Borderline personality disorder and cheating in relationship

The Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Relationship Cycle

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a diagnosable mental health condition associated with unstable emotions and a lack of a stable identity. Symptoms of the disorder include intense anger, impulsive behavior and an intense fear of abandonment, which can lead to chaotic and unhealthy relationships. The BPD relationship cycle arises from the instability that comes along with this mental health disorder. 

Borderline Personality Disorder and Relationships 

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tend to view the world in black and white extremes, meaning their opinions of people, including their significant other, can rapidly change. BPD also leads people to have an extreme fear of abandonment, which can make them distrustful in relationships. 

These behaviors can create disruption and conflict within the context of a romantic relationship. In fact, a study in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found BPD was linked to lower satisfaction levels in marriage and more marital problems. The study authors concluded BPD was associated with chronic relationship problems, which tend to begin early in marriage.  

BPD and Cheating

One issue that can arise in BPD relationships is infidelity. Borderline personality disorder relationships and cheating may occur due to the impulsivity associated with this mental health condition. Recent research has shown people with BPD are more sexually impulsive and likely to engage in risky sexual behavior than those without BPD. Sexual impulsivity may lead a person with BPD to engage in sex outside their relationship, ultimately creating trust issues. 

Average Length of a BPD Relationship 

There is no set average length of a BPD relationship because each person’s symptoms and how BPD affects their relationships will differ. Given the instability that comes with BPD, some people with this disorder may experience a series of relationships that begin intensely and end quickly. 

One study found most women with BPD (68. 7%) experienced frequent breakups and reconciliations within their relationships, and over 18 months, almost 30% of them permanently broke up with their significant others. On average, couples broke up about once every 6 ½ months but tended to get back together. This study suggests that BPD relationships may be unstable but can last over time if couples reconcile after a breakup. 

What Is the BPD Relationship Cycle?

The BPD relationship cycle refers to stages couples experience in the context of a relationship in which one partner has BPD. Since BPD is linked to impulsivity and unstable relationships, borderline personality disorder relationships tend to be cyclical in nature, with both highs and lows. The different BPD relationship stages progress from idealization, in which the person with BPD views their partner as perfect, to unstable periods of conflict, which may eventually end the relationship. 

Six Stages of the BPD Relationship Cycle

The BPD relationship cycle occurs in the following six stag

  • Stage one: In the first stage of a BPD relationship, the partner with BPD idealizes their significant other. They may even obsess over their new partner, convinced this is the perfect person for them. The relationship is mostly positive but can move quickly, given the impulsivity among people with BPD. 
  • Stage two: As the relationship progresses, the partner with BPD can become insecure as they convince themselves their partner does not love them. They may be especially sensitive to any feedback they perceive as negative from their partner. Fears of abandonment start to kick in, and the person with BPD grows increasingly anxious in the relationship. 
  • Stage three: During stage three, the partner with BPD will attempt to “push away” their significant other so the significant other has a chance to prove their love. They may accuse the partner of cheating or demand the partner prove their love someway. If the partner without BPD meets this demand, the person with BPD experiences less anxiety. 
  • Stage 4: Instability within the relationship continues during stage four. There may be increased levels of conflict, as the partner with BPD feels increasingly anxious and like their needs are not being met. The person with BPD may try to keep their insecurities inside but still feel fearful of abandonment within the relationship.
  • Stage 5: The relationship begins to break down completely at this point, and the partner without BPD is likely to end things. Exhausted by the BPD relationship cycle, the non-BPD partner emotionally checks out and does not desire to continue. The person with BPD may try to make promises to change. 
  • Stage 6: In the final stage, after the relationship has ended, the person with BPD blames themselves. They become extremely angry and upset and may even engage in self-harming behaviors, which are common with BPD. The end of the relationship reinforces the person’s fear of abandonment, but they are unlikely to recognize that their own fears and insecurities led to the relationship ending.  

Can Someone With BPD Have a Healthy Relationship?

Research has shown individuals with BPD and their partners tend to be less satisfied with their relationships. BPD relationships are also more likely to involve physical and psychological violence and repeated cycles of breaking up and then reconciling. These behaviors do not make for a healthy relationship. However, a person with BPD can increase their chances of having a healthy relationship if they are committed to engaging in therapy, learning their triggers and being self-aware of their own struggles.

