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Is it possible to be genuine friends with someone who has BPD?

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olivez

New member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
2
Hello all! this is my first time posting and I am here because I do not know who else to ask or where to obtain this information and I would greatly appreciate any and all advice you think will help:) I myself do not have BPD but after becoming extremely close with my friend ( I will call her Jane) over the past two years and consistently observing many behaviors and actions associated with BPD as well as talking to my own personal psychologist I have a very strong feeling my friend has BPD. Obviously I cannot diagnose anybody for sure or know this to be 100% true but I would not be posting here if I didn't think this was serious.
She is very young (only seventeen) and displays MANY of the symptoms some of which include acting out/threatening self harm in any argument (big or small) and having over the top emotional reactions to even the smallest things, she seems to genuinely convince herself that her paranoid thoughts and fears about others are true and even goes to the extent of making up blatant lies (which she seems to believe are genuinely true), she thinks so many people and things are out to get her and personally attack her when really these people have little or no interest in her or harming her, she develops INTENSE emotions over people when she hardly knows them or has just met them, she can act so sweet and loving to someone then brutally berate them behind their backs (for lack of kinder term, she is EXTREMELY two faced) etc. I could continue but I think you get the idea.
If we are assuming she does have BPD what I really need to know is if I will be able to form a genuine connection with her. I am under the impression that people with BPD often have hard times forming genuine connections with loved ones (please correct me if I am wrong) especially since she really has no idea that any of her behavior is abnormal or unwarranted. Please forgive me if I am assuming or in any way wrong I am very new to this and am not trying to generalize, it just especially seems like with Jane all of her relationships (even with her parents) aren't true and that she presents herself as someone she isn't to everyone who thinks they know her closely. I know forming genuine friendships is hard enough for teenagers and I guess what I'm asking is if there is anything I can do to facilitate a more honest, true connection with her or if I simply have to take it at face value and accept her for who she is at this time. I hope all of this makes sense I would really some advice :sorry:
 
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Tonya1989

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
10
I have bpd and she does not sound like this is her problem. She obviously has some kind of mental illness. But we generally blame ourselves for everything. And we believe we r not good enough for anyone. Either way she needs to see a psychiatrist. A psycologist does not have the knowledge at all to diagnose a mental illness. They are there mostly for support like a councellor. She needs a psychiatrist. And u r worried about her harming herself then u need to talk to her parents or to a doctor for help. If she is at bad as u r saying she obviously needs help. You need to make her see she needs help.
 
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Tonya1989

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
10
Oh and i forgot to put in. Me and my mum are very very close. We are honest with each other and my best friend of 15 yrs is the one person i can be honest with about everything. I dont feel i need to be fake with anyone. I just dont trust opening myself up to early. Most bod sufferers have trouble trusting so we arent going to fake it. We will just vanish from ur life not pretend to be something
 
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TheRedStar

Guest
I think 'Jane's' age really muddies the water a lot here, as some of the exaggerated behaviours you've detailed are not unusual during adolescence. I think it's only when a person gets well into their twenties but the emotional intensity and lability remain (bear in mind that the brain doesn't reach its full mass until around 22 in females, and 25 in males) that so-called 'growing pains' can be ruled out as a cause.

Incidentally, a description I've seen of people with BPD is that they're 'eternal teenagers'. Personally I can very much identify with that, but when I've put it out there in the past others with the condition have disagreed.

Having been on both sides of the question you pose, I would say that it is possible to be genuine friends with someone who has BPD, but that it can - and will, if the friendship becomes quite close - be challenging at times, and patience will be required. And, unfortunately, it can go spectacularly wrong in a quite unpleasant manner... but then so can a close bond with anyone; I guess it's just that BPD raises the probability.

I think that, as friends, people with BPD can be erratic and highly dichotomous - sometimes gregarious to the point of being clingy, and quite energetic company, but at other times aloof and monosyllabic. They - we - can also be excessive 'sharers', due to having rich emotional lives and problems with 'boundaries'... but the flip side of that can be a better than average ability and willingness to deal with others' emotions (so long as the person with BPD isn't the target, or considered to be the cause, of any negativity in the 'healthy' friend).

In my experience, where things can become strained - and go completely wrong - with a friend who has BPD is when your life changes in some way. Moving to another area, changing jobs (as, as part of that, meeting new people who may go on to become friends), and starting a new intimate relationship, can all cause the person with BPD to feel 'threatened' about becoming 'distanced' in some way, which generally provokes some kind of 'acting out'. This can entail such behaviour as them becoming clingy, requiring repeated reassurance of the friendship, and even a 'pre-emptive strike' of distancing themselves from you before can do it to them.

On a very personal level, a friend starting a new relationship can destabilise me, which in turn leads to me acting in a way which destabilises the friendship. I end up thinking about my own inability to find someone - which besieges what self-esteem I have - and the sudden relative absence in my life of the friend (due to them spending time with the new partner) sets off my tendency towards loneliness, which soon evolves into emptiness. At this point I feel thoroughly depressed, and instinctively 'blame' the friend for this misery despite being cognitively aware that it wasn't their intent for me to end up in that state. Unfortunately, despite that conscious knowledge, BPD being BPD means the raw emotion will, when push comes to shove, outweigh rationality... it's just a matter of how and when that outwardly exhibits itself.
 
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olivez

New member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
2
Thank you! this was very helpful
 
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