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BPD in Men: Recognizing and Addressing Unique Challenges

October 25, 2023

11 min read

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Author : United We Care
BPD in Men: Recognizing and Addressing Unique Challenges


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) in men can cause them to repeat their patterns of erratic emotions and  implusivity. For example,  problems with one’s self-image, and unstable interpersonal connections are frequently the outcomes of these inside thoughts. 

It comes to a shock that this disorder functions differently amongst men and women. Multiple research studies show that men with BPD have a wide range of challenges that are not known to women with the disorder. These challenges are having severe difficulties in recognizing and addressing. In this article, we will go through these difficulties and their specifications in detail. 

Define BPD in Men 

On the other hand  as we can see there are clear gender differences when we compare the symptoms of men and women in borderline personality disorder. According to a research study the symptoms and gender affect the way the person is treated. This is on the basis of their comorbidities and their utilization of prescribed medication. It is not a surprise that men are more prone to be aggressive and have severe anger issues alongside impulse behavior. This is a result of BPD in  men. On the other hand women have more chances of having mood swings and self harm issues. 

As a result of these symptoms men have more tendencies to substance abuse disorders. Similarly, women have more tendencies towards eating disorders as a result. Understandably, men who have BPD are not aware of it most of the time and moreover, men are not diagnosed with the disorder as freely and often as women. This does not mean at all that the disorder is not prevalent amongst men. 

Accordingly, the person suffering from this disorder has heavy mood swings and emotions that will be erratic in nature. There is a chance that they experience extreme sadness and rage either at the same time or one after the other immediately. There is a history of people with BPD  occasionally acting dangerously and harming themselves. Faith in other people is something that symptomatic BPD sufferers struggle with alot. If the person even overcomes these symptoms, they still have the ringing noise in their brain that people are out to conspire against them.  

The people having the disorder are generally not unbound from other mental or physical disorders or illnesses. In men substance abuse disorders are more prevalent, as a result it is difficult for men to receive therapy. Men generally do show signs of not being educated on the subject of borderline personality disorder, which is a result of the lack of documentation  of diagnosed men with BPD. 

Symptoms of BPD in Men 

There are alot of hidden symptoms that generally people fail to acknowledge. Borderline personality disorder can vary in severity according to gender and circumstances. The following symptoms are the ones that men with BPD face.

Mood Swings

First of all, Men with borderline personality disorder show high change in emotions and unstable variations in what they are feeling as well. These incidents stem from insignificant situations and problems. For example, in a situation with which they get extremely angry and sad right after it, these emotional fluctuations last for a few hours and sometimes a few days. 

Interpersonal relationships 

Secondly, these interpersonal conflicts happen often amongst people with Borderline personality disorder and most of the time are triggered by fear alongside abandonment. It leads to impulsive, controlling and clinging demeanor. These disputes are highly severe in the relationship they have with friends and romantic partners. 


Impulsivity comes as a coping mechanism for people with Borderline personality disorder most of the time. Moreover, like reckless driving, extreme consumption of intoxicants and being unsafe for themselves and their surroundings. Gender norms in society have a huge impact when it comes to the symptoms of men affected by BPD. 

Sense of Self

Borderline personality disorder has the effect of showing up as Fluctuating and  confused outlook of oneself.  Their objectives and ideas in the process gets distorted and hinders with their identity a lot. 


Their sense of emptiness is a difficult process for Borderline personality disorder sufferers to fulfill. Their habits of distraction include, filling their day with meaningless chores and activities to steer their head away from the sense of loneliness. BPD affected people are always chasing for dopamine high life experiences rather than fulfilling little things that make the soul happy. This behavior affects their quality of life gravely. 


Most men with borderline personality disorder develop unhealthy patterns of self-sabotage. Mostly, this involves being stuck in unhelpful patterns. However, this can also include self-harm and intrusive thoughts of suicide.

Thought process 

Commonly, borderline personality disorder causes men to have a pervasive fear of abandonment. They tend to feel like people will reject or leave them even when this may be untrue. Their thoughts, especially when in stress, can become distorted or paranoid. They may even display dissociative symptoms.

Causes of BPD in Men 

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the possible causes for borderline personality disorder in men. 

Family History of Mental Health Issues

The development of Borderline personality disorder is influenced by family history or hereditary. Regardless, a higher risk may apply to those with a family history of the disorder or other mental illnesses. There is research dedicated that suggests a hereditary component to the sufferers and that it can run in their families as well [2]. 

Childhood Trauma

On the other hand, one of the biggest risk factors for the development of borderline personality disorder is having abuse, neglect, or other traumatic events whilst still a child. Early-life trauma can have a grave impact on social skills, emotional control, and the development of a solid sense of self.

Invalidating Surroundings

BPD may be exacerbated by growing up in an unstable or invalidating family context. The development of appropriate emotional regulation and coping mechanisms can be impeded by persistent invalidation. In particular, this includes the denial of one’s emotions and experiences.


People with BPD may have altered brain chemistry and physiology. Certain brain sections linked to impulse control, emotional regulation, and decision-making  functions differently for the ones who have the disorder [3].

Chemical Imbalances

It is believed that abnormalities in neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, contribute to the onset of borderline personality disorder. Mood, impulse control, and emotional stability can all be impacted by these abnormalities.

Relationships with BPD Men 

Clearly, it can be very complicated to be in a relationship with a man suffering from borderline personality disorder. Obviously, this isn’t because the person isn’t good at heart but because he is afflicted by a clinical condition with deep-rooted implications.