Are All Relationships Involving BPD the Same?

While you can expect some general behaviors, such as impulsivity, mood swings and relationship instability with BPD, not every person with BPD is the same. Each person is unique, and BPD can occur on a spectrum. Some people with BPD may only have mild symptoms like a need for frequent reassurance, whereas others may engage in abusive behaviors, such as physical violence, within their relationships.  

Should I Leave Someone With BPD?

If you’re in a BPD relationship, you may be able to develop a healthy, happy partnership by engaging in therapy together and helping your partner cope with their insecurities. On the other hand, having BPD does not give your partner the right to engage in abusive behaviors or violate your needs. Some signs it may be time to end a BPD relationship include:

  • Your partner is physically violent or engages in psychological violence, such as frequently putting you down, calling you names or accusing you of cheating. 
  • Symptoms of BPD have led to frequent breakups and/or conflict, and your partner is unwilling to go to therapy to learn how to change their behavior. 
  • You have discussed your boundaries and needs with your partner, and they continue to ignore them. 
  • The relationship is bringing you more distress than happiness. 

How To Cope With BPD Relationship Cycles

If you are living with BPD or your partner has BPD, there are ways to cope with relationship cycles. Whether you have BPD or love someone who does, therapy can improve BPD symptoms and make having healthy relationships easier. You might consider couples therapy to help you cope with BPD symptoms, and if you live with BPD, individual therapy can help reduce BPD symptoms that interfere with your relationship. 

If you live with BPD, the following tips can help you to cope with BPD relationship cycles:

  • Learn stress management techniques, such as practicing yoga or meditation. 
  • Establish a strong support network of friends and family who understand your mental health condition and are willing to offer a listening ear when you experience distress.
  • Practice self-care through a healthy diet and a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Stay connected with your therapist to work on identifying your triggers and learning coping skills.

If you love someone with BPD, the following coping strategies can be helpful:

  • Encourage your partner to seek treatment.
  • Learn about their mental health condition so you understand their symptoms and can be more empathetic toward them.
  • Try to remain calm when your partner is upset, and do not take their behavior personally. When you recognize their behavior comes from their own distress and fear, you’ll be more likely to remain calm instead of reacting with anger.
  • Set clear boundaries with your partner, which includes refusing to tolerate abusive behavior.
  • Seek counseling or therapy if you are feeling distressed and unsure of how to cope. 

Nobu offers a free-to-download mental wellness app that features mindfulness training, lessons from mental health experts and a goal tracker for monitoring your progress to help you learn strategies for coping with BPD in relationships. Nobu also offers a paid plan, which allows users to schedule online therapy sessions with licensed counselors. Download the app today on the App Store or Google Play Store to begin utilizing the benefits of this app.  

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Borderline Personality Disorder and Cheating

Maintaining a relationship when someone has Borderline Personality Disorder is difficult. While all relationships have challenges, the symptoms of BPD can make even the most stable moments tumultuous. However, just because someone has Borderline Personality Disorder does not mean they cannot have meaningful and intimate relationships or are doomed to cheat.

Here is everything you need to know about Borderline Personality Disorder and cheating.


What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

In order to understand how Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects relationships, you need to know a little more about this mental health disorder. People suffering from BPD struggle with a poor self-image, abandonment issues, reactive moods, and unstable interpersonal relationships. Those with BPD are also at a higher than average risk of suicide.

Since BPD sufferers have issues with abandonment, they often take on an all-or-nothing approach to relationships. Be it with friends or a significant other, they will compete for acceptance and attention. Even when in a stable romantic relationship, they may feel lonely and insecure. Furthermore, they tend to hold others responsible for the pain they will inevitably feel if and when the relationship sours (even when this is not true).


BPD And Infidelity

There is a myth out there that those with BPD engage in affairs more often than others. However, there is no concrete evidence supporting this claim. Research has yet to find a connection between BPD and infidelity.

Yet, how did this assumption occur? It is based on the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. Due to the mental condition, most people with BPD struggle to maintain relationships with friends, family, and partners. They often feel unloved and unwelcome, and, because of a poor self-image, think badly of themselves whenever something goes wrong.

BPD also causes impulsive behaviors and a lack of self-control. Upon feeling abandoned,
individuals with BPD may engage in risky behavior, such as gambling or unprotected sex. In some cases, an individual with BPD may seek out sex as a way to self-medicate instead of self-harm, which is common.


