What are Common Stereotypes Associated with Borderline Personality Disorder?

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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), borderline personality disorder (BPD) is “a condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotion”. Individuals with this disorder feel emotions intensely and may experience impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense responses to stressors. Unfortunately, due to misunderstanding, stigma surrounding people with BPD further perpetuate negativity towards the disorder.

NAMI states that even some mental health professionals hold stereotypes, imposing a “limit” on the number of patients they are “willing” to see or even refusing to see someone with BPD altogether. Societal stereotypes on BPD can make it difficult for those with the disorder to feel included, and many may struggle with self-image and self-love because of these negative views. The following are common stereotypes of BPD:

  • Individuals with this disorder inflict pain on themselves to manipulate others.

Healthy Place states that while individuals with this disorder may be perceived as manipulative, these people often do not know how to directly ask for what they need.

  • Those with BPD do not respond to treatment.

Studies have shown that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has proven to be very successful for BPD. Recovery is possible, but many people with BPD struggle with therapy because of the stigma associated with it.

  • It is hard to be in a relationship with someone who has BPD.

Being in a relationship with anyone who has a mental illness can be challenging because you have to learn more about that person and how you can be a supportive partner. However, Vice Magazine states that people with BPD experience very intense emotions, and if you are not aware of their disorder or you do not educate yourself on it, you may experience difficulties. People with BPD can be in a very loving relationship, they just need a partner who will learn and grow with them.

  • People with BPD are likely to be violent.

Psychology Today confirms that a person with BPD is more likely to commit self-harm than violence against others. With a suicide rate of 10%, many people with BPD feel unloved and misunderstood. More understanding, patience, and love is needed.




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