Histrionic Versus Borderline Personality Disorder

Histrionic and Borderline Personality Disorders are what I might call the feminine styles of craziness.

When women, who embody the female or feminine character, go nuts, they tend to go nuts in some fairly predictable ways. In other words, their nuttiness is an outgrowth of their feminine character and their female nature. There is a “female style” to going nuts.

Histrionic and Borderline PD‘s are diagnosed overwhelmingly in females. 75% of borderlines are females. One thing you notice if you spend a lot of time around women is that when they act nutty, they tend to act somewhat “borderlinish.” These women are not borderlines at all, but the suggestion is BPD is simply the down side or the nutty side of being female or the female character all bundled into one and taken to a wild and utterly uncontrolled extreme.

To be fair, I would say that there are some male styles of being nuts too. One of them is Aspergers of the Autism spectrum. This is simply a case of too much male essence. Aspies show an aspect of the male character taken to a wild extreme.

In addition, sociopathy or Antisocial Personality Disorder seem to be the male essence taken to a wild extreme. When males are nutty, they act narcissistic, antisocial or autistic, among other things. Males are much more aggressive, egotistical and cerebral than females. These things taken to a wild extreme result in the “male” disorders.

I don’t even know what a male borderline would look like, but supposedly many male borderlines are bisexual or gay. I have also heard that Histrionic PD is even more common among females, and that an even higher % of male histrionics are gay or bisexual.

I known at least one female borderline, and a good friend of mine was involved in a long relationship with another female borderline. Both of them were about 35 years old. Fairly regularly, I see women with borderline tendencies. Whether or not they are true borderlines is hard to say, and you often have to spend quite a bit of time around them before you can figure it out.

Many male borderlines are in jail or prison. Female borderlines are quite impulsive and act out quite a bit. Nevertheless, they are females, so they don’t commit a lot of crime. Male borderlines are just the same, except the mere fact that they are males means that they are even more violent, aggressive and uncontrolled than female borderlines.

Whereas a female borderline can often control herself and stay out of imprisonment, male borderline simply cannot. Males are less repressed and more prone to acting out.

I knew a male actor once who was somewhat histrionic. He was also eventually bisexual.

Obviously, I have known many women who had histrionic traits to one degree or another, but whether they truly had Histrionic PD or not is another matter. I’ve never known anyone of either sex with an actual Histrionic PD diagnosis. It seems to me that being somewhat histrionic is simply part of the female character.

If I had to sum up the character of the Histrionic PD, it would be “the whore.” The classic personality of the prostitute or similar occupations such as porn star, stripper, etc. looks a lot like Histrionic PD. The Wikipedia article on Histrionic PD links to the article on Femme Fatale. So the classic motif of the femme fatale, the seductress leading you to destruction and ruin, is akin to Histrionic PD.

The Histrionic PD may also be seen as “the actress.”

When I was in junior college around ages 18-20, I knew many, many females around the same age. Many to most of them seemed to have “histrionic” tendencies. So being “histrionic” may just be a normal developmental stage for a young woman.

Others have said that Histrionic PD is the same thing as “teenage girl.” It is probably true that many teenage girls go through some sort of a histrionic stage.

Both Borderline and Histrionic PD’s are what are known as “high conflict personalities.” If you’re involved with these folks, there’s going to be a lot of drama and maybe even chaos.

Below are two cases. Two different men each describe a “crazy woman” that they were involved with. Both think that the woman was a Histrionic PD. That may indeed be true, but one is a case of Histrionic PD. The other case may be Histrionic also, but to me it looks more like a case of Borderline PD.

See if you can tell them apart. Which is a case of Borderline PD? Which is a case of Histrionic PD?

Case 1: I have been having an affair for many years with a person that displays these characteristics. This person demonstrates a behavior very similar to what you would associate with a histrionic/narcissistic personality. It is very difficult to be sure. I am not a professional psychologist or psychiatrist, but here is what I have observed over the years:

It does require a lot of free time to provide them with the attention they constantly crave. They can be ultra friendly and appear very caring. They will tell you that they love you, adore you and can’t live without you because they know that you will be stimulated to feed their craving for attention. At other times, they can be cold, cruel and show a lack of empathy for others.

It is a personality that constantly seesaws between extreme positions. They are very bright and extremely manipulative. They will gradually attempt to control your person and mind. When they sense that they are loosing your attention, they will tell you that you should concentrate on your spouse. This is only a tactic to get you to concentrate on them.

If you dropped them (and they don’t have another partner), they will call you back and make an excuse about their behavior and tell you about their deep love for you. In reality, your sole purpose is to fill their craving for attention.

When they are not depressed, sex can be utterly unbelievable and kinky. Their craving for sex is limitless and most imaginative. They just want to do it everywhere and as often as possible. It flatters them a great deal when you take pictures of their naked body. Their impulsive drives and flirtatious behavior forces them to look for other partners to sustain their need for attention.

When they identify someone they like, they can be extremely forward with that person. They don’t shy away from telling him of their deep desire. Once they have ensnared the person, they will have some excuse not to appear too “easy”. They can appear prude one minute and sexually pervasive the next. It can drive you crazy.

Again the sole purpose of these swings is to get your full attention by keeping you focus on them exclusively. Obviously, you should not expect to be their sole source of interest after a while because they get bored easily! It requires a lot of imagination to sustain their interest, but it can be most interesting.

They want the ultimate love and attention. If you have another relationship, they will work very hard at breaking the relationship you have with your partner because they want your full attention. They are envious and jealous of your companion. They are extremely self-centered and continuously talk about themselves.

