Can a Man Have Borderline Personality Disorder?

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Borderline Personality Disorder can be an intense and scary condition. Many people suffer from this disorder without ever knowing about it. Dating a man with BPD can be very difficult as well.

Many men believe that their partners are going to abandon them or leave them at the drop of a hat.

Many men who suffer from this disorder also have violent mood swings and irrational thoughts and behaviors.

The good news is that this disorder is completely treatable. Many people live with BPD their entire lives and manage their symptoms quite well.

The key to having a relationship with someone who has BPD is keeping an open channel of communication at all times.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that is characterized by heavy mood swings, a distorted self-image, and extreme behavior.

Many people who suffer from BPD often experience mood swings that can last for days or weeks. They often feel symptoms of anxiety, depression, restlessness, and irritability.

Many people with BPD often go through what other people would call “phases.” They become intensely and almost obsessively interested in something for certain periods of time before abandoning their newfound interests altogether. They can also become intensely obsessed with other people.

Much of this is due to the fact that people who suffer from BPD have a difficult time understanding themselves and the world around them.

Their opinions of themselves and others can drastically change from day to day. They may wake up one day feeling as though they are on top of the world; the next day they may feel ashamed, guilting and worthless.

Different people who suffer from this disorder have different experiences and different levels of discomfort.

Someone may not know that he or she has BPD for many years because the symptoms could be quite subtle.

Many people with BPD are also misdiagnosed for many years, so they might never quite understand their symptoms in relation to their supposed mental disorder.

Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two known main causes of BPD: genetic causes and childhood experiences. Both could play a major role in the development of this disorder.

Genetic causes are causes that cannot be easily controlled While it is possible to change one’s genetic makeup, the circumstances must be precise in order to do this.

Childhood experiences can be changed if caught early enough. A child’s formative years are vital in creating a healthy mental foundation.

Genetic Reasons

Some scientists believe borderline personality disorder is linked to the ninth chromosome.

Studies on various families in the Netherlands have shown that the disease is possibly linked to genetic reasons.

This study also showed how BPD varies from person to person as the result of a genetic lineage.

Many scientists now believe that humans might have the ability to change their genetic makeup and which gene patterns are activated in certain people.

Childhood Experiences

Many psychologists believe that childhood experiences play the largest part in BPD.

Many of the reasons behind BPD in childhood could include chronic stress or fear placed upon a child, unstable family situations, an alcoholic parent, parents with mental health disorders, physical and sexual abuse, childhood neglect and loss of a parent.

Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

There is a long laundry list of traits that could describe someone with BPD. Many people with BPD show signs and symptoms of this disorder. The symptoms could vary from extremely subtle to very drastic.

The presence of all or some of these symptoms in a person does not necessarily mean that the person has BPD.

Only a doctor can decide whether or not a person has BPD. Yet many people with this disorder

experience some or all of these common symptoms:

– Unreasonable and unreal thoughts of abandonment; these feelings could be physical or emotional. People with BPD often feel as though people are going to abandon them at any moment.

– Unstable relationships with family and friends; many people with BPD have extreme mood swings in which their opinions about someone else change very rapidly.

They may like someone at one moment and then dislike them in the next moment. These feelings may seem random.

– Distorted self-image; many people with BPD are convinced they are unlovable, ugly or unlikeable.

– Extreme behaviors such as large shopping sprees, random sexual encounters, abuse of drugs and alcohol, binge eating and unsafe driving.

Not all of these behaviors are necessarily signs of BPD, but many of them strung together may indicate a person has BPD.

– Self-harm (such as cutting and burning).

– Suicidal behavior, thoughts, threats, and actions.

– Intense mood swings and patterns of intense behavior.

– Feelings of being alone and empty.

– Anger issues ranging from extreme bouts of anger to subtle feelings of anger toward others.

– Inability to trust others; a sense of distrust of the world.

