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What Are the Four Types of Borderline Personality Disorder?

woman with head in hands wonders about borderline personality disorder types

Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is a mental health condition marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. BPD’s symptoms often result in an inability to maintain healthy relationships, intense mood swings, and impulsivity, leading to risky behavior. BPD is commonly misdiagnosed or missed altogether as some of the symptoms can mirror other disorders, and BPD often coexists with another disorder. There are four different types of BPD, each with its unique set of symptoms and characteristics.

Honey Lake Clinic’s behavioral health treatment programs in Florida can treat all types of borderline personality disorder, including the four major subtypes. If you or a loved one is struggling with BPD, call 888.428.0562 today to get started.

Types of Borderline Personality Disorder

There are four distinct subtypes of borderline personality disorder.

They include:

  • Impulsive borderline
  • Petulant borderline
  • Discouraged borderline
  • Self-destructive borderline

It is important to note that someone suffering from BPD may or may not fall into one of these subtypes, and some may even fall into more than one category. Over time, symptoms can change and manifest differently as well.

1. Impulsive Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals with impulsive BPD may exhibit reckless and impulsive behavior, such as acting out in anger or engaging in risky activities. They also struggle with intense feelings of emptiness and lack a sense of self-identity. When their needs are not met, they may act out in ways that harm themselves or others. These individuals often have difficulty controlling impulses and may struggle with substance abuse.

2. Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder

Those with petulant BPD tend to be highly sensitive and reactive to criticism, leading to feelings of anger, resentment, and jealousy. They may also exhibit manipulative behavior, engaging in attention-seeking and acting out to get their needs met. This subtype may also struggle with feelings of worthlessness and can be quick to become defensive or hostile when feeling threatened.

3. Discouraged Borderline Personality Disorder

Individuals with discouraged BPD often feel hopeless and helpless, leading to low self-esteem and a sense of inadequacy. They may struggle with intense feelings of anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. They may also engage in self-harm or have suicidal thoughts as a way to cope with overwhelming emotions.

4. Self-Destructive Borderline Personality Disorder

This subtype is characterized by self-destructive behavior, such as reckless spending, binge eating, substance abuse, and risky sexual behaviors. These individuals struggle with intense feelings of shame and self-loathing, leading to self-sabotage and destructive tendencies. They may also have a history of trauma or abuse that contributes to their BPD symptoms.

Signs You Would Benefit from BPD Treatment

To be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, at least five of the following nine BPD symptoms must be present and also form a chronic and repetitive pattern:

  • Fear of abandonment – People with BPD are often terrified of being abandoned or left alone. Even something as innocuous as a loved one arriving home late from work or going away for the weekend may trigger intense fear.
  • Unstable relationships – People with BPD tend to have relationships that are intense and short-lived. They may fall in love quickly, believing that each new person is the one who will make them feel whole, only to be quickly disappointed.
  • Unclear or shifting self-image – Individuals can struggle to develop a clear idea of who they are or what they want in life. As a result, they may frequently change jobs, friends, religion, values, goals, or even sexual identity.
  • Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors – People with BPD may engage in harmful, sensation-seeking behaviors, especially when they are upset.
  • Self-harm – Suicidal behavior and deliberate self-harm are common in people with BPD.
  • Extreme emotional swings – These mood swings are intense, but they tend to pass fairly quickly, usually lasting just a few minutes or hours.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness – People with BPD often talk about feeling empty, as if there’s a hole or a void inside them.
  • Explosive anger – People with BPD may struggle with intense anger and a short temper.
  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality – People with BPD often struggle with paranoia or suspicious thoughts about others’ intentions.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, seeking treatment for BPD can help.

Contact the Honey Lake Clinic Team Today

If you are dealing with borderline personality disorder, you can get better and lead a healthier, happier, and more successful life. At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists can guide you to an accurate diagnosis and start you on the path to health.

The team at Honey Lake Clinic understands that effective treatment requires a multifaceted, faith-based approach involving the healing of your mind, body, and spirit.

Call 888.428.0562 or reach out online to get started.