Borderline personality disorder symptoms are different for men and women

As I was doing my morning google searches, I came across this article.

It states that according to two American Universities( University of Minnesota and Harvard affiliated researchers) BPD symptoms can be different for men and women.

The article also talks about the associated mental conditions:

“Very few people with borderline personality disorder are unaffected by other diagnosable mental health problems, the National Alliance on Mental Illness notes. Roughly 70 percent of all individuals with BPD have a form of relatively mild or moderate depression known as persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia. In addition, roughly 60 percent of all individuals with the disorder have symptoms of the more severe form of depression known as major depression. Other mental illnesses found in a substantial minority of BPD-affected people include substance use disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, eating disorders (binge-eating disorder, anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa) and bipolar disorder.”

BPD symptoms manifest differently for men and women. According to a study conducted on 770 adults (men and women) published in the Journal of Personality Disorders. It states:

“(…)The researchers concluded that women commonly develop BPD symptoms that differ substantially from the symptoms commonly found in men. Examples of the distinguishing characteristics of the disorder in women include a higher overall number of symptoms, a greater tendency toward depression-related and anxiety-related symptoms, more severe disruptions in the ability to maintain stable relationships with others and a rate of eating disorder exposure that’s even higher than the rate found among women in general. Conversely, men with BPD have meaningfully higher chances than women of developing the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder, as well as somewhat greater risks for the development of narcissistic personality disorder.

Interestingly, the researchers also concluded that some gender-related differences in mental health found in the general population do not tend to occur among men and women affected by borderline personality disorder. Examples of normally gender-centric problems that occur roughly equally in men and women with BPD include panic disorder, substance use disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicide. In addition, men and women with BPD have unusually small gender gaps for two other conditions: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression.”

Furthermore, BPD is more common in women than in men: “Women are diagnosed with the disorder about 200 percent more often than men, although men may actually have substantially higher chances of developing BPD than this statistic indicates.”


Image by StockSnap, courtesy of Pixabay.

An interesting study on BPD and hypersensitivity

When I became a young adult, I became very good at reading people. I am hypersensitive. I see things that others don’t. It’s not something paranormal or out of the ordinary. It’s just the way I am. I notice things like actions, facial expressions etc.

Then I found this article:
“People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) may be better able to read subtle emotions on others’ faces than people without the mental illness, according to a study in the November issue of Emotion (Vol. 6, No. 4). An enhanced ability to recognize expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, and fear might contribute to the unstable relationships and intense emotions characteristic of the disorder, says Thomas R. Lynch, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Duke University”
Wow, if this doesn’t describe me, I don’t know what does.
“People with BPD’s sensitivity to the feelings of others might fuel some of the disorder’s emotional regulation problems, Lynch says. Slight annoyance on the face of a therapist, for instance, might be seen as heated anger, which could kick-start an easily tapped fear of abandonment, he notes. Even being hyperaware of positive emotions could lead to trouble for people with BPD, who might see intense love instead of mild happiness. That tendency could lead to the ill-advised whirlwind romances typical of people with the disorder, Lynch adds.

I’m very sensitive to detail but I’ve grown to accept that I’m not a mind a reader, neither do I want to be. Sometimes we think something is negative and it’s not.
Furthermore, it’s a skill, an important life skill. Once you have more stable emotions (it happened to me due to medication, and a more stable life), you will be able to choose your friends wisely and use that information you gather instinctively in your favor (as long as you don’t do it with malicious intent, or at least, I hope you don’t).
As you see yourself in a position to distance yourself from people that might be unstable, for the sake of your own mental health, you start to understand better those who chose not to stay in your life. You are not to blame if you distance yourself from someone who is unstable and doesn’t want help. In some cases, you don’t need to cut ties, just be more distant, while trying to understand how that person is progressing.

If you see yourself as strong enough or willing to accompany that person in their journey, please and encourage them to seek help.
If you are unstable, please seek help and know that I understand and I know how it feels to be that way. You will find solace, I promise. You are valid and loved. I hope my blog can help you on your journey.

Image by darksouls1, courtesy of Pixabay.