Borderline Personality Disorder in comorbidity with the effects of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

by Creative Food Therapy

It is so easy for us to judge one another.  If I were to say the words selfish, self—centered and unappreciative, I bet every single one of you could put those words to a face or more then one face of a person that you know or are close to.  It can be draining to be involved in a relationship that is one sided or to be close with someone who seems to only care about themselves and their own needs.  Eventually relationships involving such personalities will strain and ultimately break apart caused by imbalance.  However, what if I said that some of these people who can be considered Narcissistic, self-centered or selfish actually may have a disorder or two?  And suggest that these individuals in fact need more help then we can imagine, not only to be fixed by love, friendship or talk it through but help from a physician.  I believe it is way too common for many to just accept things the way they are instead of asking questions.  I have learned that sometimes it is asking the right questions that make all the difference.  Think of someone that you know who fits a Narcissistic Personality.  It could be a friend, a close relative, a co-worker or even a celebrity.  Now ask yourself, do you know enough about this person to understand why they are the way they are?  Because, they weren’t born that way!  What happened to them?  What happened to them that was so horrible that it forced them to create this facade, this mask and for them to be so disappointed with their external circumstances that they were forced to create a world within our world, where they were the center, where no one else mattered?  It couldn’t have been good, and so this is where I offer you up the chance to dig a little deeper.

I believe that through conditioning, so many of us are taught to judge one another from the moment we meet.  I would go as far as to say at this point in our evolution it’s unconscious, instinctual and automatic.  Those of us who have done the work from the inside out have come to understand that in judging another, we are only judging ourselves.  Passing judgment is an injustice for both parties involved, the person judging and the person being judged.

This summer I took a course at NYU titled “Theories of Personality”.  It was incredible and I learned a great deal.  I was asked to write a paper on these two disorders and I found it so informative that I would love to share it with you all.  With the information on personality theories learned in class and throughout my research I would like to bring to light some key aspects of what I believe is a common and often undiagnosed paired disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder in comorbidity with the effects of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I will be affirming exhibited behaviors and characteristics from Borderline Personality Disorder in comorbidity with the effects of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in hopes that those of you who read this post will be able to spot these personality disorders for yourself.  Who knows, maybe it will help you at a deeper level of understanding into the events in your own lives.

Based on analysis, subjects with both disorders typically display the following traits.  Exactly like the Narcissist, the Borderline individual elicits constant narcissistic supply.  The borderline craves, needs and seeks attention, affirmation and approval.  The individual will need all of these in order to regulate their rotating sense of self-worth and their chaotic self-image.  Patients with both Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder have trouble forming and or maintaining healthy relationships and both avoid true intimacy.  Subjects exhibit characteristics of denial and distortion of reality.  Throughout my post I will outline more common characteristics of both disorders and how they relate to and are displayed by an individual affected.

Both disorders point to the fact that the lives of the individual is chaotic and that the relationships they form are unhealthy, short lived and unstable.   These disorders cause identity disturbance and displays a widely fluxuating sense of self worth and self-image.  Individuals report that they are plagued with the belief that they do not know who they are.  Expressed emotions are erratic and no one knows which “face” of the individual will be present at any given moment.

Those affected by these disorders are impulsive and reckless.  Their sexual conduct is promiscuous, constant and unsafe.  They exhibit self destructive and self-defeating behaviors such as binge eating, gambling, and carelessness with their money and in addition, anything ranging from drugs, alcohol to prescription pills.  These individuals will threaten suicide or will imply that the world would be better off without.

I believe these disorders can stem from anxiety issues with abandonment, neglect, verbal abuse and or physical abuse.  These individuals usually are co-dependent and will attempt to prevent abandonment, both real and imagined.  They can make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagery abandonment including unstable social relationships characterized by alternating extremes of over idealization and devaluation.

Individuals with these disorders relate through defense mechanisms and are motivated by deep inner shame.  As well, they can appear to be self-centered and self-absorbed.  Individuals claim they are the only person giving in all of their relationships.  Due to their skewed perception, they are unable to see the good that has been done for them by everyone around them.  They are capable of showing remorse if they realize they have caused pain, but quickly turn it around and find ways to place the blame upon someone other then themselves.  They typically are unable or unwilling to empathize or place themselves in another’s situation, which makes it easy for them to stay within a state of illusion and self-pity.

Common characteristics in both Borderline Personality Disorder and NPD, Causes individuals friends and family to feel as though they are walking on eggshells.  The feelings and emotions of anyone other than the individual are generally ignored or avoided to prevent confrontations or fights.  Typically, the feelings of those around them will be put down or minimized.  It is their way of implying that it is everyone else who needs the help and not them.

These individuals will blame others for any experience gone wrong in their lives and will commonly move from one group of friends to another to avoid any serious examination or self analysis.  They live through denial, they do not recognize that they have these issues; they do not know how to change and continue to blame every person in their life for all of their neurosis.  Individuals affected will commonly paint others in their lives as scapegoats for anything that may go wrong or not as they imagined.

