BPD Sufferers Do Not Choose To Be Self-Absorbed.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Self-Absorption :

We have seen in many, many articles on this site, how childhood trauma can lead us to experience great mental distress and anguish in our adulthood; indeed, some who experience high levels of chronic and repetitive stress in childhood may incur physical damage to their developing brains and go on to develop psychiatric disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD)when they get older.

People with BPD, through no fault of their own, are frequently self-absorbed and may be accused, by those who do not understand the disorder, of being self-absorbed, self-obsessed, only worried only about ‘number one’ etc etc… However, it bares repeating that this in not their fault; after all: The man being burning at the stake does not overly concern himself with the problems of the onlookers and spectators.

And, of course, BPD sufferers would much prefer not to be self-absorbed; it is not a pleasant state of mind to be in; it is a tormenting state of mind to be in – one is shut in a mental prison, unable to connect with the external world in a satisfactory way and unable to enjoy the things that most take for granted.

Intense mental suffering is bound to lead sufferers to be able to focus on little else and to suggest the state is somehow self-indulgent or a choice is absurd and insulting.

self absorption

However, Individuals Prone, Through No Fault Of Their Own, To Being Highly Self-Absorbed Are At Increased Risk Of Suffering From The Following Behaviors And Conditions:


– addiction to narcotics

– anorexia nervosa

extreme risk taking

– thrill seeking




outbursts of rage/extreme anger

It is theorised that those prone to high levels of self-absorption may be driven to the kind of behaviors and conditions listed above due to the stress constant self-examination, self-monitoring and self-judgment entails.

Studies have also found that those prone to high levels of self-absorption and rumination are, in general, less good at problem solving than less self-absorbed individuals. This is probably due to the fact that they are more focused on the distress a problem causes them than they are on finding a solution to the problem.


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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).


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About David Hosier MSc

Holder of MSc and post graduate teaching diploma in psychology. Highly experienced in education. Founder of childhoodtraumarecovery.com. Survivor of severe childhood trauma.

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