Borderline Personality Disorder Community
bpd affecting other people
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to anger, anxiety, caregiver support, depression, emotions, fears, living with BPD, relationships, and violence.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

bpd affecting other people

i am not bpd. can living w/ a bpd person cause anxiety in me. i have always had anxiety but never to this extreme. it seems like ever since ive lived w/ this person my anxiety and panic attacks have gotten more severe and daily. i think so but i just want to ask. thank you!
Related Discussions
12 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yes.  People with bpd can project their anxiety onto others.
You may like to use this as an opportunity to work through your own issues too though. Psychotherapy could be useful (for both of you).
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Yes, absolutely.

Ive been living with my bpd spouse for 9 years now, About 5 years ago my Mom was going through cancer treatments and I was having panic attacks, I attributed it to that, however I would notice Intense feelings of anxiety after I would be blindsided by an argument with my spouse. It got more intense over the course of a year until I had to keep Ativan around the house to cope. I ended up losing a good job over not being able to function because of panic attacks.

Eventually I learned to control the anxiety without ativan or therapy over time and the anxiety subsided, but it took a few years. I would highly suggest as much cardio exercise as you can muster, and whenever your BPD spouse has an episide, just dont play their games. Say youre going for a walk to cool off and dont respond to anything they say or do until you come back. Dont take anything they do personally if you can help it and dont look to them for consistant help with your anxiety. One day they may help you and they next they are making fun of your panic attacks.

BPD's are very challenging people, but they can teach you alot about yourself and can be very rewarding or very toxic relationships. Continue at your own risk.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I don't think people should attribute all their issues to a bpd spouse.  Or do people just enter relationships to fix others?  Meaning that being in a relationship fulfills their need to nurture.  Once the bpd individual either upsets them or becomes independent they (the bpd individual) are seen as problematic.

In the above situation I believe the anxiety was predominantly yours.
Your anxiety regarding your mother's condition.  Your sense of powerlessness to communicate effectively with your wife.
I feel that work would have been somewhat of an emotional safe haven for you.

Exercise doesn't make anxiety go away.  (Unless lack of exercise is an unfulfilled need you have.)  It does help reduce symptoms though.
Most people with bpd don't play games.  What may be perceived by others as a game is often a person lacking skills to behave any differently.  If bpd were a game do you think people would choose to play it?  Why would they, bpd is devastating.
Walking away I don't think is the answer.  Not unless that is prearranged.  Walking away will only invalidate a person's feelings (which are possibly already being invalidated).  This may make the situation worse.  If you are going to walk away then you need to be specific about what you're doing and why.  People should be careful to use 'I' statements too.  I am walking away because I feel ...
If people with bpd do act out then a spouse should be close enough to be able to see why that is.  They should never replace a therapist though.

If anybody feel anxious then they should take responsibility for that themselves.  It may mean that your issues have been triggered.  Your issues being the ones that you need to work on.

Obviously having their issues made fun of has happened to them in the past.

Everybody is challenging.  Everybody has issues.  People with bpd are not unique in that.  Nor are they the cause.  They have a real illness, just like asthma or diabetes or heart disease or cancer, but only much much more disabling.

Maybe you should attach cautions to everyone.  Maybe you should have one yourself?

People with bpd can trigger anxiety in others but only because that triggers or represents something to that person.  People should look at themselves first.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn

My anxiety was mine and mine alone. I worked through it on my own with no support and Im done with it. when it happens again I know what to do to make it go away. Im here to understand BPD to learn communication methods and to learn how it works. Not to go through my codependency or anxiety issues. That is being handled elsewhere.

Where i stop is condoning the behavior associated with BPD. their behavior may be caused by extremely intense emotions that they cannot control and they may have stunted coping tools to deal with those feelings, but at the end of the day, they are adults who are responsible for their actions and behavior. If they cannot control their impulses then they need to be in therapy or on meds or institutionalized. Period. We can try to understand them all we want, but they ARE dangerous people with a SERIOUS mental disorder. I have a half a dozen scars on my face, back and hands from my bpd wife while I have never laid a hand on her. That is assault. She has come after me twice with a knife, granted she never swung the knife, but i got out of there before i found out if she was capable of actually swinging it. That is assault with a deadly weapon, a felony. The constant verbal and emotional lashings are flat out abusive and should not be tolerated. If you are tolerating them, it is because they are on the road to recovery and they acknowledge they have the issue or you have serious issues yourself. If they refuse to accept a diagnosis or help then the only solution is to get out as fast as you can and get out carefully and tell your family and friends about the disorder and be prepared to have your character, friends, and finances visciously attacked, and hope and pray that those attacks never come.

