Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition that affects suffers’ ability to control their emotions, maintain relationships, and engage in impulsive and self-harming behaviors. In the past, BPD was more frequently diagnosed in women than in men.
There are a couple reasons that may have influenced BPD diagnoses: first, pre-established societal biases, which commonly refer to women as being more “emotional” compared to men; and second, women are more likely to seek out mental health treatment while men are more likely to end up in trouble with the authorities for being aggressive and/or violent.
Additionally, men who displayed intense emotions were often misdiagnosed with other disorders instead, such as conduct disorder, attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis. BPD can be challenging to diagnose in women and even more so in men.
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Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
BPD can manifest itself differently in men than in women. Men with BPD may exhibit paranoid, narcissistic, and antisocial behaviors. BPD in Men may also be expressed through substance abuse or addiction to sex, shopping, or gambling.
Other Signs of BPD in Men
Inability to Commit: While both men and women with BPD experience relationship struggles, some males with BPD may date many women at the same time while refusing to commit to any of their partners out of fear of abandonment. Others may scare their lovers away with aggressive behaviors, extreme jealousy, and quick tempers. Some men may begin to reject all relationships, including friendships.
Blame Shifting: Blame shifting can happen when a man with BPD attributes feelings of failure, disapproval, guilt, and deficiency to other people they hold responsible, often toward those they love. In many cases, the person receiving the blame is either not at fault or contributed to the struggle unknowingly. Men with BPD may struggle to accept responsibility if they are at fault, not knowing how to cope with their overwhelming feelings of guilt and despair.
Being Emotionally Sensitive: Men with BPD may be emotionally sensitive, perceiving most everything as personal attacks, and feeling criticized by any remarks made about them. I wouldn’t use that word here. It sounds pretty judgmental.
Narcissistic and Controlling Behaviors: Many men with BPD are subconsciously inclined to compensate for the lack of control they feel, or that they experienced as children, by attempting to control all of their adult relationships. They may make extreme threats to demonstrate their feelings, such as threatening a partner with an affair or actually acting out sexually with others to gain attention.
Boundary Issues: Some men with BPD may struggle to accept boundaries placed on them, sometimes acting forcefully but unwilling to self-regulate.
Treatment for Men with BPD
Men struggling with BPD can find help through proper treatment. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is the most common treatment of borderline personality disorder. It is based on cognitive principles that aim to teach BPD patients how to control the emotions that cause problems in their lives and relationships. DBT consists of both individual sessions and group skills training. Many therapists make themselves available when not in session in the event of any crises and can often be reached by telephone. Treatment may improve your feelings about yourself along with your ability to function.
If you or a loved one exhibits any symptoms of borderline personality disorder, professional treatment can help. If you have a co-occurring problem with drug or alcohol addiction, a residential treatment center could be the best place to begin your recovery. Or, you may need assistance through outpatient treatment programs that teach you how to manage your emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Please call us at (866) 339-3544 or submit the form below to learn more about our treatment programs in Los Angeles.