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Mental Health

The Different Types of Borderline Personality Disorder

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a Cluster B personality disorder, characterized by its intense emotions. Its symptoms present in a variety of ways and the way someone experiences borderline personality disorder can be broken down into four types. There is also severe BPD, which is when someone experiences the majority if not all of the symptoms to a high degree, and quiet BPD, which is more internalized and less obvious to onlookers. The four types of borderline personality disorder are as follows: discouraged BPD, impulsive BPD, petulant BPD and self-destructive BPD.

Discouraged Borderline Personality Disorder

Discouraged BPD shows itself in social situations by the individual being attached to those around them, being codependent and by generally seeming dejected in group settings. They feel disappointment in social settings and seek approval, despite frequently avoiding people and feeling unworthy.

Impulsive Borderline Personality Disorder

Impulsive BPD is characterized by a person being engaging and energetic, but often superficial and flirtatious, seeking thrills and acting on impulses. They thrive on attention and have an act-first think-later personality. It tends to lead them to trouble like substance abuse and behaviours that cause injuries.

Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder

Petulant BPD tends to bring about episodes of intense anger. Those affected fear others are disappointing them but tend to be unable but to rely on them. Often, they are passive-aggressive and have extreme feelings of being unworthy.

Self-destructive Borderline Personality Disorder

Self-destructive BPD shows itself by the affected person engaging in behaviour that is self-destructive without even knowing it. They tend to engage in self-mutilating behaviours in an attempt to feel something, and they are most likely to participate in risky behaviour.

These types of borderline personality disorders affect the way someone reacts to treatment. A discouraged borderline might not respond as well to efforts surrounding risky behaviour because they don’t tend to display as much impulsivity as someone with impulsive borderline. Not everyone with BPD identifies with one of these four types and not everyone wants to be told what type they are.

Often, classifying an already-demonized disorder with more variations serves to further stigmatize it. For some, the classification is helpful; it can aid with figuring out which aspects of treatment will be most effective and allow for someone to focus on their largest issues. For others, it can make them feel like they’re a bad person because the classifications only focus on the negative. Not everyone wants to be defined by their negative traits. What is helpful for some isn’t always helpful for others, and it’s important to understand this when discussing BPD.

Kathryn Morton

Wilfrid Laurier '24

Kathryn is a third year language student who spent her first year stumbling through Laurier's financial mathematics program before ultimately changing her major. Yes, she's aware those two have no overlap, we don't talk about that. This is her third year writing for Her Campus Laurier.
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