My goal is to handle BPD skillfully and rationally, but firmly. I wont be a doormat during recovery and I will not tolerate assault or abuse. Sometimes you have to treat them like the children that they are. If you are too timid and docile, you may avoid an unpleasant outburst, but they will take that as evidence that their behaviour is effective and warranted and they will use your timid forgiving nature to walk all over you and completely rule the roost.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Anxiety can be complicated.  Everyone has issues.  We just need to make sure that we own our own.  Transference and counter-transference issues are very important when dealing with someone with bpd.

I wasn't attacking you for having issues.  I just think it's really important to know what is being triggered when and why.
If after some self-reflection you're comfortable that the issue isn't yours then it would seem fair to attribute them to your spouse.
If I'm honest with myself then I can own that some of your comments triggered some of my own issues.  One of those being where a bpd individual is blamed for most things.

I agree, limits should be placed on a persons behavior.  Some behaviors are not acceptable.
Often people are adults with the emotional development of a child.  Would you expect a child to take such responsibility for their actions?
People with bpd often use very primitive coping mechanisms.  They don't have the skill to take responsibility, etc.  It is almost as though you are expecting something that is beyond what they are able to give. People with bpd can have significant deficits (both real and perceived).

Yes, bpd is a serious mental illness.
Some people do ask for help but some service providers are unwilling or unable to provide such service.  Many health professionals aren't qualified to treat individuals with bpd meaning that when they do they actually do more harm than good.
Hospital is not always the answer as it doesn't really teach individuals coping skills.

Yes, that was assault.  You should have had her sectioned.  She was clearly unwell.

If someone were to enter into a relationship like that now I would strongly recommend that they didn't.  I don't think the individual is well enough to engage in a healthy relationship.  In fact, I don't think they are able too.

Don't treat them like children, that too can be triggering.  They may find it demeaning and hurtful.

I think your wife's case may be a little more extreme than most (or she is in a very early stage of recovery).
If she attacks you, call the police and have her sectioned.  She may be angry but she needs containing.
If she is constantly abusive then she needs to be in very intensive psychotherapy.
Your wife needs stability.  Maybe you need to have a serious discussion with her.
Does she acknowledge that she has a problem?

Your wife may even be bordering on psychotic when she attacks you.  Hard to tell.
If your wife doesn't accept she has a problem you can still have her committed and assessed.  

I hope what you write doesn't represent the sum total of your marriage.  I hope that there are periods where things aren't so rocky.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
It is important to read and learn about BPD.  Often the moods are extreme and unpredictable.  A minor disagreement may turn into a threat of suicide by the BPD individual.  You may feel that you are walking on eggshells all the time.
The best way for a BPD individual is to have counseling, and group therapy.  I would also encourage spouses to get counseling themselves to learn good tools for living and dealing with a BPD person.  This is a serious illness that is more than any one person can deal with, especially if you don't know what to expect much less handle right.  Also you must know that you don't have to cow-towe to keep a Borderline happy or stable.  They must be responsible to get the help they need too.  There are a lot of books written about BPD, as well as information on the internet.  ****.com is a good start.  Also the NAMI.org.  You don't have to be a Borderline to understand your spouse.  And you don't have to walk on eggshells.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I blindly entered a relationship with a woman who, in retrospect after the conclusion of the relationship, seemed to have BPD.  She admitted to being Bipolar, not BPD, but many of the symptoms were present.

