Unfortunately, Borderline Personality Disorder is a common mental health condition nowadays. People with it usually lack empathy, like to control everyone and everything around them, and find it difficult to behave properly. That’s why living with a BPD mother is very stressful and can leave life-lasting scars.
When you’re raised by a BPD mother, many different areas of your life are affected. However, all your scars and traumatic experiences actually made you stronger, even though you might not see it yet. That’s why today, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about BPD.
What is it, when does it develop, can it be treated, what are some of the most common signs, and of course, how to heal from dealing with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder? Don’t worry, we’ll answer everything you have on your mind. So, let’s not waste any more time!
What is BPD?
BPD stands for Borderline Personality Disorder and it’s a mental health condition. It’s difficult to find the exact number of people worldwide who have BPD. That’s because it’s often underdiagnosed and undertreated.
However, according to the World Health Organization, their estimate is that about 1-2% of the population is affected by BPD. To help you understand it better, it means that among 10,000 people, there might be 100-200 people with BPD.
BPD is a mental health condition that is mostly characterized by mood swings, sudden changes in behavior, instability in relationships, and possibly even self-destructive behaviors. It’s not uncommon for them to deal with a distorted sense of self-identity and emptiness too.
Since BPD can have significant impacts on a person’s functioning and well-being, and people with BPD are at increased risk of self-harm and substance abuse, it’s essential that they work with a mental health professional. They will develop the right treatment plan for them.
With the right treatment, it’s highly likely that they will be able to manage their symptoms and lead completely normal and fulfilling lives. The treatments will respond accordingly to their needs and it usually gives great results.
When does Borderline Personality Disorder develop?
Borderline Personality Disorder usually develops during adolescence or early adulthood. However, it still varies from person to person. The symptoms usually appear in the early 20s, even though it’s not uncommon for some people to even experience them in childhood.
When it comes to factors that contribute to the development of BPD, we’re talking about multiple. They can include genetics, brain abnormalities, and even environmental factors. That means that childhood trauma or dealing with abuse can also cause Borderline Personality Disorder to appear.
Research suggests that people with BPD in their families are at risk of developing the same mental health condition. Therefore, if you have a BPD mother, you need to be aware that genetics are also involved in the development of this disorder.
Various brain imaging studies proved that people with BPD might have some structural and functional abnormalities in areas of the brain that are usually involved in the regulation of emotions and behavior. That’s why a lack of empathy or sudden changes in mood and behavior are so common.
How is BPD treated?
Luckily, BPD is a treatable mental health condition. That’s why with the right treatment, many people with BPD get the chance to manage their symptoms. They can live their lives however they want without being hindered by their condition.
However, it’s essential to mention that BPD is still a chronic condition. But what does that mean? It means that it’s not something that can be cured like other medical conditions like injuries or the flu. Instead, professionals will teach their patients how to manage their symptoms and improve their lives.
When it comes to treatments, there are many steps and ways of treating a BPD patient. They can include therapy, medication, CBT, MBT, and various self-care strategies. However, the most effective treatment is DBT or dialectical behavior therapy.
It teaches individuals with BPD different skills such as managing emotions, handling crises, improving their relationships with other people, and prioritizing themselves. So far, it has proved to be the most liked and successful treatment.
It’s also important that individuals with BPD have support from their families, friends, or colleagues. They need it to successfully cope with the challenges that come with this mental health condition.
Signs of a BPD mother
Let’s start with the basics. Since we now know what BPD is, when it develops, and different treatment options, it’s time to talk about the most common signs of a BPD mother. If you’re unsure whether your mother belongs to this category, these signs will help you get a conclusion.
People dealing with BPD usually like to control everything and everyone around them. However, we’re not talking about perfectionism. They don’t care about doing a task perfectly, or having the cleanest room in the neighborhood. Controlling and BPD are connected in different ways.
In this case, it means that the person wants to be in charge of everything that’s going on. It pains them to think that someone else knows something better than they do, or that a situation is not going the way they’ve planned. That’s why living with them is very challenging.
2. Puts her own needs first
What is one of the first things that come to your mind when someone mentions the word “mother” to you? It’s likely that you imagined your own mother and how she would do anything just to see you happy. You’re always her number one and her needs always come after yours.
However, BPD mothers don’t function that way. The problem with them is that they always prioritize themselves and do whatever they feel like doing at that moment. Which usually means that their children get hurt or feel abandoned and left behind.
Of course, our parents will always be critical of everything we do wrong. However, they will criticize us because they only want what’s best for us. And they hope that their comments will help us understand what mistakes we’re making and how to get back on the right track again.
