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Four Types of Borderline Personality Disorder

04 Jan

Four Types of Borderline Personality Disorder

by Dr. Neil Lavender, Ph.D.

So much has been written today about the Borderline Personality Disorder. These individuals, often very abused in their childhoods, can wreak havoc in organizational settings and close relationships. They are known for their impulsivity,  self – destructive nature, moodiness, anger, and, perhaps most importantly, their tendency to have very stormy relationships. Think Glenn Close in the movie Fatal Attraction.

But not all borderlines are alike. In his stellar book, Disorders of Personality: DSM-IV and Beyond, Theodore Millon identifies four different subtypes of Borderline Personality Disorder. Incidentally, Millon is one of the leading experts in the field of personality disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder so he knows what he’s talking about. His book is one of the best books out there for any serious student of personality disorders and I recommend it highly to those who are more advanced in their study of psychology.

The Discouraged Borderline in many ways can look very much like an individual with Dependent Personality Disorder, or what is commonly known in today’s jargon as codependent. They tend to be clingy, go along with the crowd, and walk around feeling somber and somewhat dejected. Deep inside however, there are often angry and disappointed with the actions of those around them. Scratch the surface, and that anger could explode, but they are much more likely to do harm to themselves by self-mutilating or even suicide.

The Impulsive Borderline seems to be a first cousin to the Histrionic Personality Disorder. These individuals tend to be flirtatious, captivating, elusive and superficial. They are highly energetic and seek out thrill after thrill. They are easily bored and seem to have it never ending appetite for attention and excitement. As their name implies, they will often act without thinking getting themselves into all sorts of trouble. These people can often be very charismatic and it’s easy to get caught in their spell. Beware!

Millon’s third subtype is what he calls the Petulant Borderline. He describes them as being “unpredictable, irritable, impatient, and complaining” as well as “defiant, disgruntled, stubborn, pessimistic and resentful”. They are torn between relying upon people and at the same time keeping their distance for fear of disappointment. They vacillate between feelings of unworthiness and anger. This anger can be quite explosive. Better not get in their line of fire.

Finally, there is the Self – Destructive Borderline. This type was marked by his constant sense of bitterness which they turn inward. They will often engage in self-destructive behaviors whether it is conscious or unconscious.  Their levels of self-hatred can often reach monumental proportions leading them into all types of self-destructive behaviors, ranging from poor healthcare to reckless driving to performing humiliating sexual acts.

These people are not your run-of-the-mill  “toxic coworker”. Though they might often seem okay on the surface, these are deeply disturbed individuals in need of help. Even the most experienced of therapists are challenged by them.

Forewarned is forearmed; it’s best just to keep your distance. More next time.

 

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33 responses to “Four Types of Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Jaen Wirefly

    March 16, 2012 at 6:59 am

    A lot of us with BPD do recognize there is a problem, with help we do improve. Treatment has been proven to work:

    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/188/1/1.full

     
  2. Risa

    April 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Reblogged this on Thinking Outside the Box and commented:
    Informative post by a doctor about the different types of Borderline Personality Disorder.

     
    • notmyname

      August 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      informative? you are not very bright my friend.

       
      • Dawa

        January 30, 2013 at 7:36 am

        Perhaps you’ll be more interested in a thread about the “covetous sociopath.”

         
  3. cerebralsimon

    April 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I find this piece to be quite disturbing! I deliver training around DSM disorders and am aware of the subtypes (even 4 is probably oversimplified) of borderline disorder.

    I don’t like the negative connotations of this blog/article! Statements like ‘beware’! It just reinforces the idea that people with borderline are incapable of love and empathy and the like. This isn’t the case. All we (or they) ever see is those who present to clinicians…. They don’t see the rest who can modify their ‘primary’ interpretations…….

    The problem with supposed specialised services is they simply aren’t specialised. Most of the time clinicians are general car mechanics and don’t have the foggiest about what they are ‘working’ with. When things don’t work re: the ‘borderline type’ picks up on some negative aspect of humanity (such as frustration on the part of the clinician because of a lack of progress/negative reflection on self etc.) the clinician becomes the rejecter. What bothers me is a) the term itself! Borderline – what the heck does this mean!? So unfair and reaffirming the deepest fears of the person who on the whole is likely to have been badly abused in the past (during personality development…..

