Bladebringer – Psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorder

I remain convinced that shallow affect is central to the psychopathic condition as well as my own existence.  However, I believe comorbidity can lead to interesting fluctuations of emotion.  Specifically, the thought of my own comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder comes to mind.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a complex disorder whose central features revolve around failed emotional regulation.  I defer the reader to any number of resources on the subject, but I want to focus primarily on what is known as ‘splitting’.  Splitting refers to the fact that the Borderline will often split another person between two states: idealization and devaluation.  That is, another person relative to the Borderline is often in a godlike status or a non-person status.  I find that my emotional disregulation happens mostly when transitioning between these two states.

I am not good with strong emotions.  They are rare but completely overwhelming when present.  The vast majority of the time, easily 99% or more, I am stoic and without much resembling emotion.  However, when I idealize or devalue, I find that my emotions take off.  When I idealize a person, I find that I am often elated to be around them and experience feelings resembling neurotypical joy or gratitude.  Such feelings are actually likely to make me engage in the prototypical Borderline behavior of self-mutilation as I simply cannot handle the magnitude of emotion even if it is small relative to what many neurotypicals would feel.  Like a confused child who is in pain, I have to release somehow and that often comes in the form of blades.  Right now, I look at my right arm and see dozens of fresh wounds where the latest round of idealization has caused me to release in a very bloody fashion.

Devaluation is less troublesome for me.  As far as emotions go, this devaluation is usually accompanied with anger, one of the few emotions that I regularly experience.  Anger does not cause me to reach for the blade, but it does lead to me to find ways of ruining a person for their apparent wrongs.  A sudden shift from devaluation to idealization can cause the emotions described earlier to feel even stronger, however, which can be dangerous for all involved.

I would love to hear from other Borderline psychopaths.  I want to know how diverse this combination of mental disorders is.  I want to know why we reach for knives when we do and how we cope with the emotional disregulation that runs counter to the stoicism psychopathy brings the majority of the time.

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Comments

  1. NT says

    I have been waiting for this post for many moons! BPD comorbid with ASPD intrigues me as the neurological topology required for each are paradoxical in nature. BPD is characterised by higher neural connectivity and density in the amygdalae and therefore most of the input signal getting trapped there and not driven on to the cortical regions of the brain. ASPD on the other hand is caused by understimulation of the amygdalae due to either low density and neural connectivity or damage. I suspect that the way that BPD and ASPD become comorbid is through atypical network topology between the limbic and cortical areas of the brain. It implies that there are SOME situations which trigger signals to flow into a densely networked amygdala and others which bypass the amygdalae completely and carry on up into the cortex.

  2. Rook says

    For me I believe the way it works, is that if I don’t have anyone in my life who my brain can idealize, and in essence the whole world is painted black, then in that period of time I am basically a sociopath. Also in that period of time, things become more conscious and deliberate for me, because I am much, much calmer in that state. Lying and faking personas to be able to get by in jobs and elsewhere starts to feel more like a survival skill, as opposed to some automated coping mechanism (which can be problematic if it’s automated and not working right, so to speak). Because this is such a calmer and smoother state to be in, I will also fight to protect it in ways, like trying to isolate and not let anyone get close to me, because if that happens, they will completely fuck up the whole thing. Because once my brain starts idealizing someone, or “bonding” with someone in my own warped way, I basically completely lose my mind. It’s like the emotions that come with love, vulnerability, loss and so on are just so fucking horrible that they make me insane. And eventually in what seems to be out of sheer desperation, my brain finally paints them black and then phew I’m free again.

  3. Bo bo fet says

    You are a borderline. Not a psychopath. Psychopaths never ever ever mutilate themselves like borderlines do. And your definition of splitting is incorrect. Look it up in relation to narcissism.

  4. says

    I love reading your stuff.

    Without getting into a big discussion about how APD is simply a process of disconnecting oneself from one’s own emotions, as well as the emotional expressions of others, it’s easy to see how BDP could often accompany APD.

    “I am not good with strong emotions.  They are rare but completely overwhelming when present.”

    Me neither. The fact is, I am not good with any emotions, and the strong ones are simply the one’s I cannot successfully disconnect from. If psychopathy is avoiding one’s emotions, borderline psychosis is panicking in them when the avoidance did not work.

    When you idealize and then you self harm, it seems a pretty direct correlation to past emotional pains and extreme fears. This is very easy to explain. And don’t you see those self harm episodes as masochism?

    Idealization is usually first don’t with our parents or other close family members. Have you considered this as a PTSD reaction?

    When you make contact with your emotions, it scares you. This is exactly what drives psychopathy and BPD. And you also must consider the delusions that your psychopathy creates. I have heard you way that you will win every conflict, that you will come out on top, etc etc. Of course, those are delusions driven by your needs for power, but those delusions can take over your personality. When something breaks that delusion, like love or happy feelings, you feel weak again.

    Your deep insecurities, created by your past environments, do their best to keep you away from your own emotional center. You literally isolate your brain’s limbic system from the rest of your conscious thoughts as much as possible. This is what creates a lack of empathy. When those defenses are not enough to deal with real and deep emotions, they break and you experience a loss of delusion (that you are all powerful) and you go back to feeling your own overwhelming emotions.

    Your past is the key.

    • FNP says

      Your theories are complete horseshit, btw.

      I am higher on the psychopathy spectrum than Jessica, so by your logic, I had a much worse childhood and lived in just the worst conditions you can think of.

      Except that’s not what happened. My parents didn’t abuse me physically or emotionally. They’re also upper-middle class. I don’t lack self-esteem, and I don’t avoid my emotions.

      One would think that with the heaping piles of easily searchable information on the topic, it’d be very easy to figure out that a lack of emotions is not the same thing as a flat/shallow affect. Then again, you’re not the brightest knife in the drawer. This damaged, lack of emotions type of person you’re describing is TV’s Dexter. On TV, Dexter is very clearly not a psychopath, he’s just schizoaffective. If he was a psychopath, he’d be book Dexter, who doesn’t give a crap about his sister or anybody else.

      • MA32 says

        His theory is not applicable to every case because there’s a huge diversity of psychopaths and various variables influencing its genesis (including genetics, and family issues other than child abuse).
        Oh, and Dexter is more of a schizoid.

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