In order to write the articles on this site, which now number nearly 600, I have spent a considerable amount of time researching how borderline personality disordered parents can adversely affect the psychological development of their children. For this post, therefore, I thought it might be interesting to simply list some of the descriptions of how the borderline parent thinks, feels, and acts that I have come across during my research.
It should be borne in mind, of course, that people with borderline personality disorder will not necessarily have all the symptoms listed, and, likewise, people without borderline personality disorder may have some of the characteristics I list.
However, the more of the following characteristics a parent has, the more likely it is that he or she suffers from borderline personality disorder.
BPD Behaviors That Can Be Damaging :
– deep need to exercise control over others
– prone to always blame others rather than take responsibility
– prone to explosions of intense rage, hostility, and anger
– ignores the boundaries of others
– deep need for attention
– very accusing towards others
– emotions easily get out of control
– prone to extreme over-reactions
– projects own faults onto others
– beillitles and derides others
– hugely self-destructive
– exclusively focuses on self and own problems
– deep sense of inferiority
– frightens and intimidates others
– holds inconsistent opinions
– uses threatening behavior
– very quick to judge others, often on the basis of flimsy evidence
– issues ultimatums
– has rapid mood swings
– life tends to be a never-ending series of crises
– very demanding
– prone to irrational thinking and behavior
– sees things in ‘black or white’ (ie sees things as either ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’)
– fluctuates between idealizing and devaluing/demonizing others (this is related to ‘black or white’ thinking, above)
– in constant denial in relation to own faults, but sees faults in others everywhere
– extremely intense
– prone to highly inconsistent behavior
– impulsive/indulges in high-risk behaviors
– oscillates between intensely clinging to others and then angrily pushing them away
– displays extreme emotions / often has dramatic outbursts
– emotionally exhausts others, especially those close to
– insatiable need for love, respect, and admiration
– inconsistent and changeable behavior confuses others/others do not know ‘where they stand’
– has highly volatile and unstable relationships
– verbally abusive/hostile
– very weak sense of own identity
Of course, people with borderline personality disorder, or BPD (click here to read one of my posts on this very serious condition), have their good points too! However, the above list has been compiled to focus on the damaging effects their behavior may have on others.
Unfortunately, if we have been brought up by a parent with BPD, we are prone to develop some of the above characteristics ourselves or even develop BPD ourselves. The first step to overcoming BPD is to accept one may be suffering from it. One of the most promising treatments for BPD is dialectical behavior therapy (click here to read my post on this).
PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BLAME THEMSELVES FOR HAVING BPD
BPD IS AN EXCRUCIATINGLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY PAINFUL CONDITION WHICH, NOT INFREQUENTLY, ENDS IN SUICIDE. THEREFORE, HOWEVER DIFFICULT IT MAY SEEM AT TIMES, THOSE SUFFERING FROM IT SHOULD BE TREATED WITH COMPASSION. ALSO, THERAPY FOR THE DISORDER, BY THE PERSON WHO HAS IT, SHOULD, IN MY VIEW, BE URGENTLY SOUGHT. AS UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONDITION INCREASES, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE FULLY RECOVERING FROM IT. THERE MOST DEFINITELY IS HOPE!
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).