Individuals with BPD Make Life Difficult

Imi Lo, Clinical Psychotherapist & Art Therapist

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is also known as Emotional Dysregulation Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder in Europe. Despite being referred to as a ‘personality disorder’ in the diagnostic manual, many have proposed that the term ‘personality disorder’ is best understood as a disorganisation of the capacity for regulating emotions. This means that a person can sometimes experience emotions as overwhelming, spiralling out of control, and rapidly changing.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, D.S.M.5, defines borderline personality disorder as follow:
“A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions, and marked impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five or more of the following:
1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
2. A pattern of intense and unstable relationships
3. Persistently unstable self image (and attempts to control it)
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are self damaging e.g. spending, substance abuse, sex, reckless driving, binge eating
5. Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures, threats or self-mutilating behaviour
6. Affective instability, due to a marked reactivity of mood.
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
8. Inappropriate, intense anger, or difficulty controlling anger
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, or severe dissociation

These symptoms may manifest themselves in various ways. For instance, for some people ‘frantic effort to avoid feeling abandoned’ means not being able to be alone and becoming clingy, whilst for others it is about chronically isolating themselves altogether to avoid disappointment or hurt.

Sometimes people with BPD seem to view the world in a black-or-white, ‘all good or all bad’ fashion. This can be confusing and frustrating to the people around , but it may be the only way the person can safely experience the world at a certain point in time.

Love Cooperates. Fear Competes.

People with personality disorders do not like to cooperate. They have a deep commitment to withholding truth, facts and promises. They do not like to empower others and do not like to give credit where credit is due. Lying comes very naturally and without remorse.

letting-goThey avoid honest and open communication. They are the ones who hang up on us because they do not allow others the freedom and right of expressing their own feelings and thoughts. They are deeply afraid and do not feel love authentically. Their love is shallow and conditional, which is not connected to all living beings. Typically, these types insult and shame us. They do not help us save face, especially when they want to have some form of control over us, or try to make us feel lesser than. If called upon as witness to truth that could exonerate someone, they may say something like, “I really don’t want to get involved.”

They lack integrity and grace and are filled with immense judgement and disregard for the well-being of other human beings. They love to triangulate. It makes them feel powerful to have that much self-imposed, artificial control over others. They may treat their animals better than family members.

After decades of studying and teaching, I see all antisocial personalities as being asleep in their own reality, which on some level gives them what they need to sustain themselves. Perhaps it makes them feel more alive, being that they are the archetype of either the walking dead or the vampires who feed on the Light of others.

From what I have witnessed throughout the years, and others have shared with me, they possess a low spiritual and/or emotional IQ. They tend to gravitate toward the fleeting satisfaction of materialism and plow their way through the hearts and lives of the people who are touched by them. They seem unable to control their impulses to destroy people’s good works, reputations, families and relationships. Very rarely do they have their own legs to stand on. They need others to prop them up, financially and otherwise.

We have all wanted to shake them to wake them up and show them that there is an easier and more fulfilling way to live. It seems like they don’t understand the meaning of the words: Love. Respect. Loyalty. Honor. It’s a lost cause. Leave it alone. Focus on building your own beautiful life and don’t confront them with their lies. People know. Or, they eventually figure it out. You don’t have to justify yourself. Give it to the Universe. One day,they may awaken through tremendous amounts of loss and pain, or their own voluntary spiritual development. Maybe it will take lifetimes, who knows? So, do yourself a favor. Don’t wait for it.

Nailed It!

I just happened to scroll through my newsfeed on Facebook, and saw a post from Anne Rice. It’s an article that explains the Sociopathic Style in a different — yet also profound — way. It nails the relationship dynamic to a tee!  Read. Learn. Spread the information.

Empathic People Are Natural Targets For Sociopaths

The empathy trap: therapists and counselors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients’ recovery – but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call “apaths”. The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it.

People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like “I was stupid”, “what was I thinking” of “I should’ve listened to my gut instinct”. But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath’s superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people.

On initial contact, a sociopath will often test other people’s empathy, so questions geared towards discovering if you are highly empathic or not should ring alarm bells. People with a highly empathic disposition are often targeted. Those with lower levels of empathy are often passed over, though they can be drawn in and used by sociopaths as part of their cruel entertainment.

Sociopaths make up 25% of the prison population, committing over twice as many aggressive acts as other criminals. The reoffending rate of sociopaths is about double that of other offenders, and for violent crimes it is triple.

