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I have a friend who got a BPD diagnosis from a psychologist. First, I did not believe that psychologist and I told my friend that that was a false diagnosis. He became directly happier. But now when I think of it, maybe it's true?

First of all, he is a really good friend, a happy one. But he has his dark sides. And something tells me that he is a narcissistic person.

  • He cheats on all tests and tries to find a way to a successful life. But even if he tries to cheat in school and lies in front of other teachers/test/principals, he still does not pass the test and gets involved in education. He always fails. He has always dreamed about creating a carrier and becoming successful and rich. Once he gets into education, he drops out because he feels that it's "too difficult" and then he calls the teachers "dumb assholes" for not passing him the test. He had failed school once and now his grades have very low value and therefore, he can only have "simple jobs". Also, he seems to be a person that won't have "advanced" jobs where he needs to think and take responsibility.
  • Every girlfriend that has broken up with him, he curses in their name and blames everything on them for example that they are horrible girlfriends that only use him. Even if he still gets a new girlfriend, he still trash-talking his ex for about 1-2 years. For some reason, he seems to be an expert to be non-single. I don't know why. His longest record of being single is 6 months.
  • He is afraid to be left alone, so he buys a lot of luxury stuff for his current girlfriend. She treats them like diamonds, but I think that this is the way for him to hold them to him. Giving them stuff and luxury situations so they get guilt feelings. Still, he isn't rich, but he has claimed that he is.
  • When he is single, he is like living with his friends. When he has a girlfriend, he ignores his friends and lies to his other friends that they are ignoring him. He told me once that his other friends "Have not to call him or trying to contact him". I believed him, but then I talked to his other friends, they told me that that's not true. He hasn't ignored me though.
  • He takes medicine because he feels paranoid. He likes to joke about it and laugh at how stupid it sounds, but when I really think of it, I think it's quite dangerous to ignore that the person himself has a diagnosis. He seems to be so much normal when I hang out with him, but everyone else tells me that he has a lack of power and sleeps too much.
  • His girlfriend told me that he drinks too much and she doesn't know why. She also said that he feels so sleepy all the time and has no power at all and according to him, it's his job's fault. Then I got a flashback "He taking medicine". I think that he hasn't told her that he is on medicine.
  • He lies a lot about his wage and social status. If I ask him about his wage, he doesn't tell me the truth. If he gets a new job, he tells me about his job that he is a mini-boss and he controls the area. But the real truth is that he is only a junior employee with a bad employment contract. But he doesn't lie about everything. Most of the time, it's the truth. But when it comes to wages and working situation, then he is lying about it. He said to me once that he was employed by a large and rich company, but it tends out that was not true at all, he only doing a favor to that company from a smaller poorer company.
  • When he was younger, he saw himself as a shining diamond and he told me that he like to "play" girls. He was a real player because he had a queue of female teenagers who wanted to date him. That's true. But today, he feels that he has become the "ugly duck" and hides from social life. Back then, he got large plans to become successful and a real professional, and everyone who did not have the "style & class" was an addict according to him.
  • He HATES to be revealed and if someone else tells him to "shut up" or "sit down" in a very unpleasant way, he will explode after a few hours. I remember it when it happens. Old man slammed him with words and called him an idiot and "world's dumbest person ever". My friend got a breakout later in the night. He could not live with it that an old man told him to "shut up" and humiliated him. Actually, it was my friend's fault because this happen, not the old man. But my friend could not accept that he was making the mistake.
  • He has sometimes a lack of empathy for other people. I was working as a phone-sells-man and he said that if an old senile lady would call him to buy a phone, he would not doubt to sell her 5 phones + a TV. He has no problems with lying to other people. He feels so comfortable with it. I can see when he is lying. It is not so much these days, but it can happen sometimes. It looks like he believes his own voice. I remember when we were young and he told me that we are going skiing. I was going to ski with him + other friends, but when I arrived, there was nobody there. Then he has done something else, without calling me. I called him (phone) and asked him where he was. He said, "I don't feel like skiing today. I want to do something else". That hurt my feelings back then because he was "dissing" me. Sure, I was like 13 years old then, but still, even when he was 18 years old, he still had the same behavior to romanticize people and ignore people.
  • His girlfriend seems to accept everything he does. He drinks a lot and seems not to take responsibility for his social life. I remember when he throws beer cans on the yard and said "My yard...my rules". He was pretty drunk, but she seems to be so kind to him and stand up for him all the time. I feel sorry for her, she is an angel and so different from him, and I know that these kinds of relationships won't last forever.

Overall, when it comes to BPD diagnosis, he doesn't fulfill all of the criteria, but here are things that I haven't told above.

  • Impulsive, for example buying things or when he drinks too much.
  • Naive, for example thinking that life is easy and everything is made by a push-button.
  • He is not aggressive, at least not when I hang out with him.
  • He has tried to commit suicide once when his ex broke up with him. I have never seen him so angry before. He said that everything was her fault. But I know that he is the one who screws it up, as always in his relationships.
  • He is my funniest friend ever. I don't know, but he has such charisma for doing new things and he seems to know what's fun and what's not fun. I really enjoy hanging out with him. It feels like hanging out with a child sometimes because I have known him since I was a child and therefore I get all these memories and flashbacks of good old times. :) The best thing he said to me once was that I was the wisest and smartest friend he ever had. So even if he might perhaps be a narcissist, he still is kind and funny and a glad person.

So is this the case of normal BPD behavior or does he not have BPD and he is only a narcissist? Or is he just a normal person that hasn't grown up and never will?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have rolled back your "deletion" edit as this can be seen as site vandalism. If you wish to delete your question please use the delete link under the question or flag moderators for action. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ Having an existing question doesn't prevent you from posting a new one. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause But then it's duplication. $\endgroup$
    – euraad
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Heretic A duplicate of this one would certainly be closed because we don't do individual cases here. If you have a new, on-topic question to post, it is not a duplicate of this one. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 18:38

1 Answer 1

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No, not all people with BPD are narcissist. However, BPD is linked to lowered empathy according to a scientific study in 2015 from the University of Georgia, with "lowered brain activity in regions important for empathy in individuals ". This could explain some of your friend's behavior, especially the girlfriends breaking up with him since "those with borderline personality disorder, or BPD, a mental illness marked by unstable moods, often experience trouble maintaining interpersonal relationships." according to the study.

It may be possible for someone with BPD to get treatment to be a better person, but that usually requires psychotherapy and/or medication (though medication mostly treats behavioral systems like impulsiveness or aggression.

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  • $\begingroup$ @DanielMårtensson There are ways to treat this behavior and for someone with BPD to become smart or become "free" from this diagnosis. Edited my answer to present this. $\endgroup$
    – Tyler Mc
    Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:23

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