Being a highly empathetic, caring guy, I stuck it out as long as could, but I had some strange events transpire during the relationship - I started having panic attacks!  I never had a single panic attack beforehand.  It was so strange, I couldn't figure out the cause of them.  In retrospect, I can now see that my blind faith in this woman coupled with the emotional abuse that I was in denial about during this relationship was a major factor.  I was invested too much without knowledge of what I was dealing with is the best way to exzplain it.

I am not a psyche doctor, and like I said, I have no proof that see is BPD, but the symptoms were there and indeed, I believe she projected immense amounts of anxiety onto me without even knowing it.
Blank
768617_tn?1371531434
I think that BPD anxiety(amung other emotions at the time) can very well be projected. I have BPD and I project it sometimes. Events loke a very stressful work eviorment can definitely make the change in emotion and all over demeanor change,trust me, my work enviorment is very stressful. I agree with Jaquta, the psychotherapy may help alot in this case. If u ever need to discuss matters like this, I will be here to discuss it with. good luck and I hope that this experience changes for the better for you.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i feel horrified to read what you wrote i was 18 when i started seeing my boyfriend and i've now been with himsix year, it has only been since i started living with him (1 year now) that things have got worse, to read what you wrote about your wife abusing you sounds so familiar to me, i have came up to him with kneifs (he is a lot stronger) and i have thrown hot gravey i was just making all over him and it goes on, but for some reason i never thought of it as abuse i love him but when i try to hurt him ihate him usualy some arguement and i feel i want to kill him i do not see and cannot see anything else when i feel this way and then i realise (he usually doese something like kiss me) and i realise i love him and  i feel terrible and i do not understand where  it came from, but to read it like that makes me realise how unexceptable that is and has came to me as such a shock , i feel like i do not deserve to live.  
Blank
1211960_tn?1272978102
I am diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder. According to many studies, we are some of the most difficult people to treat and even have a bad rep amongst some doctors/therapists. This is why a lot of times doctors will diagnose bipolar instead of bpd because it is easier to treat and more therapists are willing to work with bipolar.

If you are or have been in a relationship with a person that has bpd, it is important that you have support as well. They are several good books/websites/ support groups for those either in a relationship with a person with bpd or coming out of a realtionship.

Please take care of yourself and get the support you need! I hope our anxiety decreases.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
To the question can living with a person with bpd increase anxiety--I would from personal experience have to say absolutely. Yes to some degree you have to take responsibility for your own emotions including anxiety. However I can say that before my current relationship I was relatively relaxed and cheerful, organized, reliable. My biggest stress came from my job or from traffic. After living in a situation where you are constantly trying to dodge a fight, anger the bear or say that one wrong thing that can change a romantic evening to two hours crying in the bathroom, I would say that you can definitely attribute some anxiety directly to your relationship. To never know what to expect, to never be able to plan your next move or do anything with your life because you are constantly waiting with hope for something to change for the better......also causes a great deal of anxiety. Yes, the anxiety is your responsibility because you have chosen to stay in the relationship and yes learning skills to self sooth, depersonalize, etc. can help. But would or should you need those skills in any circumstance outside interaction with this disorder is not likely. Most of the behavior I have learned to navigate I have never seen in any other person I've encountered in 30 years. Likely I will see it more now in the future because I know what it looks like. My anxiety levels and the physical effects it is having on me is what is making the biggest difference right now in what I am willing to put up with from my partner. My health has begun to suffer so I walk away more, am detaching because my anxiety levels are too close to threshold. Due to our logistical circumstances, I have spent large chunks of time away from my partner. My anxiety levels drop to nearly non-existent when we are separated and only rise when trying to communicate with him. It is the thing that scares me most. Stress and anxiety can expose a person to terrible illnesses.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
All I know is after I was dumped via a letter and discovered everything about my perfect romance was a lie. I had a week long panic attack and a full nervous break down. I experienced racing negative thoughts and obsessive thinking that would not stop. I have never had this reaction to anything else ever in my life and as far as I know it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I felt like I had caught bi polar from her. Which is what she admitted to but after researching I believe she had BPD, panic disorder and was a compulsive liar for sure. It took six months to feel better and feel positive about moving on. Good luck.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Borderline Personality Disorder Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Top Personality Disorder Answerers
585414_tn?1288944902
Blank
ILADVOCATE
NY