    We may not be able to fundamentally change thinking styles but we can encourage individuals overtime to keep trying to walk a new neuro path… To reinforce an alternative pathway…. I have seen it work! Hope my friend! Hope!

    Another things that really upsets me is that we should stop looking at it purely in a disease like way! In my experience people with ‘borderline’ or emotional ‘sensitivity’ often bring great insight with them and empathy – especially when they are not in the situation themselves.. They are very sensitive to what impacts negatively on others etc… And can cater for this and advise on how best to forge a trusting relationship between 2 parties! Every cloud….

    I have a girl come in and talk bravely about life with borderline during training sessions and i have been able to subtly challenge some of her all or nothing thinking overtime through discussing the subject objectively with her and the audience… It works…… You can work to a daily program you know…..

    Funny thing is; is whenever I begin to discuss the characteristics of borderline (above and beyond any other disorder) most people go quiet – most people can identify with it! I see it time and again – and I make a joke about it with the audience and they always agree! A continuum I think…. Moreover, perhaps the critical variable is not the presentation of symptoms itself but something else – social support and acceptance, trust, a therapist without an ego?!

    Sorry I ‘impulsively’ rushed this and haven’t checked for typos or grammatical problems but was ‘overwhelmed’ by emotions and a sense of injustice.

     
    • Bonnie Lee

      May 27, 2013 at 4:02 am

      Thank you for this CerebralSimon. FINALLY, someone who sees me. I am not the typical Borderline. I am not violent, don’t have multple marriages, am not a chamilion type, don’t manipulate for money, power or sex and don’t reak havok on people’s lives. I do have anger outbursts with my husband but not consistantly and I always feel genuine guilt after and apologize. I am a cutter but it has lessened throughout the years. I have lied in certain situations but I don’t lie as a rule. I think any normal undiagnosed person would admit they have lied b4 and if anyone says they have never lied then they are a liar. Lying is apart of human nature. Not something to be admired of course but it happens and we feel guilty and try to change our ways. True pathalogical people don’t feel guilty. I do. Also, Yes, I can be manipulative but for me it’s out of fear of abandonment and if I threaten to kill myself, well for me at least, it’s not a show. If someone is mad at me or is leaving my life and I get suicidal, it’s out of real fear and not just a show like some people think of Borderlines. Also, I get suicidal on my own in the middle of the night when I have no one to tell so that obviously isn’t manipulative. I am very charasmatic but not in an evil or pathalogical way. I love genuine connections and relationships. I have empathy and compassion and care about people other than just myself. I have been reading alot about Borderline Personality Disorder online and am shocked by some people who warn for the general public to “BE WARE” or “STAY FAR AWAY FROM A BORDERLINE” Again, I will say this….Yes, I have emotional issues and am hyper sensitive but, I am not your average havok reaker that some may have experienced. I will admit they are out there but I’m not one of them so for those who’ve had bad experiences with borderlines, meet a christian borderline b4 you judge them all as havoc reakers and destroyers of relationships. A christian borderline is someone with many borderline traits and probably a diagnosis too but their identity is in Jesus Christ so their behaviors are drastically unlike a non-christian borderline.

      Anyone may contact me for conversation or friendship

      Bonnie Lee
      bonnaleesa@gmail.com
      Facebook: Bonnie Lee ……..the one with red hair

       
  4. throughcrackedglasses

    August 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Reblogged this on Through Cracked Glasses and commented:
    This frustrates me. “Forewarned is forearmed; it’s best just to keep your distance.” The stigma here is ridiculously displayed, and shows the exact reason that some of us struggle with being open about the disorder. Because of people that “warn” others about the disorder. Disgusting.

     
  5. Katie

    August 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I WAS appreciating the article until the end. “it’s best just to keep your distance?” This type of talk is what makes people with these illnesses feel crazy and only worsens their thinking. Borderline personality disorder can be significantly managed by learning techniques to deal with unrealistic thoughts and impressions. One of the most common traits in all of these areas is the fear of abandonment. So how is advising people to stay “far away” from these people helping anyone? It’s naive statemts like that which cause stigmas.

