Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness characterized by ongoing patterns of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. A person with BPD may experience intense periods of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from between a few hours to a few days. There are several signs of BPD: efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, unstable relationships with friends and family, distorted self-image, impulsive and/or dangerous behaviors, self-harming behavior, chronic feelings of emptiness, and more, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. People with BPD experience more impulsivity which can include sex; understanding the implications of this could help people seek help before they enter risky situations.
A 2011 study conducted by researchers in Ohio stated,
“Those with BPD are more likely to experience sexual preoccupation, have earlier sexual exposure, engage in casual sexual relationships, report a greater number of different sexual partners as well as promiscuity, and engage in homosexual experiences.”
Since a person with BPD can be more impulsive in relation to sexuality, that person is also at risk for contracting sexual infections. Very Well, a website that provides information on mental health, states that some people with BPD may be promiscuous to cope with feelings of emptiness, loneliness, boredom, and more. Additionally, impulsive sexual behavior may arise from feelings of jealousy, fear, or positive emotions.
In contrast, some research has found that many people with BPD avoid sexual encounters. Prior research has indicated that this happens because approximately 50% with BPD have reported a childhood history of physical or sexual abuse, which could cause those individuals to be more uncomfortable with sexual experiences. Likewise, many people with BPD have found sexual experiences to be dissatisfying.
Overall, research seems to be divided in the sexual attitudes and behaviors of people with BPD. It is important to remember that each person is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you have BPD, it’s best for you to seek treatment so that you can learn more about your disorder and what this means for you.
Treatment for BPD often includes psychotherapy, a form of “talk therapy” that will allow you to develop mental tools for managing your symptoms. Although there is no direct medication for BPD, there are medications that can be prescribed to help with any feelings of anxiety or depression. Speak with a health care professional to learn more about what would work best for you.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you need help, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. There are tools that you can learn to better manage the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. It’s not too late.