deal with this disorder. My mother has wreckedu family since day 1. My siblings and I do not have warm relationships and no longer talk…now I see this is due to the splitting and manipulation tactics of my mother. My mother is even now unleashing a hellish silent treatment on my wife and I AFTER only 2 months of a reconcile following a 4 year cut off instituted by me because I could no longer take her abuse(my dad too) he’s NPD. I also dated a BPD woman for 2 years and sat by as she ripped my heart out callously and coldly for which I did nothing to deserve. Yes I take my share of responsibility in that, but the cruel way in which I was discarded and replaced by someone just out of spite was painful beyond words. Thankfully it led me to therapy and have me the knowledge of bod in the first place!

      As a recovering co dependent, I respectfully disagree with you and urge you to seek help for the disorder and be brave enough( you can do this !) to recover. It will be hard work, but well worth it.

      1) stop seeing yourself as the one needing understanding and seek to understand first

      2) your fiancé is not your savior. That’s an unfair (pedestal) position to out them in

      3) if your own issues aren’t dealt with, your fiancé will be optionally used and discarded by the disorder also. He’s most likely a savior type with a hero complex…co dependent anyone?

      4) you’re young, if you are truly diagnosed, your current path is predictable, especially with your relationship with fiancé. Don’t be a BPD statistic and get the HELP you deserve.

      Respectfully,

      Learned the Hard Way

  45. It sucks beyond words having BPD..I keep emotionally hurting people I care about and I don’t want to/mean to.I do my best to cope with it;I avoid people I care about, the second I feel an emotional drop.It’s worked so far,but there are occasions where I can’t be alone and I have an outburst.Any suggestions?

  46. Start working towards taking responsibility! One of the biggest problems with BPD is they damage and slash others emotionally, while crying ‘poor me, I’m broken and you can deal with it!’. Study behavioural modification. You are what you do, if you are a behaviouralist and if you hurt and would people who try to love you, YOU are part of the problem. Therefore YOU have to do your share. STOP, think and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, when your urge to lash out and rage appear. You can do it but yes, it will be hard work. Life’s like that for everybody – the tough stuff is what makes you a better person, so OWN it, because unless you see the problem, you can’t even begin to fix it. My last Post didn’t even get posted, I was so irate and fed up – guess that shows me something to deal with myself too! In my experience BPD’s easily give up on the goodness of those trying to love them, and turn on them. ONLY you can stop this! Never give up on yourself

  47. I consider myself of a survivor of BPD. I grew up with a mom who was a really bad BPD. It’s sad because she is in denial and will never get help. She’s in her early 50s now. I had to leave home as a teen and as a result of all the abuse I’ve suffered from my own psych issues. I will forever have PTSD and an anxiety disorder because of my childhood trama. I’ve tried recconecting with her but at almost 30 I now know she’s a ‘toxic’ person who is dangerous to my own mental as well as physical well being. She’s seemed to have simmered down with the physical violence but the verbal abuse is still there. As a child of abuse I feel like verbal abuse is much worse then physical because those are emotional scars that are very hard to heal if ever. Ironically I ended up dating a BPD guy who isn’t as a severe case as my mom. We’ve broken up and I’ve tried to move on with my life but he hasn’t allowed me to and now I need to put my foot down and do what’s right for me and gtfo. It’s sad because he needs help but you can’t help someone who thinks ‘it’s not them it’s you.’ As someone who suffers from my own psych issues my heart goes out to anyone who suffers from this disease. I get that there is a bad stigma for any mental illness. At the same time I agree with others that unless someone is willing to see they have a problem and get help you can’t have them in your life. My mom destroyed our family. My ex has been an absolute nightmare and has pushed me over the edge so many times. If you are someone who has BPD or think you might have it, please please go get help. You might not find the right therapist or doctor at first but don’t give up. There are good and bad docs out there, it’s all about finding the right fit. Don’t just do it for yourself, do it for those around you. I get that you are suffering but you can inflict so much damage and pain on others very easily and it can destroy their lives. Thanks for reading!

  48. I was married for 18 years to a BPD man. He was emotionally and mentally abusive. He never let go of grudges. When we went for marriage counseling, he brought up things that happened 14 years earlier and recited almost every mistake I ever made. We’ve been divorced for almost 16 years, and it’s taken me many years to get over the damage done by his manipulative ways and making me think I was always wrong. Now, my son is going through a bad time with his dad where they dissolved a partnership they had (mainly because my ex was jealous of my son’s success). He has said horrible, hateful, untrue things about our son. I keep telling myself this is not about me; however, because of what I went through it’s hard for me to stay emotionally detached. My son called a meeting with my ex’s family to discuss the matter and come up with some kind of plan to convince his dad to get help. Then his sisters decided my ex should be at that meeting and invited him, so I am not sure how that’s going to go but am praying for the best.

  49. I’m sorry but all the bpd sufferers are doing on here exactly what my partner does in real life, lash out at the other person and blame them, to make out that we are the ones with the problem. I’ve been physically scarred, bruised, punched, kicked, scratched, had my car damaged, my things broken, been accused of cheating and loads more. Despite all this she is never sorry and has basically said I deserved all of it because I did ya da ya da ya da…(something trivial). I’ve also been called the one who is abusive which I find mind blowing. Hard to show sympathy/compassion/understanding when your on the end of a pasting. I hope there are people who read this who can empathise as I don’t know what to do

  50. It is very very difficult for me to say this, but I would not wish this upon anyone. I have lived my whole life including childhood with my sister who suffers severely from this illness. She has absolutely turn me to shreds emotionally and psychologically over the years. She used to hate me and make me feel guilty that I was “thinner” than her when I was 10 years old!!! and she was in her late teens. She had always manipulated my parents and myself in every way possible for her entire life. She has threatened suicide at least 6 times in order to get things her way. She refuses to get help she causes constant pain and will abuse you with the thing that she know that will hurt the most e.g. When my mother didn’t have a job and was very upset about it, my sister would use that as ammo “you can’t even get a job you’re so worthless”.
    If I had a choice I would RUN. Run away before she tears your sanity, health, wellbeing and General happiness to pieces, and everyone close to you and your just STUCK and can’t di anything about it. It’s like suffocating slowly under a cloud of sadness and hate. I would never wish this upon anyone. Because not only are you being abused, you’re abusung yourself inside, because you feel so desperately guilty that you hate them so much but also want to love them so much. She virtually makes it impossible to want to be around her with the constant hurt and fakeness she puts on for everyone else. I know she has things to deal with but my entire existence is drained and I am sick.i look forward to nothing, im scared of when she’s comjng home and I’m terrified of upsetting her. Which is too easy to do.

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