Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is common in both men and women. According to a non-clinical survey, the prevalence of BPD is 1.6 percent, and the lifetime prevalence is 5.9 percent in the United States of America.
One study suggests that between 25% and 60% of people with BPD also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Misconceptions aside, borderline male disorder is as prevalent as female BPD.
Distinguishable symptoms of BPD are detectable from childhood. However, symptoms become more prominent during adolescence and adulthood. With age, BPD traits decrease in both men and women.
Borderline Personality Disorder In Men
In most cases, symptoms of borderline personality disorder in men are overlooked. Signs of BPD in a male patient are often generalized as an anger management issue.
A BPD male exhibits more robust expressions of aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence than a BPD woman.
Men with borderline personality disorder are more prone to substance abuse and drug addiction than women. Living with BPD patients is not easy.
Compared to women with BPD, men with BPD display more antisocial features and substance use disorder.
Unfortunately, a borderline disorder in men gets misdiagnosed as an antisocial personality disorder or intermittent explosive disorder.
Common traits and symptoms of BPD manifestations in men are:
- Using criticism to control others
- Shows aggression when faced with criticism
- Have markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
- Rejects relationships and develops hatred if offended by the partner or friend
- Fear of rejection leads to jealousy and the pursuit of sexual gratification
- Holding grudges
- Shows intense emotions and impulsivity
- Possessive insecurities
- Do not have long-term emotional attachments to relationships
- Heavy use of narcotics, drugs, or alcohol to alleviate anxiety
- Aggression and anger
- Engage in a form of self-harm known as non-suicidal self-injury.
Related article: Causes Of Borderline Personality Disorder
BPD is not a Female-Centered Disorder
It should be noted that the prevalence of BPD is higher among women. All symptoms of BPD are more explicable in women than in men. A partial existence of this volatile mental health condition is prevalent in many people.
The borderline disorder in women is at a ratio of 3-to-1 to men.
But population studies suggest the occurrence of mental disorders is evenly distributed among men and women.
Importantly, statistically more women than men are diagnosed with BPD. Women are more open to BPD diagnosis and seek professional help than men. In most cases, men try to conceal the symptoms, so misdiagnosis of BPD in men is common.
The manifestations of BPD in men and women are interpreted differently. Borderline disorder symptoms in men are often confused with narcissistic characteristics.
Relationship with BPD Male
Most men with BPD may have a series of stormy relationships in their lives. He will fall in love quickly and can fall out of love at the same speed.
Men with BPD are more likely to have a fear of abandonment by their partner.
Even silly things can offend them. For this reason, they cannot maintain a friendship or family relationship for long. BPD men hold grudges after falling out of relationships. BPD men in a relationship may exhibit the following traits:
- Charming and quick to start a relationship with others.
- Often pick up fights or arguments even with their close buddies.
- Justifies every action and reaction of theirs.
- Mistrust the fidelity and sincerity of their partner.
- Tries to control others even though they cannot regulate their behavior and actions.
- Possess the uncanny ability to switch between love and hate in any relationship.
- They enjoy shocking their partners by engaging in risky behaviors.
- Engage in fearsome activities like reckless driving, adventure stunts, excessive drinking, and partying.
- Harness extreme jealousy over their partners.
- They misread the emotional feelings of others, but they bring excessive emotion and drama into a relationship.
- Issues threats of suicide or becoming violent to control their lover, friend, or family members to fulfill their demands.
- Possessive and demanding to the extent of making their partner submissive to them
Other Mental Disorders Occur Along With BPD
In men, Borderline disorder can also become a complex mental problem involving other mental illnesses.
They begin to show narcissist traits and irrational behaviors and become victims of substance abuse.
Some of the BPD men also become antisocial and quarrelsome.
It is essential not to ignore or confuse borderline personality disorder traits in men with other minor mental disorders. A qualified mental health expert can correctly diagnose the symptoms of BPD in men.
Input from partners or family members on the patient’s behavioral aspect may help diagnose the disorder.
Drug Abuse Tendency in BPD Men
BPD men may become easily addicted to drugs and alcohol.
When a BPD man takes up substance abuse or alcohol addiction, it brings out antisocial behaviors like rage, anger, and violence.
Yet, the man with a borderline disorder is inclined to use alcohol, weed, or drugs. He gets temporary relief from fears, inhibitions, depression, or anxiety through drug abuse.
Most importantly, chronic drug addiction and BPD have similar symptoms. Distinguishing between the signs of drug addiction and borderline disorder is difficult.
The outcome of substance use by BPD patients destroys their mental and physical health. It increases the severity of symptoms such as:
- Mood swings and depression
- Lack of concern for one’s well-being
- Manipulative and deceitful actions
- Instability in relationships, jobs, and responsibilities
- Violence, anger, and impulsive behavior
Drug abuse treatment
A few symptoms of BPD and drug addiction overlap. It is rather difficult to distinguish between these two disorders.
It would help if you found an efficient co-occurring disorder rehab center to treat BPD men with substance abuse. It is helpful for the patient to attend addiction counseling services and behavior therapies for drug abuse.
The process and recovery from a dual diagnosis will be intense and prolonged. It involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring. The majority of addiction treatments include medications and behavioral therapies.
Treatments for BPD in Men
First of all, it is difficult to make a man acknowledge his borderline disorder. It is even more difficult to convince him of BPD treatments. Men are less cooperative in psychotherapy, unlike women.
BPD is a severe psychiatric illness, and its treatment is challenging with routine psychotherapy over a very long period.
A licensed psychotherapist or mental health professional can supervise medications and therapy during treatment.
As for BPD medication, a doctor may prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.
Of course, rehabilitation programs are necessary for those addicted to drugs or alcohol. In such cases, it is advisable to get treated in rehabilitation centers where mental disorders and addiction issues are simultaneously treated.
The treatment for co-occurring disorders like BPD and addiction at a rehabilitation center will last at least 4 to 6 weeks. Treatment procedures would involve therapeutic interventions and psychotherapy. Alternative remedies like yoga, meditation, and nutrition therapy may benefit neurotransmitters and dopamine in the brain.
Another significant aspect of borderline disorder treatment is behavioral modification. It requires the support of peers, family, and counselors.
Usually, a male patient’s recovery from borderline personality disorder takes a long time. Some BPD men never recover fully from the condition as they are obstinate about psychotherapy procedures.
Patients and therapists can drastically improve their BPD symptoms despite their difficulties. Some psychiatrists and counselors prefer gender-specific rehabs for men.
Bonding with family and peers can significantly benefit the faster recovery of BPD males.
- Támara Hill, MS, LPC, Male Borderline Personality Disorder: What You Should Know,PsychCentral.com, 13 Feb 2018
- American Psychiatric Association. “Borderline Personality Disorder”. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses, 2013.
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- Randy A. Sansone and Lori A. Sansone, Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, Gender Patterns in Borderline Personality Disorder, 2011 May; 8(5): 16–20.
- Psychiatry Research, Volume 257, November 2017, Pages 197-202,