Relation between Borderline Personality Disorder and Lying

Symptoms of borderline personality (BDP) vary a great deal between different people but they can typically be grouped into four main areas including impulsive behavior, emotional instability, dysfunctional relationships with others, and disturbed patterns of thought. Broadly speaking, lying is not a specifically recognized symptom of borderline personality disorder, but many family members report that persistent lying is a very common trait amongst those suffering from borderline personality disorder, so what is the relation between borderline personality disorder and lying?

Borderline personality disorder is one of several mental health disorders that begins in adolescence and persists into adulthood. It is one of the more common personality disorders, particularly amongst women, and it affects the way a person interacts with others. Like many other personality disorders, BDP is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and dysfunctional upbringing.

One of the key symptoms of borderline personality disorder is a propensity towards highly impulsive behavior. As a result, those suffering with borderline personality disorder tend to do and say things on the spur of the moment and without giving their words any real thought. This means that in many cases the lies trip easily off the tongue because the person says things impulsively instead of thinking before opening their mouth.

Although chronic lying is not a true symptom of borderline personality disorder, there is definitely a strong link between borderline personality disorder and lying. Other than the little white lies we all tell from time to time to spare another’s feelings, many people lie to cover their mistakes or perceived weaknesses, and this is especially true of those suffering from borderline personality disorder.

Patients with borderline personality disorder often have very unstable and unpredictable moods and they frequently experience a wide range of negative emotions from shame and sadness to feelings of intense loneliness and emptiness. Lying is a trait often linked to such emotions as people with borderline personality disorder are highly sensitive to perceived rejection by others, and therefore they lie to avoid upsetting and alienating those close to them.

Lying is also very much a trait of the self destructive behavior patterns common in those suffering from borderline personality disorder. Patients with borderline personality disorder typically engage in self destructive behavior such as drug taking, binge drinking, promiscuous sexual activities and gambling. Persistent lying is common amongst such individuals as they seek to cover their tracks and avoid rejection by loved ones.

It is very difficult for family members to cope with a patient who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Relationships between the BDP sufferer and their family often break down under the stress of unpredictable mood swings, self destructive behavior and the continual lies.

Once a patient has been correctly diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, there are several courses of treatment available to try and help the patient control their emotions and improve his or her interpersonal relationships. Family therapy to help family members deal with the symptoms of BPD is also a vital part of the treatment process.


Sources :

NHS BDP: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Borderline-personality-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
BDP About: http://bpd.about.com/od/faqs/f/BPDlying.htm

About Alexander Burgemeester

2 Responses to “Relation between Borderline Personality Disorder and Lying”

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  1. mary says:

    i heard that as bp’s get older they mellow a bit. is this true ?

  2. Michael says:

    Not so much to BPD, but to my pathological lying that goes with it. I am on the verge of losing my partner, as she cannot believe most of what I say…I believe that my lies stem from a long-term need for acceptance, and to be liked – as I don’t really like myself.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    ‘Midhael

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