Fortunately, there are several tips and suggestions for their counterparts in the relationship. The following are some steps you can take to mitigate the negative effect of BPD on the relationship. 

Educating Yourself About BPD

It is one of the most crucial steps to know about borderline personality disorder. Namely, this involves understanding the symptoms, triggers, and treatment options. Knowledge will encourage empathy with your partner and allow you to make informed decisions.

Seeking Professional Help

Always encourage your partner to seek therapy and treatment. Individual and group therapy, as well as medication in some cases, can be effective in managing borderline personality disorder. Furtehrmore, even you can benefit from the guidance of a qualified mental health professional.

Practice Patience & Empathy

People with this disorder  often experience intense emotional swings and can be challenging to be around. Nevertheless, it always helps to offer compassion. Practice patience and empathy, and try to understand that their emotional reactions may not always reflect reality.


Emotional triggers fall out of place for the sufferers of Borderline personality disorder, when they are challenged with an open, honest and judgment free zone to communicate. Their triggers lose power over their own autonomy. This is the reason why partners of the sufferers need to understand the concept of open and judgment free communication for the betterment of their relationship and progression of it. The basic game is to make them feel heard and valued, as every human should feel otherwise as well. 


Boundaries should be established in any relationship, be it a friendship, acquaintanceship, or a romantic partner. The boundaries decide what respect is based on for the other person. What is tolerable? and what is not should not be a compromise. Moreover, consistency enforces boundaries more than ever, and it is imperative to enforce it with the sufferers of Borderline personality disorder.


The best way to de-escalate an intense emotional outburst of the affected is to stay calm and  do not confront them  at this time of turmoil. Future conflicts can be avoided by simple steps like these. Men affected with BPD have higher chances of having intense anger fits and have more comfortability amongst non confrontation behavior exuded by others. 



It is a grave help to understand triggers of any degree. This is to ensure the interception of conflict is avoided. Partners of the sufferers of Borderline personality disorder often feel like they are walking on eggshells, but that should not be the case in any relationship. Similarly, the best way to deal with this, is to find a zen space in the relationship, and maintain it. 

Overcoming BPD in Men 

Psychotherapy is the focal point for this particular disorder. The treatment for Borderline personality disorder has many aspects and types of treatment. Research shows that treating men with BPD has helped them in drastic ways, this was possible due to the different types of therapies they opted for while having the disorder. Below you would find a brief about the different types of therapies as well as self help tips. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

The important objectives of this type of therapy is for the progression of emotional control, tolerance to distress, mindfulness and interpersonal relationships. Especially men effected with BPD  who suffer symptoms like showcasing of intense emotions and impulsivity, they can benefit from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).


It is important to understand that self awareness is the job half done. When a person effected with Borderline personality disorder experiences self awareness and then realizes about one’s disorder. This enables the sufferer to receive help and be open to it. Journaling and introspection, alongside talking to a therapist helps with feelings of distress, and letting out these  intense feelings.


Trauma therapy works like magic sometimes in cases of early Trauma is a huge factor in developing BPD. Trauma informed therapy is a certain kind of psychotherapy which addresses the issues of an individual which is related to chronic attachment and stress. These life changing changes are possible because of the body based approach to therapy for Borderline personality disorder. 


Different kinds of medication are prescribed by psychiatrists for the symptoms that are specific in nature to borderline personality disorder. These symptoms include impulsivity, mood alterations, and suicidality. An eclectic approach is combined with different kinds of modalities to achieve the best result for the treatment of BPD. 


Treating borderline personality disorder (BPD) in men can be difficult. The correct guidance is necessary for the perfect assistance in learning to control their intense symptoms or at least maintain the stability. This enables them to lead satisfying and maintain lives. 

The hidden secret is  to be consistent and dedicated to therapy and to build healthy interpersonal relationships. Emotional intelligence alongside maintenance is important for self awareness. Similarly, road bumps are common on the path of therapy of a disorder that is difficult to decipher. Perseverance, determination and especially a strong support circle is important to grow and maintain mental stability, Importantly when the person has BPD. Amazing strides can be taken with stability. 

For more assistance, understanding deeper knowledge about different disorders as well as their complexities. United We Care can help you in this case. BPD is a clinical disorder which should be treated carefully. 


[1] Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2011). Gender patterns in borderline personality disorder. Innovations in clinical neuroscience, 8(5), 16–20.

[2] C. N. White, J. G. Gunderson, M. C. Zanarini, and J. I. Hudson, “Family Studies of Borderline Personality Disorder: A review,” Harvard Review of Psychiatry, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 8–19, Jan. 2003, doi: 10.1080/10673220303937.

[3] M. M. Perez‐Rodriguez, A. Bulbena-Cabré, A. B. Nia, G. Zipursky, M. Goodman, and A. S. New, “The Neurobiology of Borderline Personality Disorder,” Psychiatric Clinics of North America, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 633–650, Dec. 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2018.07.012.

[4]Bayes, A. and Parker, G. (2017) ‘Borderline personality disorder in men: A literature review and Illustrative Case Vignettes’, Psychiatry Research, 257, pp. 197–202. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2017.07.047.

[5]Zlotnick, C., Rothschild, L. and Zimmerman, M. (2002) ‘The role of gender in the clinical presentation of patients with borderline personality disorder’, Journal of Personality Disorders, 16(3), pp. 277–282. doi:10.1521/pedi. 

[6]Ross, J.M., Babcock, J.C. Proactive and Reactive Violence among Intimate Partner Violent Men Diagnosed with Antisocial and Borderline Personality Disorder. J Fam Viol 24, 607–617 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-009-9259-y

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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