It can be difficult to diagnose a specific personality disorder when some of them share the same symptoms. Borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder are two such mental health issues that are often confused with each other. This can make it difficult for individuals to receive the right diagnosis. So what are the symptoms of each personality disorder and how do they differ from each other?
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Before making appointments with dbt therapists in san diego, you should know what BPD is. Borderline personality disorder is a Cluster B personality disorder that is characterized by changes in mood, behavior, and self-image. Episodes of depression, anxiety, and anger can last for a few days; other symptoms include self-harm, extreme fear of abandonment, thoughts of suicide, and impulsive behaviors. During times of stress, a person with BPD can experience dissociation, resulting in significant memory loss of events throughout their life.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
NPD is also a Cluster B personality disorder that is characterized by the following symptoms:
● Taking advantage of others
● A sense of entitlement
● Lack of empathy
● Arrogant behavior
● Requiring excessive amounts of admiration
● An inflated sense of self-importance
It involves an inflated sense of self or being egotistical to the point of interfering with relationships with other people, jobs, or other important areas of a person’s life. These symptoms, however, are an attempt to hide a lack of self-worth.
Can They Occur Together?
Although there is an overlap between NPD and BPD, there have been very few studies of their co-occurrence. One study has shown that almost 39% of people with BPD also have NPD. However, more studies have to be done in order to create a solid foundation for this correlation.
How NPD Affects BPD
People with NPD tend to be quite resistant to treatment and have poor insight into the ways their behavior affects those around them. Their motivation to change their behavior is also low since they are emotionally hurting other people more than they’re hurting themselves. This can lead a person with both NPD and BPD to have symptoms that get worse over time.
Treatment for NPD and BPD
There are currently no supported treatments for NPD, unfortunately. Any treatment for NPD focuses on modified psychoanalytic techniques, but these have only been in case studies and have proven to be challenging in treating the disorder.
However, there are some theories that since the symptoms of BPD and NPD overlap, some of the treatment options for BPD (such as dialectical behavior therapy, transference-based therapy, schema-focused therapy, and mentalization-based therapy) may also work on NPD.
Personality disorders are difficult to deal with, as it can be a challenge to just talk about them. Borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorders are also difficult to cope with; even more so if they’re co-occurring. If you or a loved one is living with NPD or BPD (or both), then seek support now to help manage the symptoms so that you can minimize its effects on your life and those around you.