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Although people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder may share some of the same symptoms, they are not all alike.

Impulsivity, moodiness, unstable self-image, inappropriate busts of anger, intense and stormy relationships, self-injury, or thoughts of self-harm… Although people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder may share some of the same symptoms, they are not all alike.

Theodore Millon, an APA award winner whose theories helped define how scientists think about personality and its disorders, identified four different subtypes of Borderline Personality Disorder. These subtype concepts might help people with Borderline Personality Disorder and their therapists identify specific areas of concern that require special attention.

While someone suffering from BPD may or may not fall into one of these subcategories, others may even fall into more than one of them. Symptoms may change overtime and manifest differently with individuals.

What exactly are the Types of Borderline Personality Disorder and their individual characteristics?


  • Impulsive Borderline Personality: People who suffer with Impulsive Borderline Disorder as perceived as thrill-seekers, risk-takers, unpredictable, charismatic, highly energetic, and easily bored. Their endless appetite for attention and adventure often leads them to act without measuring consequences. These individuals often act without thinking and are also susceptible to self-harming behaviors and suicidal thoughts and actions.


  • Discouraged Borderline Personality: These individuals tend to seem clingy, co-dependent, and less assertive. Their strong desire for approval and acceptance, and their feelings of inadequacy and inferiority towards others, often make them prone to depression. They are more likely than other types of BDP to use self-harm as a coping mechanism. They can eventually become suicidal if they don’t get the help they need.


  • Petulant Borderline Personality: This subtype is characterized by individuals who are critical, pessimistic, impatient, unpredictable, irritable and prone to outbursts of anger or frustration, especially when disappointed by other people. They fluctuate between trusting people and keeping a distance for fear of disappointment. Their feelings of unworthiness and anger can make them be quite explosive. It is really hard for them to admit when they are wrong. They tend to be willful, often stubborn and defensive, using passive-aggressive behaviors as a way of lashing out at people who displease them. These individuals also show symptoms of depression as well as paranoid personality.


  • Self-Destructive Borderline Personality: People with Self-Destructive BPD are usually self-hatred introverts who are often co-dependent. They tend to conform to other people’s beliefs and expectations due to a strong fear abandonment.  They share traits of depression. Their self-destructive behaviors can be presented in different ways such as poor healthcare, reckless driving etc.  They tend to have a high rate of suicide.


What are the Treatment Options? 

About 70% of people with Borderline Personality Disorder will make at least one suicide attempt during their lifetimes. Finding help in a timely manner can prevent you or your loved one from being part of this statistic.

Although there is no cure for BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER, therapy and certain medications (such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics) can decrease the intimidating and overwhelming symptoms of this serious medical disorder. Whether you or a loved one suffer from any of the BPD subtypes presented here, you should find an effective treatment plan.

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