Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects an individual’s ability to control their emotions and maintain relationships. It can also lead to impulsive and self-harming behaviors. Historically, BPD has been more commonly diagnosed in women than borderline personality in men.
There are a couple of reasons for diagnosing borderline personality disorder in women more often than in men. The first reason is pre-established societal biases, which commonly refer to women as being more “emotional” than men. The second reason is that women are typically more likely to seek 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 like conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, attention deficit disorder (ADD), oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis. Diagnosing borderline personality disorder can be challenging for all genders.
Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality in men typically presents differently than it does in women. Men with borderline personality disorder may exhibit paranoid, narcissistic, and antisocial behaviors. BPD in men may also be expressed through substance abuse and addiction as well as other addictions to sex, shopping, or gambling. When men struggle with BPD and substance abuse or addiction concurrently, it’s known as a dual diagnosis.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Borderline Personality Disorder
Another disorder that shares similar symptoms with borderline personality disorder is post-traumatic stress disorder. Shared symptoms of both disorders include:
- Mood swings
- Problems with regulating emotions
- Fear of abandonment
- Episodes of anger or rage
However, some distinct BPD behaviors and symptoms include the following:
- Engaging in compulsive, and often dangerous, behaviors, including substance abuse and addiction, binge eating, and self-harming behaviors
- Paranoia or dissociation
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Tumultuous relationships
Other Signs of BPD in Men
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’re 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 almost everything as a personal attack, and feeling criticized by any remarks made about them.
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 their adult relationships. An individual in a relationship with a BPD male may experience extreme threats or their partner acting out sexually to get attention.
Boundary Issues: Some men with BPD may struggle to accept boundaries placed on them, sometimes acting forcefully but unwilling to self-regulate.
Relationships with BPD Males
While individuals of all genders with borderline personality disorder (BPD) experience relationship struggles, some men with BPD may date many individuals at the same time while refusing to commit to any of their partners out of fear of abandonment. An individual in a relationship with a BPD male may experience aggressive behavior, extreme jealousy, and a quick temper. Additionally, some men with borderline personality disorder may reject all relationships, including friendships.
Treatment for Men with BPD
Men struggling with BPD behaviors and symptoms can find help by seeking a mental health residential treatment program like what we offer at Clearview Treatment Programs. Our BPD treatment includes dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is the most common treatment for this disorder. It’s based on cognitive principles that aim to teach individuals how to control the emotions that cause problems in their lives and relationships. Dialectical behavior therapy consists of both individual sessions and group skills training. Ongoing dialectical behavior therapy and other types of BPD treatment may help individuals with their ability to function as well as their self-esteem.
BPD Treatment at Clearview
If you’re struggling with borderline personality disorder, it’s vital to reach out to trained clinicians to receive the proper BPD diagnosis and appropriate mental health treatment. At Clearview, our clinicians have experience with and expertise in treating BPD at our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center, our Women’s Treatment Center, and our outpatient treatment centers.
Borderline Personality Disorder FAQs
How do I know if my boyfriend has BPD?
Your boyfriend may have borderline personality disorder if he is struggling with emotional regulation and self-image, has increasingly unstable personal relationships, and is engaging in impulsive behaviors like substance abuse, binge eating, or self-harming. If you think your boyfriend has BPD, please reach out to our compassionate treatment team by calling 833.547.1012 or filling out our contact form.
Is borderline personality disorder a chronic/lifelong disease?
According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, while borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness, it’s by no means a life sentence. Research has shown that the prognosis for someone with a BPD diagnosis has improved over the past decade. With proper treatment, almost half of those diagnosed with BPD will not meet the criteria for diagnosis just two years later. Ten years later, 88% of people who were once diagnosed with BPD no longer meet the criteria for a diagnosis. With the right kind of treatment, your symptoms can improve, too.
What causes borderline personality disorder?
If you’re suffering from borderline personality disorder, the most important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the exact causes of BPD remain unknown, though both environmental and biological factors are thought to play a role. No specific gene has been shown to directly cause BPD, but various genes have been identified as playing a role in its development. The brain’s functioning, seen in MRI testing, is often different in individuals with BPD, which suggests a neurological basis for the disorder.