Borderline personality in males

By Jessika Endsley

Not many people understand what Borderline Personality Disorder is at all. In many circles, a BPD diagnosis is a stamp of "we can't help you, fuck off" and few psychologists and therapists will spend time actually helping the individual. This is changing with the study of empathy and with a rise in people who actually have BPD due to things I could just fucking go on an on about that are happening to children at an early age in these days. What is more disturbing, to me, is that Borderline Personality Disorder is very much neglected in males. Some things about BPD are culturally "not masculine" such as the hallmark symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder: Fear Of Abandonment. Only pansies are afraid to be left alone. Even in popular cultures, where a male Borderline is blatantly displayed, people cry "Psychopath." In the most common case I can think of, the modern portrayal of Moriarty.

What isn't understood by the general public is that Borderline Personality Disorder is in the cluster B of Personality Disorders, also known as "dramatic" cluster, right along with Psychopaths and Narcissists. That's right. Most Psychopaths are male. What is the common point with the three? Zero Negative Empathy. What can easily lower empathy? Testosterone. So it shouldn't surprise anyone when the levels of Borderline diagnosis begin leaning towards males. It also doesn't surprise me that many females Aspies are diagnosed as Borderline before the Aspergers is diagnosed. Borderline males often have strong narcissism and can present themselves as being very cocky. It is more common in males to make up for an insecurity by becoming the complete opposite, which is the main theme of Narcissistic Personality Disorder other than low empathy. Moriarty is shown as being extremely cocky in the few in-person interactions he has; Psychopaths also do this, but not without an extreme Narcissistic streak (think Bundy) because they don't feel enough to care. Moriarty cries for attention - the Borderline has low empathy but feels extremely intensely and for longer periods of time than a non-BPD person.


Males behave recklessly - of course, drinking a lot for males is a cultural norm, as is sleeping around and acting out or breaking the law, but its attention seeking the moment one is known to have a vagina. Fantastic, right? Being reckless and acting out is fine as long as you have a penis. Remember, guys you must not need any help if you're doing these things! But like the female Borderline who will do anything to avoid being abandoned, real or perceived abandonment, the male also behaves erratically and threatens suicide or other extremes to keep someone around longer. A male Borderline will sabotage the relationship/friendship (it's easier for me to just talk about relationships because I deal with more of those than friendships,) just like the female will in an attempt to do the exact opposite. Borderlines are love addicts, but once the relationship is secured and he has the person safely in his grip, he will acquire rebounds and backups for the impending abandonment. Females do the same. Moriarty displays this in a platonic fashion by going as far to kill himself before being abandoned by his enemy; he abandoned Sherlock by killing himself before Sherlock got a chance to abandon him. Psychopath's don't kill themselves. about 10% of Borderlines complete their suicides, which is 50% more often than the general populace.

About Borderlines and their emotions - they feel. They don't have empathy because they are trapped in their own minds, and when someone feels the initial sting of an emotion longer and more intensely than others. They are stuck on 80% after the emotion has set in rather than going back down to their regular level by emotion regulation. They emotions fire for 20% longer than someone with BPD - I think that could exhaust one enough to not feel empathy. They don't lack empathy in the systematizing way of the Autistic Spectrum which is why it is dysfunctional and hurts the Borderline themselves. This is where I get to the point that I feel the creators of the modern Sherlock actually looked at BPD and decided to give Moriarty those extreme traits; the most obvious thing he does is display negative empathy and extremely harsh, intense emotions. A psychopath doesn't stay hurt if they ever even feel hurt. A Borderline is prone to outbursts of anger, no fear of being blown up as long as they go down with who they want to, intense displays of back-thought to their childhood (Daddy's had enough now! Daddy loves me the best!). Psychopaths function on the idea of self-preserving; Borderlines aren't afraid to die.

So with that being said, Borderlines are not a lost cause. Will they destroy your life and love then leave you or do something so traumatic that you leave them? Yes. But not always. That isn't what they want to do underneath everything. Psychologists need to take the time to have the BPD patient come in frequently for emotion regulation/Dialectical therapy. Recognizing the emotion and practicing to let it go can help the Borderline function better. Will it ever go away fully? No. Personality Disorders, especially those without empathy, stay with the person and act up when things go wrong. Remember, Borderlines are on the same wavelength as Psychopaths and Narcissists, but they are more likely to destroy themselves than to destroy you, no matter how angry they get.

Borderline love from an Aspie. I feel some of your pain but not all of it, because I am too busy analyzing you to focus on your emotions just like you are too busy focusing on your emotions to analyze me.

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1.  Marcyjo    Friday, August 29, 2014

What a clever, in-your-face article. Outstanding. Raw and real. Thank you.

2.  Mandatch    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I'm male, was diagnosed with BPD -- I feel as I get older feeling empathy for someone quickly turns into resentment and anger towards that person.

3.  karina    Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm in college and just went through a roller coaster ride with this one guy. Input on my situation would be much appreciated. He has all the symptoms of BPD. His friends also say they think he has major psychological issues, all stemming from a really messed up childhood. I don't know what to think because he makes me feel crazy.

4.  Guest    Thursday, February 26, 2015

Relationships with guys with BPD can, and will at times, be a confusing, self-doubt-inducing nightmare. If it's any consolation all of the negativity and anguish you might feel is shared in equal parts with the afflicted significant other. I'd like to offer more in the way of input but I don't have much to go on.

5.  ano    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I'm a male and I was diagnosed with BPD. It's true I used to feel emotions too intensely (but most of the time I dissociate myself from feeling any emotions at all), I do admittedly lack empathy, I used to fear abandonment but now I enjoy the benefits of complete autonomy, I am very narcissistic--in fact I'm positive my emotional sensitivity comes from the fact that other people don't view me as highly as I view myself and that angers me. I do abuse drugs and alcohol regularly, I f*ck around a lot too. I used to threaten suicide when I was 14 or 15, but it was never genuine and always a manipulative tactic, that as I got older, realized was stupid and ineffective outside your own family. So I stopped. I engage in lots of antisocial behavior too: I lie for fun all the time, I manipulate others,I also engage in stealing, fighting, emotionally abusing others. It makes me feel in control and powerful. I am somewhat masochistic, but nowhere near as much as I am sadistic. I love hurting, torturing, and killing animals bc I get a rush out of it, and I know the consequence of hurting people is prison, and prison is the epitome of boredom. Laws are a great way to keep people like me from committing real crimes. I lack a sense of identity, and instead put on different masks throughout the day, I have no default personality larger than complete emptiness. The thing I find however, that this is my exterior personality, and deep, deep down, I have a fragile personality that I try to stuff down and suffocate. To be honest, I thought borderline meant the duality of two polar opposite, black and white, facets of one's personality. A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a Devil and an Angel on each shoulder, except that the Devil overpowers the Angel, it doesn't have a chance. That's the reason why borderlines are often comorbid with dissociative identity disorder.

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