Why Does BPD Cause Trust Issues?

Although people with Borderline Personality Disorder are just as susceptible to cheating as those without the condition, they tend to suspect their partners cheat on them more frequently. While those with BPD feel empty inside and are constantly looking for love and acceptance, they also don’t believe themselves capable of being loved. In other words, they also assume the ones they love most are going to reject them eventually.

Unfortunately, many people with BPD come from dysfunctional families and environments. They learned, either from nature or nurture, that their emotions and the people in their lives are untrustworthy. Since BPD symptoms often begin in early adulthood and worsen over time, they may never learn how to regulate their own emotions in a healthy way.


Combating BPD With Couples Therapy

Borderline Personality Disorder and cheating do not always go hand in hand. That said, the traits of BPD do put stress on those in the relationship. When left unchecked and untreated, BPD can make even the strongest of relationships fail. Therefore, the first step to counteracting the negative effects of Borderline Personality Disorder on a relationship is to receive help from a therapist or mental health provider.

Treating BPD is one of the best ways to deal with the symptoms. Medication and therapy can curtail the impulsivity that could potentially lead to infidelity. Moreover, going to a therapist together can help you both connect on a deeper level, as you would learn healthier ways to communicate. A couples counselor could also help you work through the toughest of times.


Final Thoughts

Does having BPD put someone at a higher risk of infidelity? No. Borderline Personality Disorder and cheating are not connected, though certain symptoms of BPD could drive someone to cheat. That said, if you and your partner are willing to work through the challenges of BPD and go to therapy, then there is no reason your relationship can’t succeed.

There is nothing that a little cooperation, compassion, and communication cannot overcome.
With our unique counseling programs, Couples Academy can teach you how. Get in touch with Couples Academy today!


how people with borderline disorder live



Irina Pomelyaiko

14 October 2021

People with bright borderline features are not accepted in society, considering them to be alcoholics, drug addicts or sex addicts.
Often they also become victims of bullying and abuse, harm themselves and it is extremely difficult to control their emotions. AIDS.CENTER figured out why BPD is difficult to diagnose and how people with this diagnosis live.

Katya works as a programmer and has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) for a long time. Its essence lies in the "shaky" mood: people with BPD can have outbursts of anger, uncontrollable emotions, swings from rage to incredible love in a short time. They also have problems with self-perception and goals. The leading feeling that accompanies them all the time is a constant feeling of emptiness. People with BPD are prone to self-destructive behavior and suicidal attempts.

Katya says that her emotions often “jump back and forth” and continues: “All my friends look at me like I’m crazy, because at first I can sob and kill myself, and then say: “Oh, cookies, let’s go eat.” And so again. It’s very easy to unsettle me, now I’m in treatment and have been going to therapy for a long time, so it’s easier, but before I had outbursts of anger when I could “explode” and yell at people for almost no reason. I have trouble defining myself, meaning I often can't figure out who I am. My plans, ideas, self-perception, self-esteem are changing. Everything is unstable. I get paranoid during stress, dissociation often happens: I can fall out in the middle of a conversation, come back and understand that I don’t remember what a person told me for three minutes, because I was not clear where. In general, this is instability in everything that it can be. In a relationship, instability, of course, is due to emotional swings: you first love people, then you hate them. Constantly some extremes, it is very difficult to get out of them.

Collage: Anna Sbitneva

In Russia, there are problems with the formulation and understanding of this diagnosis. The fact is that the main document with the help of which doctors of various specialties, including psychiatrists, make diagnoses is ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases of the 10th revision). It is already rather outdated, since it has been operating since 1989. We will switch to ICD-11 (a more modern version) only by 2025. At the same time, in the United States such a document is called DSM-5, it describes exclusively mental disorders and their symptoms and is more correct and inclusive, that is, accepted, towards patients.

Psychotherapist Vladimir Brylev explains: “ICD-10 does not contain a diagnosis of BPD, it considers the diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder, subdividing it into impulsive and borderline types. This is partly justified, as it allows a more detailed approach to the treatment of these patients. In ICD-11, most likely, there will be no division of personality pathology into specific diagnoses, familiar to our ears by the names of radicals / traits (hysterical, narcissistic, schizoid, etc.). However, one of the criteria, the severity of which will be evaluated in each patient with a personality disorder, will be the borderline pattern. The diagnostic criteria for BPD are currently best described in the DSM-5.