     
  6. notmyname

    August 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    screw whoever wrote this. you’re making shit worse for everyone, even those without BPD. people (like Dr. Kneel Purple) don’t understand cascading events. by writing in this tone, as described by the above posters, you make the BP seem like a horrible person. thus, people who read this go out and tell their friends. who tell their friends. who tell their friends. somewhere along the line, someone told you! otherwise you wouldn’t have even been able to write about this.

    and that’s not the end of it. by making BP out to be a negative thing, you dont just fuck over the BP, you fuck over everyone. when a society is more aware of an (negative) issue, they project that issue all over the place – towards their friends, towards their ‘toxic’ coworkers, towards their parents, towards their children, and, as cerebralsimon described in his or her lectures, towards themselves! that does the most damage. and it cascades even further. these people now have this little idea in the back of their head that they ‘might be a borderline’ (and as cs said, its a continuum, there are no lines of demar-fucking-cation). they act that out. then the whole world gets worse because of those actions.

    see what you’ve done? people like you should be put in jail.

     
  7. Maxime danielle

    September 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I think this blog is ten steps back from actually getting where these people need to be. and that is in a healthy enough state of mind that allow’s them to seek and stick with the help they need. why put fear into the eye’s of society, so we can be blind? these people struggle with a physical brain problem do you comprehend that? I’m repulsed by you’re lack of ability to reach you’re readers.

    beware,

    a “toxic” citizen

     
  8. rise up singing

    September 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    SHAMEFUL! I am baffled by the choice you both made to pursue a field dedicated to helping people. “Best just to keep your distance”? So you feel that people with this disorder are not worthy of the love and respect all other people are? You are both professors of psychology; is this what you teach a generation of students? SHAMEFUL!

     
    • nlavender

      September 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

      I never said that they were not worthy of love and respect. I have relatives, patients and yes, even friends, with this disorder. Love means hoping and praying for the best for someone and I do. Indeed, I have spent most of my life trying to help them. But as relationship difficulties (“stormy relationships”) are at the very core of these disorders and the vast majority of people are uninformed and unprepared for this, they should just stay away whenever possible.

       
      • Nico

        September 29, 2012 at 11:08 am

        My heart just broke.

         
      • Wendy Cerne

        April 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm

        You’re totally clueless “nlavender”

         
  9. Cas

    September 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I can’t believe a doctor wrote this article. How disrespectful.

     
  10. Agnieszka

    October 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    “Beware” ? wtf?

     
  11. Sandra

    October 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    OMG..after reading this articleI have to call the hotline..SHAMEFUL!!!!

     
  12. catalinagooden

    October 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Reblogged this on A Different Perspective and commented:
    Interesting… I can identify with some of all of these. A motley crew of characters, I am, so maybe I am all of the above. ;-)

     
    • nlavender

      October 31, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Thanks for your being so candid and open. Your blog is very informative, inside info so to speak. Readers should visit it. http://catalinagooden.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/764/
      God bless you.

       
      • catalinagooden

        October 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        Thanks much, my love! :-)

         
  13. Building Young Leaders

    February 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again right here regularly. I am moderately certain I will be told many new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!

     
  14. lookingtobuyaballgag

    March 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    So much has been written about Dr. Neil Lavender, Ph.D and Theodore Millon . These individuals, often very abused in their childhoods, can wreak havoc in organizational settings and close relationships. They are known for their impulsivity, self – destructive nature, moodiness, anger, and, perhaps most importantly, their tendency to have very stormy relationships. Think Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the movie The Silence of the Lambs.

    They tend to be clingy, go along with the crowd, and walk around feeling somber and somewhat dejected. Deep inside however, there are often angry and disappointed with the actions of those around them. Scratch the surface, and that anger could explode, but they are much more likely to do harm to themselves by self-mutilating or even suicide.

    These individuals tend to be flirtatious, captivating, elusive and superficial. They are highly energetic and seek out thrill after thrill. They are easily bored and seem to have it never ending appetite for attention and excitement. As their writing implies, they will often act without thinking getting themselves into all sorts of trouble. These people can often be very charismatic and it’s easy to get caught in their spell. Beware!

    I would describe them as being “unpredictable, irritable, impatient, and complaining” as well as “defiant, disgruntled, stubborn, pessimistic and resentful”. They are torn between relying upon people and at the same time keeping their distance for fear of disappointment. They vacillate between feelings of unworthiness and anger. This anger can be quite explosive. Better not get in their line of fire.

    If you do be prepared for their constant sense of bitterness which they turn inward. They will often engage in self-destructive behaviors whether it is conscious or unconscious. Their levels of self-hatred can often reach monumental proportions leading them into all types of self-destructive behaviors, ranging from poor healthcare to reckless driving to performing humiliating sexual acts.