These individuals distort reality in their version of it and at times live within a fantasy world.  They paint everyone to be the same as those who abused, neglected and left them prior.   They tend to be very suspicious and paranoid about things that they only just imagine you are about to do to them.  They become very defensive over perceived slights.   They will work themselves up to the point of hysteria and physical illness of non-truths or situations they have created in their head that will never take place.  Although these scenarios seem observed and ridiculous from the outside, these individuals truly believe they will occur.

These individuals will monopolize their friend’s time and if a friend becomes too busy, or if the individual affected by the disorders feels slighted in anyway, they will go out of their way to make others believe they are the inadequate ones.  They will constantly value and devalue their relationships based on their personal needs at the time and what it is they are trying to accomplish.  They will value and reject if they perceive someone is about to end the relationship.

Another trait that these individuals display that are commonly found in both Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the constant need to change and break relationships rules according to what they decide is necessary and fair.  They will place expectations and demands on all of their personal relationships, without informing others of these rules.  They are unspoken rules and commonly those closest to them do not know about the rules until they have broken them.  Those who are in relationships with those affected by the disorder must always be one step ahead so that the individual affected by the disorder is unable to find something that offends them. The problem is it is unknown as to what will or will not offend them because they may see something as acceptable one minute and unacceptable a moment later.  They will become bored very often; they constantly want others to entertain them, to find them amusement and to make plans for their enjoyment.  If their friends and family do not comply they berate them and consider them to be selfish.

With borderlines and in some cases with Narcissists, individuals usually have the attitude of “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”  This can be present with the Borderline but more present with the Narcissist who want to appear to be strong even though deep down inside they are feeling extremely inadequate.  They will express that everyone in their lives leaves and that it must be their fault, but in the next breath they will go into plethora of reasons why the people who have left are selfish, incompetent and inadequate.

Borderlines and Narcissists become envious.  These individuals tend to feel hopeless and despondent of ever becoming or being anything like a person they envy, which is more so a characteristic of a borderline.

It can be hard to diagnose both Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder disorders because borderline emotions tend to go up and down and are erratic which makes it difficult to tell what may be causing their traits.  With a Narcissist is it very difficult as well to diagnose them because a Narcissist feels they don’t have any problems and that the problems lie with everybody else.  These are two very common traits that these individuals exhibit.  In summery, I would analyze that these individuals have Borderline Personality Disorder with effects of Narcissistic Personality Disorder because these individuals have a sense of entitlement and an unreasonable expectation of a special favorable treatment.  They can be interpersonally explosive and take advantage of others to achieve their own gain.  They lack empathy and are often envious of others or believe that others are envious of them.  One moment they are depressive and in another moment can show signs of arrogance.  They make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagery abandonment.  They are impulsive in the areas of money, sexual activity, substance abuse, binge eating and gambling.  They exhibit instability resulting in depression, irritability, and anxiety lasting a few hours or a few days.  They complain of a chronic feeling of emptiness and boredom, as well chronic physical pain depending on the individual.

A common mistake of those with these disorders and any other disorders for that matter is that these individuals will go into therapy and leave therapy prematurely before any progress can be made.  Generally individuals begin to believe that therapy has had the reverse effect when in reality therapy must feel that way sometimes in order for it to be effective.  It is important to work through it, regardless of how awful it feels, what darkness it dredges up or how long it takes because your health is worth it in the end.   With any healing process or challenge in life, it becomes the darkest before we can ever see the light.  Therapy is no exception.  In conclusion, based on my research and understanding, it appears to me that individuals exhibiting these common characteristics can be diagnosed with both Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder and are candidates for Psychotherapy, preferably in addition to family or group therapy.

I believe by nature that we all exhibit some Narcissistic tendencies, but the problems arise when these tendencies grow and begin to stunt our spiritual, mental and physical growth.  For those of you out there reading this and coming to the realization that you may know someone exhibiting these behaviors, know it is not your responsibility to heal or fix these individuals.  It would be in your best interest to direct them to a physician that could possibly diagnose and help them.  My intention for this post is to help bring light to some of the disorders that cloud our society and even those we love, and the only way to do that is through educating ourselves.  Awareness through knowledge is no doubt the tool needed to help facilitate change and make our communities both as mentally and physically healthy as possible.

If you have any questions feel free to message me!

♥  All of my love and light  ♥

~ Jennifer

I have included some informative links on the subjects touched upon in this post, enjoy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderline_personality_disorder

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/borderline-personality-disorder/DS00442/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001931/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001930/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652/

http://www.amazon.com/Personality-Theories-Barbara-Engler/dp/0547148348/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344050548&sr=1-6&keywords=Theories+of+Personality%2C+8th+edition