Borderline personality disorder is usually diagnosed at age 18. The fact is that it is at this age that the borderline personality traits and its structure are fixed. Vladimir Brylev explains that such features appear even earlier: “BPD patients themselves feel their hypersensitivity in the sphere of emotions, a sense of instability of their identity, already from the age of five or six years, and sometimes even from birth. Borderline personality traits such as feelings of inner emptiness, difficulty in controlling one's emotions, sensitivity to criticism and rejection, suspicion, suicidality, impulsiveness, and dependence tend to become apparent to others around the age of 13–15, when against the background of puberty, the brightest teenage crisis is observed. At this age, the social, first of all, school environment begins to react, which is often manifested by bullying.

Vladimir Brylev, psychotherapist

So it was with Katya. She says that from the age of 14 she began to notice the first manifestations behind herself, but then everything only got worse. At 24, she went to the doctor, which, in her opinion, was too late: “I went to a specialist when I was really bad - I was at home and could not do anything. It seems to me that it started at the age of 14, but gradually everything got worse and worse with some glimpses. I had very abusive parents, and when I left them at the age of 18, the euphoria lasted for a couple of years, and it was easier, then worse again. At the age of 24, I already realized that I couldn’t do that. Emotional instability goes all the time in the background. Several times I cursed people very harshly, then I was wildly ashamed, but at that moment I still did not understand that something was wrong with me. When I stopped living with my parents and I became emotionally freer, then this gesture began. People were afraid of me, my peers, acquaintances [worried] that I would explode, say something, and the like. At 24, I was diagnosed with depression and unsuccessfully tried to treat it. When I was 27, I went to a new medical center where I was diagnosed with borderline disorder. First, the suspicion of borderline disorder, and then two doctors said that it was not just depression, but it was. Then they sent me to dialectical-behavioral therapy, after which I felt some kind of effect.”

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is one type of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of BPD in controlled clinical trials, the most rigorous type of clinical trial. The essence of therapy is to teach people behavioral skills that address the common symptoms of BPD that we discussed above. These skills include mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and tolerance for destructive stress. This method was developed by psychotherapist Marsha Linehan, who herself suffered from borderline disorder.

As Vladimir Brylev notes, in the case of borderline disorder, drug treatment is the basis for successful psychotherapy: “Like any personality disorder, BPD is not treated with drugs, but up to about 70% of these patients need symptomatic drug support. As a rule, if depressive experiences prevail, then this is antidepressant therapy, if the clinic of unstable mood prevails, that is, pronounced mood swings, then these can be normotimics that work with outbreaks of bright anger. If the client reports severe anxiety or behavioral disturbances, then second-generation antipsychotics work well here. But this is only a background that trims the biological basis of the symptomatology. The method of choice in BPD psychotherapy - DBT (DBT) by Marsha Linehan - is the most difficult method, which is due to the fact that it requires both the stage of personal therapy and the stage of group psychotherapy from a certain point, but we always start with personal therapy. In any case, the combined drug and psychotherapeutic treatment continues for quite a long period of time. At the same time, it should be taken into account that it is often difficult for patients with BPD to stay in therapy, to comply with the limits. At the same time, breakdowns and failures, inevitable in working with this complex personal pathology, are experienced very hard. When I was able to successfully work with borderline patients, achieving stable personal dynamics, therapy took a period of much more than a few years.

Collage: Anna Sbitneva

Katya says that DBT was an effective way for her to understand herself and overcome the symptoms of the disorder: “DBT has a set of some exercises: how to survive crisis situations, how to cope with distress, how to arrange interpersonal relationships. We went through a little theory in blocks, studied exercises, they gave us these exercises to do at home and said: “Try to build them into your life so that you can remember these things in appropriate situations.” I can’t say that I remember everything, but after that I began to notice that I manage to stop my outbursts of anger even before I pour them out on people. It is often possible, relatively speaking, to observe emotional experiences from the outside and therefore it is less immersed in it and easier to endure. Most of the emotional swings have become softer. That is, I’m still far away, probably to a normal state, but now I’ve begun to live normally. It’s become easier for me to [manage] my emotions and interact with people better.”

