It’s true that borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissism are their own psychiatric disorders and can most definitely exist alone. However, did you know that there may be a link between these two personality disorders? Yes, it’s true.
Below, you will discover how BPD and narcissism can be similar and, thus, often comorbid.
It’s true that someone with narcissism may appear to have an exaggerated self-esteem and speak very highly of themselves. In reality, they may act in the latter way because they have low self-esteem and are trying to hide it, especially if they’re diagnosed as a vulnerable narcissist.
Low self-esteem is also common for those with different types of BPD. And with low self-esteem often comes hypersensitivity, fragile self-worth, and high need for validation. They may lash out and spew nasty things in the event that someone hurts their confidence.
Fear of Abandonment
The thing with someone with narcissistic personality disorder and/or borderline personality disorder is that they can’t be abandoned. If anyone is going to do the abandoning, it’s going to be them, and they will typically not regret their actions once it’s said and done. God forbid you do what they’ve done to you, though.
Being abandoned hurts someone with one or both of these diagnoses as it deeply wounds them, eats at their self-esteem, and triggers their fear of abandonment. As a result, they may beg you or even manipulate you to take them back or give them another chance.
As if someone with borderline personality disorder or narcissism couldn’t get more intense, they do in the form of their impulsive moments. They may find themselves cheating on their partner, going on a big shopping spree, randomly moving away without thought, or gambling often.
Part of the reason for their empathy lies within their poor decision making ability, low sense of understanding consequences, as well as their difficulty in being able to empathize with others. Not to mention, some of the impulsivity can be explained by their low self-esteem as the activity may feel validating and act as a self-esteem boost.
With lack of proper, mature emotional regulation, those with BPD and NPD often showcase extreme, intense emotions. This can be in the form of both positive and negative emotions. They may give you a sweep-you-of-your-feet romance in the beginning, only to give you a switch up not long later.
The big emotions of those with NPD and BPD may range from rage, depression, and jealousy to spontaneity, competitiveness, and a need for attention. Due to their intense emotional feelings and reactions, these folks are commonly known for having rocky relationships, problems at work, and difficulty keeping friends.
Not everyone who’s narcissistic will also have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and vice versa. But what is interesting is that BPD and narcissism can most definitely have their fair share of overlapping symptoms. Not to mention, many folks with BPD may also have a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder as well, sometimes unknowingly.