In the last article, we’ve discussed what is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), its symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment. In this post, the focus is on 4 types of borderline personality disorder. Check this out!
People with BPD face difficulties regulating emotions, they experience severe mood swings and a great sense of insecurity and instability. They view things as all good or all bad. They change their opinions about others very quickly, thus they have unstable relationships with others.
When it comes to diagnosis, mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), 5th Edition. According to this DSM manual, the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder are given in this post. Research says that BPD is the result of a combination of environmental factors, hereditary factors, and brain function.
There are four types of BPD each with its own symptoms. If you have BPD symptoms you can be diagnosed with more than one type at the same time or at different times. Understanding these BPD subtypes will help you better understand the mental disorder (if you are diagnosed with BPD).
4 Types of Borderline Personality Disorder
1. Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder
People with this borderline personality disorder are unpredictable (can be extremely sad or angry), irritable, impatient, and defiant. They are pessimistic, stubborn, and resentful.
A petulant borderline suffers from extreme feelings of unworthiness and fear of being disappointed by others. Yet, they can’t resist relying on them. The feeling of not being loved leads to relationship challenges, extreme dissatisfaction and creates an unhealthy desire for control in them.
This makes them passive-aggressive and triggers episodes of anger. They engage in self-harming behavior to get people’s attention followed by manipulation, substance abuse, and other damaging behaviors.
Existing literature about these BPD subtypes shows inconsistencies. Some studies show BPD subtypes only in girls, characterized by angry externalizing, high-functioning internalizing, histrionic, and depressive internalizing.
2. Self-Destructive Borderline Personality Disorder
People with self-destructive borderline personality disorder struggle intensely with bitterness, self-criticism, and self-hatred. They engage in activities that are self-destructive but they may or may not be aware of it. They may try to harm themselves just to feel something.
Examples of self-destructive behavior:
- Self-harm behavior like burning, cutting, hitting or scratching
- Risky activities that give adrenaline rush, especially if you’re unprepared
- Substance abuse including prescription medication abuse and recreational substances like alcohol
- Threats of suicide – it’s more than just a symptom and require emergency services
A self-destructive borderline has no sense of self and struggles with the fear of being abandoned. Besides self-harm, they also exhibit a sudden increase in their energy levels, feelings of euphoria, and poor quality of sleep or sleeplessness. Euphoric feelings may be a sign of a manic episode or bipolar disorder instead of a self-destructive borderline personality disorder.
3. Discouraged or Quiet Borderline Personality Disorder
A person with a discouraged BPD has fears of abandonment, which is why they act needy or exhibit clingy and codependent behavior. They take extreme actions to prevent perceived or real abandonment.
They try to fit into a group setting although seeming dejected or alienated and detached. On one hand, they seek approval, but they also self-isolate. They feel unworthy and tend to blame themselves rather than point out others’ mistakes. So, they are prone to depression.
Inside they are full of anger and disappointment directed at those around them. They don’t feel like having a strong, reliable bond with people in their surroundings. Therefore, they feel lonely and empty most of the time. They experience emotional mood swings when abandonment issues are triggered.
Discouraged BPD is also known as a quiet borderline personality disorder. People with this disorder are more likely to direct their emotions inward as compared to those with other types of borderline personality disorder. They are highly likely to engage in self-mutilating or suicidal behaviors. Research also says that discouraged BPD can be perfectionists, high functioning, and extremely successful.