One of the important and colorful parts of life affected by borderline personality disorder is personal relationships. Vladimir Brylev says that in this area, mood swings and emotions are particularly acute: “Entering into a novel for these people can be quite impulsive, bright, like falling into an abyss. The desire to charm a partner, strong feelings, total dependence arise not even due to manipulativeness, but due to the fact that they are really fundamentally extremely afraid of loneliness. That is, their understanding of their own identity is violated from the very beginning, so they understand the super-significance of relationships for themselves quite well. Their danger lies precisely in the fact that, getting into any relationship, they are ready to invest heavily. For them, the degree of significance of the relationship is so great that they pay almost any price for entering them. They are really extremely easy to deify a partner, do everything necessary to please this person (in this they are similar to narcissistic personalities). But in the future, catastrophic disappointment awaits them, a partner expects very unstable amplitude relationships, full of mutual insults and manipulations. There is a whole spectrum of pleasures, ranging from total control, tantrums about imaginary abandonment, a cocktail of jealousy and resentment, demands, depreciation, a huge list of inconsistencies that urgently need to be eliminated, from a rather artificial imputation of guilt / shame. A cocktail of sudden breakups, escapes from your life and back there, mood swings that can happen several times in an hour. Various demonstrative self-harm and, worse, real suicide attempts, episodes of various addictions to psychotropic substances, infidelity, that is, a complete set of experiences in dependent / co-dependent relationships, and by the type of abuse.

Collage: Anna Sbitneva

But it is important to note that a person with BPD and his partner are equally affected. Vladimir Brylev continues: “In order not to draw a picture of abusers now, you need to understand that in close relationships people with borderline personality disorder suffer absolutely on an equal basis with a partner. Everything that happens in these relationships, including their emotions, is absolutely not controlled for them. The feeling of possible abandonment is experienced by them as a real threat, various dissociative symptoms are actually felt: overvalued ideas of jealousy, paranoid fear that the partner will change, is absolutely realistic for them. Suicide attempts are 50 times more common than the average in the population, because at such moments they feel extremely bad. Episodes of sadness mixed with anger are just as painful for them as it is for you that you live them with them, being in a relationship with them. All this is accompanied by extremely unstable self-esteem, impulsive, often dissocially marginal behavior, bouts of self-damaging behavior, attempts to reduce anxiety with alcohol and psychoactive substances, as well as eating disorders (more often bulimia and binge eating). The phrase of Gannushkin, who says that patients with personality disorders are people who not only torment others, but above all themselves, is absolutely valid for BPD. They really suffer a lot."

Katya, speaking about her personal relationships, notes that her emotional swings have now become weaker. At the same time, she honestly admits that she either idolizes the person with whom she had a relationship, or he openly infuriates her. The therapy helps Katya to control herself and her emotions: “For the first time in a relationship, I also behave quite neatly and coldly. I try my best not to get attached to a person. Only if I understand that, in my opinion, the person is good, then I can relax, let go of myself and, I don’t know, follow the feelings. Sometimes yes, I forget that my feelings are not all right. But, it seems to me, I learned this recently, or rather, I began to do it this way. Just because it was much faster for me before: I met, fell in love and that's it: for life. After several such “for life”, you understand that you need to be more careful somehow.

Often in the eyes of others, people with BPD look unbalanced, unstable, overly emotional. It is difficult with them, therefore it is sometimes easiest for relatives to condemn them and turn away, because a person is, as it were, not able to control himself. But this judgmental behavior is part of the stigma we place on a daily basis on people with disabilities. It is important to understand that what we see outwardly - differences, outbursts of aggression, boundless demanding love / addiction - are only part of the disorder. Much more is happening inside the person himself, and all this is accompanied by constant suffering, an oppressive feeling of loneliness and emptiness. Vladimir Brylev notes that stigma against these people has a devastating effect: “How dangerous BPD is for a person with this disease, they are beginning to be considered banal outcasts, sexaholics, alcoholics, drug addicts. They are stigmatized as socially inadequate individuals. The second option: they are assigned a false diagnosis, for example, bipolar, hysterical, schizotypal disorder, which does not allow them to be fully treated with medication, psychotherapeutic methods, so here the stigma can be twofold: the first is purely social, not associated with the diagnosis, and the second option is the assignment of a biological stigmatizing diagnosis that does not allow a person to take responsibility for what is happening and actually start treatment, which in the case of BPD primarily means psychotherapeutic work on oneself.

