5 Common Myths About Borderline Personality Disorder

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be challenging, and there are often misconceptions surrounding this mental health condition. In this article, we aim to debunk common myths about BPD and shed light on the reality of living with and managing this disorder. So, let’s dive in and explore the truth about Borderline Personality Disorder.


What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental health condition that affects how individuals perceive themselves, their emotions, and their relationships with others. People with BPD often experience intense and unstable emotions, which can manifest as extreme anger, sadness, or anxiety. These emotional fluctuations can be overwhelming and may occur more frequently than what is considered typical.

Individuals with BPD often struggle with maintaining a stable self-image. They may switch between seeing themselves as inherently flawed or bad and idolizing themselves or others. This instability in self-image can lead to feelings of emptiness, identity confusion, and a sense of not knowing who they truly are.

Another hallmark of BPD is difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships. The fear of abandonment is often at the forefront of their minds, leading them to have intense reactions to perceived or actual threats of rejection. This fear and emotional sensitivity can sometimes result in turbulent interpersonal relationships.

For more information, see our resource, Borderline Personality Disorder: Understanding and Managing the Symptoms.


Additional Challenges Faced by Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder

In addition to the intense emotions, unstable self-image, and relationship difficulties, individuals with BPD commonly struggle with other challenges, which can include:

  1. Impulsive behaviors: Difficulty with impulse control is a common feature of BPD. This can manifest in reckless behaviors such as substance abuse, binge eating, overspending, self-harm, or engaging in risky sexual activities. These impulsive actions often serve as an attempt to regulate their intense emotions or seek relief from emotional pain.
  2. Self-harm and suicidal tendencies: Due to the emotional intensity they experience, individuals with BPD may resort to self-harming behaviors as a way to cope or express their emotional distress. Similarly, they may also struggle with suicidal ideation or attempts. It’s important to note that engaging in self-harm or experiencing suicidal thoughts does not make someone attention-seeking; these actions are often desperate calls for help and relief.
  3. Difficulty regulating emotions: Emotional dysregulation is a core feature of BPD. Individuals with BPD may find it challenging to manage and stabilize their emotions, leading to rapid mood shifts, difficulty calming down after emotional triggers, and difficulty returning to a baseline emotional state.


Debunking Common Myths About Borderline Personality Disorder

Now that we have established a foundation of understanding regarding Borderline Personality Disorder, let’s address some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding this condition.

Myth: Individuals with BPD are Manipulative

The truth is that individuals with BPD are not purposely manipulative. Their behaviors are driven by a desperate need for validation and love due to their fear of abandonment. It’s essential to approach individuals with empathy and understanding rather than labeling them as manipulative.

Myth: Borderline Personality Disorder is Untreatable

This is far from the truth. With appropriate therapeutic interventions, individuals with BPD can experience significant improvement in their overall well-being. Psychotherapy is one evidence-based treatment that has shown positive results in helping individuals with BPD manage their symptoms effectively. It is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment approach that suits your specific needs and circumstances.

Myth: BPD is a Permanent State of Being

While BPD is a chronic condition, it is not a permanent state. With the right treatment, support, and personal growth, individuals with BPD can learn the skills to manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Myth: People with BPD are Always in Crisis

While individuals with BPD can experience intense emotions and mood swings, it is incorrect to assume that they are constantly in crisis. With appropriate treatment and coping strategies, they can gain stability and lead fulfilling lives. It is important to provide support and understanding rather than perpetuating stereotypes and stigma.


Seek Support and Understanding

Debunking the myths and misconceptions surrounding Borderline Personality Disorder is essential for promoting understanding, empathy, and support. Remember, individuals with BPD are not alone in their journey. If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, support is available.

Looking for more information about Borderline Personality Disorder? Here are some suggestions:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder: A comprehensive guide from the National Library of Medicine that offers basic information about Borderline Personality Disorder, including causes, symptoms, treatment, and finding help. 
  • Veteran Crisis Line: 24/7 confidential crisis support for veterans and their loved ones

You don’t have to face the challenges of BPD alone. Reach out to SummitStone Health Partners today, and together, we can work towards managing your symptoms, creating a fulfilling life, and overcoming the obstacles that BPD may present.