How does borderline personality disorder affect relationships?

There is no relationship without disagreement. In the affective bond, whether of a loving or friendly nature, which is established between two human beings, the appearance of insecurities, jealousies and conflicts of all kinds is frequent. These difficulties are natural and frequent and do not indicate the existence of an underlying pathology.

However, in the case of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), the ability to establish and maintain an affective relationship is impaired. People with this type of disorder develop insecure attachment in their relationships with others. His condition is unstable and often oscillates between overdependence and escape. This results in the appearance of an intense fear of the possibility of separation and the deep fear of not being loved. The instability and manifestation of these feelings leads to the appearance of a whole series of problems in relationships.

In this article we will see what they are the difficulties that people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder usually experience in their emotional relationships.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

People with BPD often experience a range of negative feelings like anger, anxiety, and depression. These come on suddenly and with more intensity than most people do. Patients with this type of disorder can also act on impulses; for example, they may leave a place suddenly or leave a project or job without giving an explanation.

After an impulse or an emotional change, the person can take several hours to return to a stable state and take days to recover. It is important to understand that in this type of disorder it takes time to return to an emotional baseline.

People with borderline personality disorder often have prolonged episodes of these symptoms. These are likely to negatively affect your work and personal relationships and ultimately your physical health.

Emotional episodes are not only caused by negative events. People with BPD also experience greater euphoria for longer when they have a positive experience. However, it is generally more difficult to recover from events experienced in a negative way. Thus, they have a greater risk of injuring themselves or others, in severe cases they may commit suicide.

All of these emotional changes and their consequences make their relationships more dramatic and live with more tension than most people. These effects are felt more intensely by the close entourage. Friends, family and people important to them go through a whole series of emotional conflicts.

Relationship difficulties before borderline personality disorder

As we have seen, people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have two characteristic and defining traits: lack of emotional control and impulsiveness.

The ability of people with BPD to maintain stable and satisfying intimate relationships is significantly affected by these traits. Although these issues may be masked at first, as emotional excesses may be interpreted as signs of passionate love or the imbalances that are typically seen at the start of a relationship. With the passage of time and the lack of emotional regulation, these problems make daily life more difficult and endanger the viability of the relationship.

However, borderline patients and their relationships face many challenges and issues. It should be noted that the difficulties presented below are not significant from the point of view of diagnosis, but can be understood as behavioral indicators observed by therapists in relationships with their patients. It must be understood that each BPD patient is unique and so are their relationships; therefore, not all of these issues are seen in every link. However, in some cases, a person may face several of the following challenges:

1. Codependency

People who suffer from a borderline personality disorder are those who best represent the expression “neither with you nor without you”. His emotions are unstable and alternate between flight and extreme dependence. Moreover, one is the consequence of the other. Typically, people with BPD exhibit an insecure or disorganized pattern of attachment, accompanied by codependent relationship dynamics. The idea of ​​separating from the other causes him immense discomfort. They often live with the idea that the other could disappear or abandon them.

Likewise, the simple lack of contact with the other can cause anxiety, as thoughts of abandonment arise. To mitigate them, they may engage in self-destructive or hostile behaviors. People with BPD have a greater predisposition to addictions.

2. Intensity

People with borderline personality disorder are often portrayed as romantic. When they meet someone, they show immediate passion, especially when they fall in love. This affection can be perceived as very special for the other party. However, the feelings of the principle do not remain stable and can vary in consistency in periods of love-hate. In romantic interactions with a person with borderline personality disorder, one may feel loved at times and hated at others, usually towards the end of the relationship.

3. Dichotomy

People with borderline personality disorder often have difficulty processing information coherently due to stressors in their relationships. Indeed, his emotional state alters his cognitive functioning; the so-called “cognitive regulation deficit” is associated with borderline personality disorder. They tend to process information from their environment in dichotomous terms, such as that everything is black or white, or good and bad; ultimately, patients with BPD tend to form unhealthy thoughts. These ideas are formed instantly and do not last long, so they are considered irrational. However, this greatly affects their relationships, they alternate between loving and hating the other or unwittingly tend to idealize or demonize who they are with.

4. Exaggerated Conflicts

Chatting seems to be something people with borderline personality disorder enjoy, so anyone who has a relationship with them can become their punching bag. Indeed, they show great resistance to conflict and often react with hostility to irrelevant details. During the discussions, People with borderline personality disorder may vent their frustrations on the other person for no apparent reason.

As we have seen, being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder means experiencing dramatic mood swings. These moods change quickly and can go from happy to angry or angry in seconds. Additionally, the person arguing can go from feeling calm and serene to feeling angry or stressed within minutes.

5. Emotional manipulation and blackmail

People with borderline personality disorder usually treat others as if they were actors they can easily manipulate. However, they do not use relationships instrumentally, that is, to achieve goals with intention or organization. Instead, they tend to focus their attention, affection, and behavior on others in dysfunctional ways. using emotional blackmail, victimization or seduction.

6. The feeling of emptiness

The feeling of emptiness is characteristic of TLP. Patients with borderline personality disorder often exhibit a fragile self-concept that can change or fragment under stressful circumstances. This emotional insufficiency it makes them feel empty most of the time. As a result, they may experience separation anxiety and a tendency to codependency in relationships.

7. Victimization

People with borderline personality disorder they often attribute their problems to outside circumstances. Generally, they blame others for their difficulties or struggles; they might even accuse others of being selfish, lacking in compassion, or abusive. These arguments, which are usually made in confrontations, they can initially cause discomfort, confusion and guilt in the other. In the end, these arguments are defended to the end with great force.

8. Misunderstanding

Living with a person with BPD means facing daily frustrations because they feel misunderstood by their environment. Many times this feeling is true. People are always trying to understand the moods, fears, insecurities of the other party in the relationship, but this due to the emotional intensity can be difficult in the case of people with BPD. It’s inevitable leads to a lack of communication and emotional distance in the relationship.

9. Self-sabotage

Although ultimately people with borderline personality disorder yearn to build satisfying and lasting relationships, they often refuse to bear the burden of the stability of affection. They have little patience for frustration and they find the inconveniences of daily life a heavy burden. Consequently, they experience a lot of self-fulfilling prophecies when relating to others: they assume that the bond that binds them to others is damaged, and they behave in a way that corresponds to this idea, which goes from being something imagined to being something. real.

Additionally, people with this type of disorder have difficulty differentiating between wants and needs, making them easily upset over small things and experiencing significant motivational issues. This is also linked to their impulsive nature and quick changes in attitude, which causes them to change interests and even goals in life frequently.

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