Illustrations: Anna Sbitneva

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The Vyshka

Today, more and more information about mental illness appears on the Internet. About people with borderline personality disorder, or simply "border guards", write publications such as The Village, Wonderzine, "My friend, you are a transformer." The heroine of our material told what it is like to live with BPD, constantly facing bouts of anger, obsession with others and painful searches for your own “I”.


Ever since I was a teenager, I thought that something was wrong with me mentally. The topic of mental disorders was already popular on the Internet at that time, and I began to search for information, check the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression. It was strange: I read that depressive episodes last a month or at least a week, and my attack could last literally 15 minutes. As a result, I forgot about the search, I just accepted that I was inadequately reacting to events. But, of course, I didn’t go to a psychotherapist - I thought it was just such a character. The fact that this is a borderline personality disorder, I began to guess at the beginning of last year. I accidentally saw an article about the symptoms of BPD and just realized that my life was described there - everything coincided.

Red mist

Anger has always felt very strange to me, and when I explained it to others, they did not understand. It’s as if pleasant, like a red mist that fills your head - and you begin to do what anger tells you to do. On the one hand, this leads to terrible consequences. Well, on the other hand, you seem to enjoy this complete madness with some part of your personality, which takes possession of you for some short time. Sadness, grief and shame come much later.

Emotional swings

One of the signs of borderline disorder is severe emotional instability. When it suddenly becomes bad, the picture of the world changes in a second. I can go in a good mood, remember that one of my friends looked at me the wrong way, and come up with a whole story about how they secretly hate me. It just seemed that life is beautiful, but now I already hate myself and others. It's hard to contain, I'm shaking, my pulse quickens, I want to hit someone. This state is called "split". At such moments, I yell at everyone, I want to break off relations with everyone and destroy my life. And then I just see a message from a friend, for example, and it goes away - I generally forget about anger. And so all my life, these jumps are very exhausting.


I went to a psychologist when, after some events in my life, outbursts of anger intensified, there were more suicidal thoughts. I literally stand in the subway every day, look at the rails and think: “I wish I could jump now.” Naturally, in my case, you need to go to a psychotherapist, but it’s difficult to get to a free one. Yes, and if I go to a psychiatric clinic, it seems to me that they will immediately say that I have depression, they will prescribe pills and let me go home. Therefore, I decided to enroll in the HSE Psychology Center, since there is an opportunity to do it for free. In the end, it helped - I felt better. I told the psychologist about my childhood, about the symptoms that prevent me from living. And she realized that it really, most likely, borderline disorder. We outlined a plan for the next meetings, but the psychologist advised me to still go to a psychotherapist in order to rule out neighboring diseases and get a prescription for antidepressants. But I don't have a good idea how to do it. I even thought about going to a psychiatric hospital to take a break from everything and get treated, but it's useless. Well, I will lie down, take pills, how will this help me?

Reaction of loved ones

When I said that I had BPD, my friends took it calmly, but still, since it was a self-diagnosis, no one took it seriously. It was more difficult with my mother: she simply did not believe that there could be something wrong with me: “I have a healthy child, I could not give birth to an unhealthy one!” Already when the psychologist confirmed that I really had BPD, I sent her several articles about this diagnosis. She did not comment on this in any way - I think she is now in the stage of denial.

Acquaintances often discount my frustration: "Get up, start doing something, and it will pass!". In principle, the attitude towards people with mental illness in our society is not very good. They do not believe, they say that we all come up with boredom.

Without past

People with BPD have a very vague sense of identity. It's like you have a bunch of disparate 'I's, and you feel different every moment

You literally don't know what you like, what orientation you are, what you generally want from life. You easily adopt other people's habits, behavior, interests. It is a huge stress for a border guard to choose something, even if it is just ordering food in a cafe. At such moments, I do not feel connected to the past, I just do not remember what I liked ever before. I get stupor, and I take the same as others.

For example, I'm still not sure what exactly I want to do professionally. I may like a teacher, and I immediately think that his subject is my destiny. Then, for some homework in this subject, I get a six and see no reason to continue doing this. Sometimes this uncertainty arises right in the middle of a lecture: “What am I? What am I doing here?". Thoughts about expulsion can be a daily routine, and here it is not clear whether it is necessary to be expelled or just calm down and wait it out. Who will tell me? I should know this, but I don't know myself.