However, when it comes to BPD parents, they are fond of criticizing because it makes them feel superior. It’s a way of proving their worth and how wiser they are than their kids.
It’s usually not because they want to help and teach them a lesson, but simply to get rid of their negative feelings by focusing on someone else’s mistakes.
4. Unpredictable behavior
Of course, our behavior depends on how we’re feeling that day and how we usually deal with different situations. After a bad day, some people like to spend some time on their own, but others like to go out with friends and forget about their problems. Everyone has something that they usually do.
However, when it comes to people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, their behavior is very unpredictable. You never know how they’ll react to certain situations. One day they’ll be totally chill about spending time in the garden, while on some other day they’ll hate it all of a sudden.
5. Lacks empathy
One of the most common signs that an individual is suffering from this mental health condition is that they lack empathy. It’s not going to hurt you that much if we’re talking about some of your acquaintances.
However, if you live with a BPD mother and she lacks empathy, it might affect your whole life. There’s no love stronger than your parent’s love. And if you don’t feel like it’s the case in your life it will probably hurt a lot. That’s why people who grew up with BPD parents are among the strongest people ever.
6. Over or under-involved in her child’s life
Since every person who has BPD is different, we can easily conclude that every BPD mother acts differently, too. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us to see that some of them are over-involved in their kids’ lives, while others are under-involved.
Of course, over-involvement sounds much better. However, none of these options are healthy for children. Over-involvement comes from their controlling side which we’ve already talked about. On the other side, under-involvement comes from their lack of empathy.
Finally, BPD parents can be very argumentative. Since they always prioritize their needs, it means that they’ll always be against everything that can disturb whatever they have planned for that day. So let’s say, they wanted to watch a movie, but their kid asked them to help with their homework.
That’s when an argumentative side of them takes over, and a BPD parent will find hundreds of arguments about why they don’t need or do need to do something.
It’s hard not to take it personally, especially when you’re a kid. However, their condition lies behind all these signs, which makes it difficult for them to understand how one should behave.
The consequences of having a BPD mother
When raised by a BPD mother, there are actually some consequences that people are left to deal with. Some of them are minor, while the rest might be a bit more challenging. Here are some of the most common things that happen to people raised by a BPD parent.
1. High levels of stress
Since you were raised in an environment full of stress, it will likely become your routine. But what do we mean by that? When you’re constantly surrounded by people that make you feel stressed, that feeling stays with you even when you change the environment.
Therefore, it’s very common for people raised by BPD parents to have thyroid problems as it’s the part of your body that is always affected by stress. Other problems might include eating disorders, problems with motivation and focus, and negative thoughts.
2. Full of negative emotions
We all deal with different negative emotions almost on a daily basis. Something can always easily make us upset or angry. And that’s totally fine as we often deal with many kinds of people and situations. So, what do negative emotions have to do with the consequences of being raised by a BPD mother?
Well, being raised in such an environment will make those emotions stronger and more frequent. There is scientific proof that people who spend a lot of time with someone who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder usually deal with feelings such as sadness, regret, despair, humiliation, guilt, and shame.
3. Second-guessing yourself
When we’re kids we learn about life mostly from our parents. We observe their behavior and sometimes even mimic it. That’s why you’ll often see kids trying to clean the house, put some makeup on, or cook something. Children notice more things than we think they do, and they stick with them.
That’s why children who grew up with a BPD parent often complain about second-guessing themselves. Why does that happen? Because their mothers would look at them as heroes in one moment and then start yelling at them the second.
So they could never conclude whether they’ve done something wrong or right.
4. Always on high alert
Another consequence of being raised by a BPD mother is that you will always be on high alert. It means that you will lose the chance of looking at life optimistically. Instead, you will always feel like something bad is going to happen.
Even in the moments when you’re the happiest, there will still be some fear present. That’s because people who grow up next to a BPD parent get used to having their happy moments interrupted by chaos. So, it’s no wonder that they’ll always expect some kind of disappointment in life.
5. Afraid to say “No”
We’ve already talked about how controlling and argumentative people with Borderline Personality Disorder can be. And every time you try to talk them out of something or you want to confront them, they’ll burst out at you.
That’s why one of the consequences of dealing with them on a daily basis is that you’ll be afraid to say “No” to anyone. It’s because it makes you afraid of having to deal with another argument or a fight.
Overthinking is generally one of the most common issues that people deal with nowadays. So, why is it especially connected to BPD mothers and the consequences that are left after being raised by one?
Since they always prioritize themselves and they don’t like when anybody tries to confront them, their kids are often afraid to speak their minds. On those rare occasions when they do, they get yelled at, and they spend hours thinking about what they’ve done wrong. That’s how an overthinking problem is born.
