The types of attachment found to be most characteristic of BPD subjects are unresolved, preoccupied, and fearful. In each of these attachment types, individuals demonstrate a longing for intimacy and—at the same time—concern about dependency and rejection.
Avoidant attachment has been less consistently associated with personality disorders generally (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007), and is not considered a primary risk factor for BPD. Research has also established a relationship between attachment insecurity and other personality disorders.
Several researchers point to disorganized attachment as a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD).
Thus, BPD features seem to be highly associated with attachment anxiety, and may only be associated with attachment avoidance when it co-occurs with high attachment anxiety.
People with BPD can act overly needy. If you take them out of their comfort zone, or when they feel “abandoned” they can become a burden.
If someone has a borderline personality, they will always push people away, in fear of getting hurt. This is extremely difficult and painful for the people around them, as the sufferer can seem cold and angry, attention seeking, or not wanting help.
A person with BPD may also be very physical and eager to spend a lot of time with their partner. At the same time, people with BPD are sensitive to abandonment or rejection. Many are hyperfocused on perceived signs that a romantic partner isn't happy or may leave them.
BPD is characterized by intense, unstable emotions and relationships as well as insecurity and self-doubt.
Of the 1.4% of adults in the United States2 living with BPD, a common thread that runs through them is a special connection to a person in their lives. This individual is often described as their 'favorite person,' and may be anyone from a teacher, to a best friend, or even a family member.
People affected with BPD usually have been exposed to trauma, either in early childhood or via their intimate relationships or both. For some people affected with BPD, fears of being left out, left behind, rejected, or abandoned are present in almost every relationship.
BPD is a complex disorder and affects every person differently. Common symptoms are emotional instability, erratic behavior patterns, and intense feelings of emptiness as well as a poor sense of self. Unlike PTSD, which is understood to be a fear-based disorder, complex PTSD is believed to be rooted in shame.
The impulsive nature, and the association to childhood trauma, dissociation, and frontolimbic abnormalities support the continued protection of borderline personality disorder under the insanity defense.
Researchers think that BPD is caused by a combination of factors, including: Stressful or traumatic life events. Genetic factors.
Splitting is a psychological mechanism which allows the person to tolerate difficult and overwhelming emotions by seeing someone as either good or bad, idealised or devalued. This makes it easier to manage the emotions that they are feeling, which on the surface seem to be contradictory.
Those who have BPD tend to be very intense, dramatic, and exciting. This means they tend to attract others who are depressed and/or suffering low self-esteem. People who take their power from being a victim, or seek excitement in others because their own life is not where they want it to be.
AVPD is often comorbid with depression and substance abuse, and is likely to be associated with increased odds of suicidal ideation and attempts,2,6,9 explaining, perhaps in part, why AVPD may be a significant predictor of chronic depression.
Results found in a 2014 study found the average length of a BPD relationship between those who either married or living together as partners was 7.3 years. However, there are cases where couples can stay together for 20+ years.
Often, the borderline person is unaware of how they feel when their feelings surface, so they displace their feelings onto others as causing them. They may not realise that their feelings belong within them, so they think that their partner is responsible for hurting them and causing them to feel this way.
Borderline personality disorder causes a broad range of reactions that can be considered self-destructive or self-sabotaging. It influences thoughts, emotions, behavior, and communication, adding a degree of volatility and unpredictability to daily living that can be unsettling for BPD sufferers and their loved ones.
Their wild mood swings, angry outbursts, chronic abandonment fears, and impulsive and irrational behaviors can leave loved ones feeling helpless, abused, and off balance. Partners and family members of people with BPD often describe the relationship as an emotional roller coaster with no end in sight.
If you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), you might have experience with being called “obsessive.” What loved ones may not realize though, is that for someone with BPD, the core issue is usually not about the object of the obsession — it's often the result of underlying symptoms of BPD.
Often, the person with BPD will react towards loved ones as if they were the abusers from their past, and take out vengeance and anger towards them. When the person with BPD feels abandoned, they can become abusive or controlling as a way to defend against feelings of abandonment or feeling unworthy.
People with BPD may be sensitive to rejection and abandonment and are prone to splitting, rage, and impulsivity. If a person with BPD feels rejected or abandoned, they may end the relationship. However, this is usually followed by significant anxiety and regret and efforts to get back together.