    These people are not your run-of-the-mill ”professors of psychology”. Though they might often seem okay on the surface, these are deeply disturbed individuals in need of help. Even the most experienced of therapists are challenged by them.

    Forewarned is forearmed; it’s best just to keep your distance.

    Perhaps I will make this available at the campus you work at so faculty and student body can have an “accurate” understanding of your disorder.

    A friend of mine distanced herself from me after I told her I had BPD. I asked her why. she brought me to this article. Of course! If I’m not on the verge of exploding into a psychotic tangent of rape and murder while ordering my cult followers to drink more Cool-aid with a ball-gag in my mouth, then I am not living up to my full potential. Beware! LMAO!

     
    • Bonnie Lee

      May 27, 2013 at 4:12 am

      I’m sorry about your friend distancing themselves from you. They liked you one moment and hated you the next over an article even though you had not ever hurt them. How shallow people can truly be. I’m a borderline too and I have a friend who knows but loves me just the same and you know what she said to me? She said you may have borderline traits but I see your heart. This people is true friendship.

      Bonnie Lee
      bonnaleesa@gmail.com
      Facebook: Bonnie Lee

       
  15. Lord 45

    August 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Well, i think distancing from borderline people is a good thing. If you go near them they give you extreme emotional pain and they feel hurt because of you which will make you feel guilty. Just keep your distance and help them from a distance if you really want to help people with BPD. Going near them make things bad, and in my view they are like bitter almonds but coated with sugar syrup.

     
    • Bonnie Lee

      August 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Every human being whether they have borderline or not suffers emotional pain at times because of someone else. It’s just that people with Borderline will be most likely to express it and others won’t. Let me tell you something sir, you can distance yourself from people you know have Borderline all you want but you should know that if you are mean, rude or hurtful to someone in your life who does not have Borderline, they will still feel the same exact emotional pain. The only difference is they will not tell you but they will be suffering inwardly because of what YOU did so you can stop right now with the I don’t want to take responsibility of my actions attitude that you should be able to cause emotional pain without being made to feel guilty. If you cause emotional pain on purpose then people will hurt whether they are Borderline or not be cause people are human!! Are you human? Now on the other hand, if someone has made you feel guilty over something that they made up in their head, that would be a totally different story but I will still explain to you this fact which is that Borderlines will often perceive they were wronged when they were not however Borderlines are not making things up on purpose. There is something wrong in the brain because I speak from experience. Yes, I have Borderline and I know with all my heart that I don’t make people feel guilty on purpose. I don’t seek to make people feel guilty. I have a real medical problem that causes me to miss-interpret people’s words and actions. When a friend of mine will later explain things, I will see the truth and be ok. I don’t tell them they are lying as some more severe Borderlines do. There are different levels you know. I have it but I don’t destroy people’s lives with guilt. People with Borderline actually love a lot deeper and are much more loyal friends. My friend has told me that she wishes she could find a man as loyal as me and as loving as me. What does that tell you about Borderlines? Not all are the same so don’t put them all in the same category. Now, why am I not as severe? I will tell you, I was diagnosed with this disorder yes but I also have a strong Christian faith. Am I perfect? Absolutely NOT! I screw up all the time but it’s the foundation of Jesus Christ that makes me less severe. I have my Borderline moments that are bad but also have my limits. I would NEVER hurt anyone! If you ever meet a Christian Borderline, don’t be so quick to think they are as bad as the ones of your experience! Even non-Christian Borderlines are not all the same. Many are more loving, loyal and peaceful!

       
  16. Stacey Ensor-Fisher

    August 12, 2013 at 2:49 am

    this article is so offensive it’s unbelievable I suffer with BPD and am proud . after I was diagnosed with borderline I researched it and all I found was scary statements about us being monsters. im not a monster im a mom,a landlord ,and a store owner. I have bad days but who doesn’t ? i cope with my anger every day but that don’t mean im not a giving ,loving, kind hearted person . how dare you post an article warning people to keep their distance from BPD sufferers?! I guess you will be warning people next to stay away from gays or foreigners, how about blacks or jews? Your spreading hate, fear, and lies! you should be ashamed of yourself you owe us an apology! the info was great but your ignorance was very cruel and harsh.

     
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    September 10, 2013 at 9:51 am

    What’s up to every single one, it’s really a pleasant for
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