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16 Signs Of Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Borderline Personality Disorder is often a mental health issue associated with women. However, there are cases where men are affected by this disorder as well. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder characterized by traits and behavior consistent with an inability to maintain moods. Individuals with BPD often exhibit characteristics such as:

  • Explosive anger that can last for long periods of time
  • Fits of depression and anxiety
  • Inability to maintain social relationships
  • Impulsive reactions, often including rage
  • Sensitivity to rejection or abandonment
  • Engagement in risky behaviors
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Negative self-image

Many times, men with BPD often exhibit symptoms of other disorders. As children and adolescents, their behavior is often mistaken or misdiagnosed as Oppositional Defiant Disorder. However, as the age, their traits and behaviors become more in line with those characterized by BPD.

Men with BPD often have numerous relationships that accelerate with a rapid intensity and often end in the same fashion. Relationships with family and friends are often difficult to maintain as any experience of conflict will often result in him disassociating with the individual in conflict. They have a knack for cutting off all contact with no regard or regret.

Many times, a man with BPD may not realize that he has the disorder. Those around him may also be unaware of disorder lurking behind the man. Others may believe him to be narcissistic, selfish, and cruel instead of realizing that these behavioral traits are a result of BPD.

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16 Indicators that a man you know may have BPD

  1. Men with BPD may often seem charming on first introductions. They are quick to start relationships quickly and often appear to come on stronger than others, particularly when they find someone they are highly attracted too.
  2. Once established in a relationship, a man with BPD will often seek out opportunities to initiate an argument or fight. Often this is in response to their own beliefs that their partner is not interested in them anymore. They have a need to justify their own reaction to these imagined perceptions and initiating arguments becomes the means to an end.
  3. They seem to be unable to regulate their own behavior and actions, yet willing to establish limits and boundaries on others.
  4. They can seem overly clingy and needy in relationships, often to the point of pushing their partner away, thus fueling their own fear of abandonment.
  5. They have an uncanny ability to switch between love and hate in any relationship. They can seem to move between these emotions without warning or reflection on how their actions may affect others.
  6. They seem to be thrilled by engaging in risky behaviors and often will do so in the presence of others for the sheer joy of creating a shock factor. This can include behaviors such as reckless driving, excessive drinking and partying, or even engaging in a bar brawl. The reaction from others makes them feel alive with admiration.
  7. Their employment history is littered with short-lived jobs that often end without notice. They may quit or be fired because of their explosive episodes to minute issues such as a co-worker stealing a parking place or not refilling the coffee pot in the break room.
  8. They will often project their own dangerous behaviors onto others, calling them out for their wrongdoings while simultaneously failing to recognize their own actions are the same.
  9. In relationships, men with BPD can often exhibit extreme jealousy over their partners. Their girlfriends or wives may find it difficult to have any outside social relationships for fear of being accused of infidelity or finding themselves in dramatic arguments.
  10. Men with BPD lack emotional intelligence. They are unable to regulate or express their own emotions and can often misread the emotional feel of others.
  11. Many times, men with BPD will utilize threats of suicide as a means of controlling those around them. While it is often simply a threat, they recognize that such actions will alter the behavior of those around them, allowing them to maintain a hold on the individuals that they wish to keep close.
  12. Men with BPD often are very controlling, having a desire and need to maintain the upper hand in every situation.
  13. Men with BPD can be possessive, taking their partners life into their hands and demanding to make the decisions for any and every possible option they may have. This can include what type of job they may take, the type of clothing they can wear and even the friends they are allowed to have.
  14. They can be overly critical of others, using their criticism as a means of control. However, they cannot accept any form of criticism themselves.
  15. They are known for holding grudges and being hostile over minute arguments or disagreements.
  16. Men with BPD often resort to drug and alcohol abuse to deal with the feelings of anxiety and depression. In most cases, this only furthers the issues and creates an addiction problem which makes the symptoms of their disorders worse.

Treatment options for Men with BPD

One of the most difficult steps in getting treatment for men with BPD is getting them to recognize that they need help. Their fear of abandonment and rejection combined with their inability to take any criticism makes them uncooperative in recognizing their issues or seeking assistance from a professional.

As with most mental health issues, treatment should be supervised by a licensed psychiatrist or counselor. For those men who have self-medicated using drugs or alcohol, rehabilitation programs may be necessary. Medications and therapy are often the first steps of treatment programs for men with BPD. In extreme cases, gender-based treatment centers are the best option for someone in recovery. These centers will offer courses with anger management, therapeutic interventions, and additional assistance in helping them to overcome their addiction problems. Typically, these programs can last from 30 days to 6 weeks or longer, depending on the severity of their disorder.

Recovery can be an intense process and difficult for men with BPD to complete. However, with the right help and treatment, men with BPD can overcome the difficult symptoms associated with their disorder and return to leading a productive and happy life.

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Angela Sartain, PhD Psychology
Angela Sartain, PhD Psychology

Angela is currently finishing up her doctoral degree program in General Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and crafting crochet dolls for her small business.

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