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What are the Types of Borderline Personality Disorder?



This video describes potential subtypes of borderline personality disorder. The research on borderline personality disorder has inconsistent results in terms of the attempts identify subtypes. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), there are no subtypes reported for borderline personality disorder. In one study from 2013, three subtypes were identified: core borderline personality, extrovert/externalizing, and schizotypal/paranoid. There were five times as many people in the core borderline personality than in the extrovert/externalizing category and there were ten times as many in the extrovert/externalizing category as in the schizotypal/paranoid category. With core borderline personality, we see that this particular presentation is really what we think of when we think of borderline personality. This particular presentation was absent a lot of other personality disorder dimensions and individuals in this group had lower levels of childhood trauma, which was a bit of a surprising finding. It’s important to keep in mind though that with these participants, trauma was high in general, so there were only lower levels of trauma in this first potential subtype relative to the other subtypes. With the extrovert/externalizing subtype, men were over-represented. There were more men in this category proportionally than we saw in the other categories. There was a higher quality of life. Also, there were features from other personality disorders including narcissistic, antisocial, and histrionic. This group had a higher level of childhood trauma relative to the other two groups. The last potential subtype was schizotypal/paranoid. There were also personality disorder features, and as is indicated by the name, they were schizotypal and paranoid personality disorder features. The participants in this category also had higher levels of social isolation, higher levels of attachment anxiety, lower levels of self-confidence, and lower levels of assertiveness.

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8 Comments

  • C Forest

    Is BPD/NPD a borderline with narcissistic tendencies or a narcissist with borderline expression? I have noticed with BPDs that any narcissistic tendencies centre purely around the abandonment/engulfment trauma. The empathy is in tact in phases etc. A wide spectrum and abuse vs trauma and any other variables can create several outcomes.
    I think the NPD/BPDs who are setting up relationships for intentional abuse with a BPD expression are narcissists. Just my opinion…… I would suggest that the reason they are being labelled as BPD is because psychologists often diagnose up a scale from ADHD-Bipolar1,2, BPD,NPD,ASPD. Shouldn't this be changed to diagnose from the top first? I found it interesting that comorbid NPD/BPD was more prevalent in males but I would also have to take a step back and wonder if the DSM is based on a male NPD diagnosis. Always interesting and I have no answers!

  • Ryan C

    Theodore Millon is and was the leading researcher into personality disorders. His subtypes ain't perfect but are pretty good. They do not catch every variability though. The psychoanalytical diagnostic manual is the best way to diagnose PDs available. Its easier to diagnose traits of the two most common PDs in a person and call it a mixed personality. There can be other traits from other PDs but its not important to include every single trait in a diagnosis in my opinion. The core BPD group do have traits from other PDs. Dependent, Avoidant, Obsessive-Compulsive, Masochistic and Depressive traits tend to show up in this core BPD group. I think it pretty likely that there is no such thing as a pure Borderline. Ive read this study myself. Theodore Millon's work is quite remarkable. He's a genius up there with the greats in psychology with Jung and Freud. Remarkable individual. And will be seen as such Id imagine. Its a useful study though at separating groups.

  • Peregrin Took

    Hi, I have a question. Im a male with bpd. I have been on lamotrigine for a few weeks now, I can't say I notice a difference. I have an incredible rage that just happens for no reason or I get progressively overwhelmed over small things. Are there any medications that are for "emergencies" that I wouldn't have to take every day?

  • Leon Smith

    BPD and NPD are totally different the only way could be seen as looking like one another is if you have both I have a diagnose ov BPD inulsive type every one has a level ov narsasism both manipulate for different reasons I believe I can take responsibility for my action NPD cannot also I have empathy and sometimes none so I believe the empathy is compromised with BPD but not void

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