– Dissociative feelings and feelings that the person is outside of his or her body.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Men

Men are just as likely to suffer from BPD as women; yet, many men go undiagnosed. Unfortunately, more men are undiagnosed each year than women.

There are subtle differences between BPD in men and women. When men have this disorder, they can often seem abusive, extremely aggressive and angry.

Many men turn to drugs and alcohol to ease the symptoms of this disorder. According to Joseph Nowinsky, PhD., in an article in Psychology Today, some of the men who experience BPD may lash out in the following ways:

Aggressive and Sensitive

Many men who suffer from this disorder seem to become angry at the drop of a hat. Many men get defensive and angry. They seem to feel as if they are always being criticized.

They may even lash out at other people and try to turn the tables around on someone else. Their behavior is rarely “their problem” and is often the result of someone else’s behavior.

Verbally Abusive

Many men who suffer from BPD tend to try to control others by making them feel bad about themselves.

The idea is that if someone else feels bad enough about themselves, they can never leave him. Becoming extremely overly critical can be one symptom of this disorder for men.

Extreme Jealousy and Possessiveness

Extreme mood swings and irrational jealousy can be another symptom of BPD in men. Many men often become jealous for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

Since they are always convinced their partners are going to leave them, they automatically overreact to the smallest gesture between their partners and anyone else.

Many men also show signs of being very possessive. They show off when other men are around and have a hard time allowing their partners to experience outside relationships. They may even become possessive of their partners when it comes to their kids.

Sense of Detachment

BPD men often have a difficult time remaining in close contact with others. They have difficulty with subtle nuances of the day-to-day lives of other people.

They often seem as if they can’t be bothered with others’ problems and day-to-day activities. Many family men with BPD often seem as if they aren’t interested in their spouses or children.

Holds a Grudge

Many men who have BPD are known for holding grudges and having a hard time forgiving and forgetting. Even if the other person didn’t do anything to elicit said grudge, the BPD man will have grandeur thoughts that the friend is in actuality a perpetrator.

Finds Relief from Insecurities in Sexual Activities

Many men become addicted to sex or find relief in sex from BPD. They believe that sex is a validation that they are loveable and likable.

They often believe that sex is also an indicator that they are in a secure relationship. Some men go outside of their partnerships for sex because they feel that they need extra reassuring that they are wanted and loveable.

Drugs and Alcohol

Men who suffer from BPD often turn to drugs and alcohol to “cure” them of their symptoms.

They feel bad about themselves and use these types of stimulants to numb the pain or forget their problems.

Many men also become addicted to prescription drugs and painkillers to numb the pain.

Male Borderline Personality Disorder Test

It’s difficult to determine if someone has BPD. It’s important to see a psychologist for a diagnosis. But many men can take a preliminary test or quiz to determine if they should see a doctor about BPD.

According to PSYCOM, some of the questions included on the preliminary test include:

True or False:

1. Do you feel insecure about your relationships? Do you feel as though others are just going to leave you, so you need to create codependency within your relationships?

2. Do your emotions change at the drop of a hat? Do you often feel happy, sad, mad and depressed at a moment’s notice?

3. Do you often find that your anger gets away from you or is often out of control?

4. Do you feel that your self-image is true to who you are as a person? Do you often feel thoughts that you are “not good enough” or that you are unlovable?

5. Do you often believe that others in your life (or even complete strangers) are consistently plotting against you or are secretly ganging up on you?

6. Do you ever find yourself recklessly spending or engaging in unsafe sexual activities?

7. Do you harm yourself in any way or consistently have thoughts of harming yourself? Do you ever cut or burn yourself to feel some sort of pain?

8. Do you ever feel consistently empty or bored?

9. Do you ever imagine that people are going to leave you?

Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment

The treatment for BPD often varies from person to person. Many people experience varying degrees of symptoms and don’t need specialized treatment. They often simply need to manage their symptoms through therapy.

