Fear Of Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder
Abandonment. A word that doesn’t feel good to anyone. Who would ever want to be abandoned? We, humans, are social beings. We like being around people and we form relationships that carry and shape us throughout our lives. Be it our first serious boyfriend or girlfriend or that kid that picked on us on a playground when we were young. Each interaction matters and each interaction helps us create an opinion of ourselves from an outsider’s perspective, it helps us grow as individuals. Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder go hand in hand. Those who are diagnosed with the disorder have quite the reputation when it comes to handling and maintaining relationships and growing as individuals.
Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder And Instability In Relationships
Borderline Personality Disorder is categorized with constant instability in interpersonal relationships, emotions, impulsivity, and self-image. People who suffer from BPD are first and foremost scared of abandonment. Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder could be considered synonyms due to the influence that the thought of being abandoned does to those who are diagnosed with BPD. All of the other symptoms that are associated with the disorder stem from this unbelievably enormous and irrational fear of being left alone. This is why these individuals are unable to hold onto the same relationship for a very long time, this is why it is so difficult for them to trust someone. When they do, finally, start trusting someone they sabotage the relationship. BPD is often characterized by “God-Devil” terms wherein one moment this person will idealize you and want to be with you at all times, but in the next devalue you and dislike you for what may seem to you like silly reasons like canceling a dinner. Again, this has to do with the role of abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder. They sabotage the relationship in order to avoid a future possibility of them being the ones abandoned; they sabotage it because they don’t think they are worthy enough. They are quick to attach themselves to people and are very fast with leaving because every action that the other person does that might seem to neglect, brings them pain and the fear comes back.
Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms include:
- Fear of abandonment
- Identity disturbance and unstable self-image: individuals with BPD change their way of behaving and thinking of themselves depending on various situations.
- Impulsivity involving self-damaging activities like binge eating, spending unbelievably big amounts of money etc.
- Chronic and recurring feelings of emptiness
- Recurrent suicidal behavior or gestures and behaviors that threaten suicide
- Emotional instability
Individuals with BPD change their views suddenly regarding their career goals, their sexual identity, the type of friends that they have. People with Borderline Personality Disorder often feel bad about themselves and think that they are evil. They have sudden periods of panic, anger, frustration, and despair and are almost never content or happy with themselves or their current position in life. Their negative outlook on themselves stems from that fear of abandonment and often derives from stresses that they experience in interpersonal relationships. When somebody who is close to them seems uncaring and neglectful, they feel intense outbursts of anger that is later on followed by feelings of shame and guilt that further lead them to think negatively of themselves. They often act out with self-harmful acts when they feel abandoned, due to the fact that they are hurting so much.
It can be quite difficult when you have someone in your family, are in a relationship or have a friend with BPD, however, when it gets too much, remember that these people are trying their best to improve themselves and they do not want to or mean to hurt you. They are hurting and describe their experiences as being extremely painful and if they seem manipulative with their behaviors, it’s not because they want to hurt you but, instead, they are trying to protect themselves from that abandonment and from another change in their already shaky identity.
Valerie is a psychology student who is trying to pursue a career in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is passionate about the brain and finds it fascinating. She loves learning about new discoveries and research that is going on in the world of psychology and neuroscience. One day she hopes to contribute to the scientific community!