But not all sociopaths are found in prison. There is the less-visible burden of sociopath-induced emotional trauma which, if left unchecked, can lead to anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chronically traumatized people often exhibit hyper-vigilant, anxious and agitated behavior, symptoms such as tension headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, abdominal pain, back pain, tremors and nausea.

Exposure to and interaction with a sociopath in childhood can leave lifelong scars. This can apply to people in therapy – and for those who in recovery trained as therapists, re-exposure as an adult can trigger old emotions and PTSD.

This article is not about sociopaths per se but about surviving the harm they cause.


Many sociopaths wreak havoc in a covert way, so that their underlying condition remains hidden for years. They can possess a superficial charm, and this diverts attention from disturbing aspects of their nature.

The following case history illustrates how people can be systematically targeted until they feel they can barely trust their own sense of reality – what we call “gaslighting”. Sociopathic abuse is targeted abuse. It can wreck lives. Victims can become survivors, but at huge cost.

At school, ‘James’ took a dislike to a classmate, ‘Sam’, who was sensitive and popular. He would mock him for auditioning for the school play or for getting upset over failing a test. The situation deteriorated when it became known that Sam’s parents were separating. Sam appeared to be taking it with fortitude, to the admiration of his peers. He also got attention and sympathy from the school staff, especially James’ favourite teacher: ie, the one he manipulated most easily.

James decided on a plan of covert bullying. He started a whispering campaign implying that Sam’s parents were not splitting up, that he had said they were in order to seek attention. Sadly, this was all too successful and over the next few days Sam was met with silence and verbal bullying from his hitherto-supportive classmates.

James continued his campaign, targeting Sam’s close friends over the next few days. They found themselves accused of misdemeanours such as sending offensive emails/texts. Then the ‘favourite’ teacher went on “leave with immediate effect” after accusations of assaulting a pupil. Where had the accusations come from? Guess.

This case shows how deliberately sociopaths, from a young age, can target others. Taking advantage of people’s credibility and goodwill, James exploited the situation. With a more perceptive head teacher, this sociopath might have been found out, but he knew who to manipulate and how far he could go.


Ten Red Flags That You Are With An ASP

Most people have ignored the warning signs or red flags, that appear early on in a relationship with an antisocial person.

Here are the most obvious — and most likely — red flags that appear within 3-6 months of the relationship, sometimes much sooner. Your potential mate/friend:

1. Valued and quickly devalued you depending on how much, or how little, he/she can control your behavior; especially your behavior towards other people. For example, he or she may perceive someone significant in your life as a potential threat and will manipulate situations to cause you to doubt that friend or family member. He or she will try to build mistrust in you, and then quickly turn around and “save you” from the situation he/she created. Or, he will blatantly demand whom you can or cannot like or love.

NOTE: Pay close attention when he shares situations from past relationships.  It’s highly likely that your relationship will end up looking like his previous relationships. Every relationship picks up where the last one left off. Take your time before you get intimate. It makes things easier if the relationship doesn’t work out. How long should you wait? The short answer is at least 6 months.

2. He tells you straight-up he’s antisocial. No one who is mentally and emotionally stable will call himself an antisocial. Unless you crave a wild and bumpy ride in your relationship, throw this fish back in the water and find love elsewhere.

3. See how he lives. Is his house cluttered, or a pig sty? Lots going on within when someone hoards and lives in filth. “As within, so without,”

4. He uses the system and doesn’t repay debts. Has a sense of entitlement.

5. Tries to micro-manage people in his life. He’s controlling  and acts like he’s the only caring one in the relationship or household.

6. Perceives the world in a very peculiar way. There is no winning for losing. He won’t compromise with you. End. Of. Discussion.

7.  His responses don’t match what is going on in the room. For example, it’s early morning and you get up first. You’re sitting at your computer He walks in and you cheerfully say: “Good morning!” He, in turn, is frowning and doesn’t reply. Instead, he might start some unrelated dialogue because…

8. He lives in his paranoid mind more than in the real world or any rational world for that matter.

9. Most of your actions are met with suspicion or opposition.  Example: Watching a cute and wholesome video on YouTube featuring a friend of the opposite sex might be seen as you being completely obsessed or infatuated with your friend.  All the explaining in the world won’t change his mind. Does he really believe it, or is he trying to control your happy mood by bringing you down to his level? WHO CARES! Get away from someone who is a harmful, toxic person. Love him from a distance. Wish him well and move on.

10. You are constantly walking on egg shells and have to justify your words and actions. Then, you’re told not to justify yourself. You never know what you’re going to get. Ever. It’s a mystery why he acts the way he does,  but the most important thing is to remember that you will never be able to be yourself. Ever.  Do you want that type of relationship?