Yet others may need a more specialized form of treatment such as medications. According to NEABPD, some of the treatments for BPD include:


All sufferers of BPD can benefit from talk therapy. Some of the most common types of talk therapy for BPD sufferers includes dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), mentalization-based therapy (MBT), transference-focused therapy (TFT) and good psychiatric management (GPM).

Dialectical behavioral therapy is a type of treatment that encourages the patient to focus on mindfulness. This may include some type of breathwork and meditation.

The idea is that the patient can change the course of his or her actions through taking a step back and trying to look at a situation through fresh eyes.

When a patient sees a behavioral pattern, he must notice that pattern and take steps to prevent repeating it. Sometimes patients take part in individualized and group therapies to help discover patterns.

Mentalization-based therapy is a form of talk therapy. It helps patients talk through their feelings and determine the true actions and feelings of others.

Transference-focused therapy helps people with BPD understand their own emotions.

They begin to find out why they think that everyone wants to abandon them. This type of therapy often goes back to childhood to determine the source of problems.

Good psychiatric management helps psychiatrists help patients by offering them guidance and advice on treating this disorder.


Another important step for many people who suffer from BPD is medication. A doctor may prescribe one or more medications to assist with talk and behavioral therapies. Many of these medications also might assist with anxiety and depression.


Self-care is extremely important for people who suffer from BPD. It’s important to get enough sleep, eat properly and take a step back to truly understand why certain emotions pop up.

Many sufferers of BPD don’t realize that they’re not taking care of themselves until they have spiraled out of control. Creating a daily routine can greatly help in creating a self-care plan.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Relationships

It’s often difficult to date someone with BPD because of the extreme mood swings and irrational behavior.

Yet since this disorder is completely manageable, it’s totally possible to be able to date someone.

It’s also 100% possible to have strong friendships and family connections with someone who is BPD. The important factor in these scenarios is an open line of communication.

It’s important for the person who has BPD, to be honest about his feelings with his friends and loved ones. An open line of communication is also the best way to curb any irrational feelings or feelings of anger.

How to Deal with a Borderline Male

It’s important for the friends, family, and partners of men with BPD to understand that the BPD can overrun someone’s life.

If someone in your life has BPD, you need to understand that irrational behavior and bursts of anger aren’t real; they are fabricated stories that your loved one has created to protect himself.

It’s not a bad idea for friends and loved ones of BPD males to seek to counsel themselves.

It may be tricky to sort through feelings and emotions when someone becomes irrationally angry or possessive.

The important thing is to try to diffuse a situation and remind the person with BPD that you support him in every way.

Romantic Relationships and Dating with Borderline Personality Male

It’s also completely possible to have a relationship with a male with BPD. You’re going to want to ensure that your romantic partner is in therapy for this disorder and is taking the appropriate medications.

You’ll want to keep your eyes open for some of the signs that are associated with BPD. You may want to educate yourself on how to deal with someone with this type of disorder.

You must remember that while BPD can be stressful on your relationship and that it’s hard on you, it’s also extremely difficult for your partner.

Your partner takes no joy or pleasure in their behaviors and probably wants to “cure” their symptoms just as much as you do.

Try to keep an open line of communications at all times. Try not to talk to your partner in a condescending tone or voice.

Even if you know the BPD is talking, it’s not always a good idea to state that fact. You want to let your partner know that his feelings are valid and matter to you.

You never want to make your partner feel “crazy” or irrational. While his actions might be irrational, they probably seem completely valid to him.

My Husband Has Borderline Personality Disorder

If your spouse has BPD, you can help him manage his disorder by offering support and guidance. You may want to attend couples counseling to help work through some of the issues together.

You also want to remember that your husband’s symptoms aren’t your fault. Despite what he might say, you did nothing wrong.

You may also want to attend counseling yourself to weed through your own feelings regarding this disorder.

Many people married to someone with BPD often feel as though everything is always about their spouse and that their feelings get left behind.

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