How to properly portray a character with BPD?

I just wanna make sure I’m portraying every kind of controversial character correctly to avoid backlash.

So how do I portray a character with borderline personality disorder? Do they act a certain way? Is it all the time or do they get triggers?



What kind of personality disorder? BPD, narcissistic, antisocial?

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There are ten different types of personality disorder. So, to help you. Which one does your character fall under?

You have;

  • Paranoid personality disorder.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder.
  • Antisocial personality.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder.
  • Borderline personality disorder.
  • Obsessive compulsive personality disorder.
  • Dependent personality disorder.
  • Avoidant (or anxious) personality disorder.
  • Histrionic personality disorder.
  • Schizoid personality disorder.

This is the one, sorry about making that unclear


Um, so it— I am feeling very jittery and nervous about writing this, for some reason, so I’m sorry if nothing makes sense :sweat_smile:

My therapist suspects BPD (in me) but doesn’t want to diagnose it, so I don’t feel right saying I have it, but I have the symptoms, I guess.

@Gwen-Bruce maybe you’ll want to chip in.

I’ve discussed some things with my psychologist in the past. There are symptoms that come up as thoughts and symptoms that come up as behaviour.

Since it’s a personality disorder, it’s ingrained into you from a young age, so it is constant.

There’s BPD and quiet BPD. People with BPD will feel emotions to the extreme, and that aren’t always proportionate to the situation. Behaviour depends on how you feel, like every other person. You roll your eyes when pissed, shout when really pissed. Because BPD sufferers feel everything to the extreme, they’ll act out in proportion of how they’re feeling, if that makes sense. Say, someone is making loud noises and is being really distracting. Most people will roll their eyes, huff. People with BPD might (emphasis on the might, cause any mental health problem is different for everyone, personality disorder or not) start feeling really mad. And what do you do when you feel really mad? You might shout. You might swear. And it’s not their fault they feel that way. They’re not trying to be jerks. If you got really mad, you’d react that way too.

Quiet borderlines tend to take their extreme feelings out on themselves, rather than acting out. I’m not going to go into more detail about how they’d do that, though.

And it’s not just anger that borderlines might feel really intensely. Sadness, emptiness. Emptiness is a big part of it. People with BPD don’t feel loved, and they don’t feel like anyone can ever love them. They might ask if you love them, over and over again, and even then, they might not believe you. I know I don’t. They might accuse you of lying about it, and then get angry. Anyone would, if someone kept telling you they loved you, but you knew they were lying.

We might push people away, but it’s not their fault. It’s just because we don’t want you to hurt us. To abandon us. Because for a lot of people with BPD, being abandoned is worse than a phobia. I ran away from home, I made several attempts on my life because I felt like people were abandoning me. You’d run away from a spider. I was trying to run away from the abandonment. I said some things to my school counsellor that I regret, things that were unkind, because I wanted to stop seeing her. I didn’t want her to stop seeing me. She couldn’t initiate the end of it. Either it wouldn’t happen, or I would end it.

There’s a reason people with BPD act out so extremely, there always is. We’re not unreasonable abusive bitches. We can come across that way, from the way we act and interact with other people, but we’re just like other people. We can be kind. My psychologist says we’re like puppies (but more extreme, obviously). I’ve met two people with BPD, both young women. And they’re two of the kindest, most understanding people I have ever met.

You asked if it’s constant. Yes, it’s constant, but things can be triggers to make borderlines act out. Like depression, or anxiety. Like everything, basically. The trigger can be anything, I mean, if something small happens, we get really mad or really sad, and then we get angry at ourselves for feeling that way, and then it’s a cycle of hating ourselves and feeling unloved.

Take every single word I say with a billion grains of salt, I haven’t been diagnosed, I might not even have it. Lots of mental disorders and things can overlap.


God, I’m sorry, I didn’t realise how long and rambling that was, I’m sorry :rofl:


Wow, that was actually really helpful! So just to summarize (since you said to take it with a grain of salt, I’m going to summarize what you told me.)

• Their reactions to certain things can be exaggerated.
• They feel like they’re not loved and constantly ask.
• They push people away because they don’t want anyone to hurt them.

Can I just ask, about the constant thing, is there like a type of way people with BPD act? Like, do they have a permanent sort of personality/mood or does that depend on the person?

And lastly, about the fact that it normally starts at a young age, is there a pattern with trauma that people with BPD have experienced? Is experiencing trauma or something mentally damaging when they were young have something to do with it or can it just be a thing-from-birth?

Sorry about all the questions lol


It’s okay, about the questions.

The summary you’ve got is good, that’s accurate, I’d say. I don’t know, I think it depends on the person and how bad it actually is. Someone who’s undergoing treatment for it and is managing it well could just appear fine, whereas someone who’s not doing as well would generally be very depressed? And some people might try to hide how they’re feeling, others might not, it depends on the person.

It’s usually I think, because of abusive/negligent/otherwise absent carers. It’s not a thing you’re born with. And it doesn’t have to be like huge, massive trauma either. My mum was verbally abusive plus negligent at times, whilst dad was just never home and was unkind when he was. It doesn’t have to be that someone tried to kill you or something. Another thing I have read is that BPD doesn’t really ‘start’. BPD is what it’s called, I guess, it’s to do with personality. Your personality doesn’t start. It gets built up by who you interact with, what you’re taught, where you live etc.


Ahhhh, I see. Thank you!

Hi! I tried to post this earlier but it failed, so here ya go:


I did an excellent job? :open_mouth: yay!

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Sure thing, I’ll make sure to ask you when it’s ready :heart:

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