7. Low self-esteem
Since BPD people usually lack empathy, it’s not surprising to understand why their children don’t feel loved and appreciated. And if your parents don’t give you those feelings, it’s very difficult to find them elsewhere at such a young age.
That’s why they grow up with low self-esteem. It’s a huge issue as it can affect different spheres of your life. You can find it difficult to form any kind of relationship, you won’t be motivated enough as you won’t feel capable enough to succeed, and it’s going to affect your hobbies and interests.
8. Toxic shame
Living with a BPD mother is very challenging. One moment you’ll feel like the most loved kid on the planet Earth and then the next she’ll yell at you like you’re her worst enemy. It’s very stressful for both, kids and even adults.
Their kids get used to being blamed for everything, things that they’ve done wrong, but also those they didn’t do at all. That’s why they’ll always have to deal with feelings such as shame and guilt. And when they move out, and someone starts an argument with them, it will wake up their trauma.
9. Fear of abandonment
And the last consequence we would like to mention is a fear of abandonment. However, not in a way that you probably thought of. When you’re living with a BPD mother, she is likely to throw a tantrum every time you announce that you’re going somewhere. Even if it’s just for a few hours!
Then if you go, it’s likely that you’ll come back to see both, your mother and a house, in a mess. And if you don’t go you’ll just miss out on life. That’s a tricky situation that makes all children of BPD parents very stressed.
Even when they become adults, they can still get caught up by their parent who is afraid of abandonment. That’s why they often try to ruin their relationships and friendships.
How to heal from your BPD mother?
Let’s finish our quick lesson about BPD with some hope. Since BPD can be treated with the right professional help, it means that all the people who were affected and raised by BPD mothers can heal from their traumatic experiences too.
Yes, you will heal! The scars will stay with you, but they will just remind you of how far you’ve come and how strong you are. However, we want to help you heal even faster so we’ve prepared these tips and tricks that will lead to a full recovery. You can do it, just believe in yourself, and stay strong!
1. DEAR MAN
No, don’t worry. You don’t have to write any kind of letter or a diary if this title reminded you of it. DEAR MAN is actually an acronym that comes from dialectical behavior therapy or DBT as we’ve already mentioned at the beginning of this article. It’s a recipe for asserting yourself. Here’s how.
D – describe. You’ll have to explain the situation that made you worried.
E – express. When you’ve done that, you will need to express your feelings about that certain situation.
A – assert. Now you’ll need to figure out and state your wants and needs.
R – reinforce. Explain to your BPD mother how this solution that you’ve thought of can benefit her.
M – mindfulness. Keep in mind that you should only talk about the present. Bringing up past issues won’t help you reach your final goal.
A – appear confident. It’s important that your mother notices you’re confident, so you should maintain eye contact and keep in mind your body language.
N – negotiate. And finally, just like every deal ends with negotiation, yours will too. Be open to making compromises!
2. Learn how to prioritize yourself
People raised by BPD mothers usually don’t know how to prioritize themselves. They are always on high alert and ready to take action, so they don’t really know how to relax properly. Please, keep in mind that the only way to heal is to learn how to take care of yourself.
So, take some time for yourself. Remember all the things you love doing. Maybe it’s cooking, reading, watching movies, running, talking to your friends, or anything else that comes to your mind. Pay attention to your sleep schedule and nutrition. That way you’ll soon see the results!
3. Set boundaries
Setting boundaries with a BPD parent might be difficult. However, if the DEAR MAN phase is done correctly then you have a big chance of succeeding in this task as well. It’s important to agree and make some boundaries, so you’ll have enough time to focus on yourself, your goals, and your own problems.
Try to agree about the times when it’s okay to call and see each other. Explain that you need your own time and that it’s the only way that you can lead the life you want to lead. Be confident and explain why your suggestion is beneficial for both of you.
4. Spend time with people you care about
No one should go through this journey alone. So, don’t be afraid to call the people you love and spend some time with them. That way you’ll see how people love and care about you, which will give you even more motivation to work towards achieving your goals.
Everybody needs some support, so don’t think that you’re weak for looking for it. And on top of that, your friends will be thrilled to hear from you, so pick up your phone, and make plans with them. You deserve to have some fun!
5. Get professional support
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek professional support. Living and being raised by a BPD mother is very stressful. Even though you’re strong, it doesn’t mean that you have to deal with all the issues on your own.
There are professionals that will help you and tell you the best tips and tricks on how to heal from everything that you’ve been through. Remember, your scars will always be there. But only to remind you of how far you’ve come. You can do it, so don’t be afraid!