Favorite person

BPD is when you are like an empty sheet, and every person who comes into your life can write something there, whether he wants it or not. There is also the term favorite person, which is used in the English-speaking Internet space. This is the person that the border guard is obsessed with in the first place, whose reaction is most important. In a sense, we rely on such a person as a mirror in which we look for our reflection, we adjust our behavior to his expectations. It doesn't have to be a romantic partner. I once had three such people at the same time. When one of them left me, I got hysterical, and I was afraid that the rest would also leave


The first person I told about my borderline disorder was my ex-girlfriend. It was pretty funny - she said she suspected him too. As I have seen, border guards are often attracted to each other. Therefore, I got the motivation to learn more about BPD, about how to save relationships, because when you are both border guards, it's generally chaos. You can throw a tantrum over the same bullshit that your partner gave you a tantrum a while ago. And if then you reassured him that these were irrational thoughts, then now you yourself are freaking out because of this.

From the outside, it just looks like an idiot, so it is believed that border guards have bright, intense, but short relationships. We usually leave people first - because of the constant fear that they want to leave us


When the emptiness is felt in the chest directly physically, I want to fill it, and I am unhealthy fond of people, I behave abusively towards them. For example, to be jealous of girlfriends for their relationship for me is generally a normal practice. I understand that this is wrong, that it is impossible for a person to have no other life than you. But emotions say otherwise. With romantic partners, this is even more pronounced.

The fact that there is no answer to the message “good night” with a heart can cause thoughts that they have stopped loving me, that at this very moment they are cheating on me, and in general, all our relationships are lies

Plus constant paranoia that they don't really like me, namely they use me. Sometimes it seems to me that my girlfriend really has someone special, and with me she is just taking time or being treated for an injury.

Self-harm and curiosity

A very common sign of a border guard is self-harm when they cut themselves. This helps to release aggression, physical pain drowns out the mental. I have never had such urges, and two close friends did it. And I decided to try it too, because it was interesting - I started cutting myself, but in the end I only ended up with a scar for life. But I didn’t get involved in self-harm so much, and it didn’t come to suicide attempts. In general, I did a lot of things in my life simply because others do it.


In my teenage years, when I was in a difficult condition due to life circumstances, I became addicted to alcohol. I drank to get away from problems - it seemed that alcohol gave me the right to throw out emotions. It was a tradition: I came to the reception, got drunk with the thought that today I would cry all night, locked myself in the toilet and sobbed out loud.

Ways to express emotions

Border guards are more dedicated fans than healthy people - they can forget about themselves by going to other worlds, so they often have an obsession with books, TV shows, various fandoms. Due to the fact that we are often unable to directly talk about our feelings, we do this with the help of imaginary worlds, we associate ourselves with some characters. You need someone to rely on, to express your emotions through others. Many more are prone to creativity - they write poems and songs, because it is unrealistic to keep emotions in oneself.

Tips for border guards

Before, I had no control over the jumps from apathy to anger. And now I'm trying to calm myself rationally, and the thought that helps me is that emotions are temporary. I try to mentally yell to myself that in half an hour my mood will change, I will think about something else. You need to force yourself to be distracted, the simplest thing is to sleep. Or chat with friends on whom the emotional state does not depend much. It helps me a lot that I live in a hostel, and I can talk with balanced people at any time. When I get sick, I ask what happened at the lecture today, we discuss it, and I calm down .

Such conversations with their normality seem to make me normal

I also want to advise border guards to save screenshots with nice messages from important people: “I love you”, “I care about you”, and so on. When you freak out, open them and remember that you were not always abandoned and unhappy - there were moments when you felt loved.

Advice for those around you

If you are in close contact with a person with borderline disorder and you want him to be in your life, you must accept that he will have outbursts. That when he says he hates you, he doesn't mean it, and in thirty minutes he'll be crying and begging for forgiveness. Do not devalue the feelings of the border guards, think that they are manipulating you, lying in order to attract attention. Even if the border guard really behaves as if he is blackmailing you, he does this not because he is a cunning villain, but because his brain really gives out such a reaction. Try to be rational side: reassure, say that everything will pass. And remind them that people with BPD are loved. If you haven't texted all day, you can pick up and ask how you're doing. Write: "Don't be afraid, I haven't forgotten about you.

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