Conversations are usually monologue about themselves, their money, possessions and accomplishments. You learn with time that most of their monologues are somewhat exaggerated. At times, it can be difficult to interrupt their self-centered narratives. They lie with such ease that it becomes a second nature for them.

They can easily blur the line between truth and lies. They don’t show any constriction when you catch them lying. They will even try to make you believe a lie even when you know the truth. They are fascinating manipulators.

A word of advice, if you want this type of personality as a lover, make sure to protect yourself from their great abilities at trying to control you and thrash your mind. Don’t ever fall in love. They will destroy your sanity and your life.

Case 2: I too have had a relationship with a woman showing these characteristics. When I met her I was in a relationship that was failing, and she was a friend. She was married and we formed a good friendship based on good discussion. She was very attentive and combined with being beautiful i was immediately drawn to her charming personality, her apparent honesty and constant communication.

What I realize now was that I was a source of attention for her, and she had my attention completely on a daily basis. I was drawn into the savior role as I heard never-ending stories about her daily unhappiness and battles with her husband (2nd husband) for a woman who was 26 at the time.

I provided a relief to what she related was her daily agony of her unhappy life. Now I understand that this was the over-emotional exaggeration and over embellishment of her unhappiness as she craved new and exciting. I also recall her constantly flirting with other men, constantly going out to coffee with them as “friends” and her relating how she just could not cope with her children.

I eventually left my relationship to live on my own and told her i thought we were drawing too close and did not want to interfere with her marriage, also other friends of hers had told her they were attracted to me. She immediately told me she loved me, we were soul mates, I was the one who truly knew her and she wanted to be with me and leave her husband for me.

I was deeply in love with her and accepted her advances. I felt pressure to praise her and felt sucked into the role of hearing the exaggerated dilemmas of her life, offering advice and solutions but feeling the frustrations that none of the advice or solutions were acted upon to help solve those issues. I was always given the excuse, “You and I are different, and I am doing it my way.”

I realize now that the dilemmas of her unhappy marriage and other concerns weren’t what she wanted solved, otherwise she would not be drawing any attention to herself, nor would she be embroiling herself in the middle of such wonderful drama.

Sex with her was amazing, but it was used as a tool, as ammunition to be pulled out when I tried to draw away from the frustrations of dealing with the deception of the affair and lack of motivation to change anything. If I drew away and stopped contact, I would get completely hysterical phone calls and visits begging me to stay that she was coming to me and asking questions about whether I had found someone else.

The attention was lavish and in hindsight completely over the top. However once I was drawn back to her, she would shut it off, become cold and distant, making me chase, then the pattern would repeat itself once I got upset and decided this wasn’t for me. In hindsight I can see I was a pawn, hidden in a box only to be pulled out when she wanted to play with me, it was all about her and had nothing to do with me.

If I tried to break free, I was drawn back in. If I tried to jump out of that box, I was quickly berated with unbelievable anger and told how much I was hurting her and being abusive to her by my attempts to do so. Eventually her husband left her, and I had to be the unseen and unknown shoulder on the side and support mechanism, drawn in but held completely at arms length.

Any attempt by me to enter the reality of her life was shut down by over the top emotions and threats then promises of change. Any emotion shown by me was coldly disregarded and not paid any attention to other than the accusation of my being abusive in venting frustration.

I felt driven completely insane via rapid changes of emotions on her part daily, constant shifting of position and constant drawing in and then pulling away that I broke free of the relationship by declaring the truth of it to her family and her ex-husband and then leaving.

Notwithstanding I had just created a situation of outstanding drama and attention towards her, exactly what she constantly craved and wanted, whether that be negative or not. I was publicly disgraced and accused of various misdemeanors and abuse. Her husband was drawn back to return to the marital home and then accused of threatening her life and physical abuse. My god it was good for her; she was the talk of the town.

Some time later I formed another relationship with a woman who was completely the reverse of her. Immediately for months afterwards she pursued me, attempted to seduce me and told me I was the one, I was the only one, and she wanted me to choose her, we belonged together. I resisted for months but was drawn in by threats and over elaborate attempts at seduction.

She could not bear that I was showing my attention to another. I was happy in my relationship and did my best to limit contact, not get sucked in, but it was constant. I was rung day and night and all sorts of guilt trips applied to me. It was as if I was singlehandedly destroying her. The pressure form this after 18 months of it ruined my other relationship and I ended up alone.

Once I was alone and paid attention to her again, in the space of three weeks I was drawn and told that we were soul mates and visited with over the top sex and photos sent to me and very sexual text messages and then withdrawn from and treated with contempt.

I eventually lost the plot and became so angry and confused – it was not til I read this article and ticked every single box in the description of her that I realized this was a never ending battle I would not win. I could not tell her about this condition because nothing is wrong with her, according to her. So I left and cut her off all together, changed numbers and address. It had to be done.

It was not only just me; it was every facet of her life. Her brother was married recently, and she pulled a turn about stress and her children in order to draw the attention to her.

She uses her two children born to two different fathers as pawns in custody games with them on a continuous basis and then accusing them of being abusive when they get angry about it or that they don’t care about their kids when they try not to react. Either way, no-one will ever win with a person like this. If you see anything remotely similar in your situations – RUN!!!

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10 Comments

Filed under Antisocial, Borderline, Gender Studies, Mental Illness, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology

10 responses to “Histrionic Versus Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Martha Stewart is supposedly ‘Borderline’.
    I had a friend that worked with Ms Stewart for 4 yrs, in the 90’s, she said the tantrums that woman would throw were unbelievable. I wonder if Ms Stewart’s little stint in prison took her down a notch.
    It’s interesting to note that ‘Sadistic Personality Disorder’ was dropped from the DSM IV for political reasons – sadistic personalities are most often male and it was felt that any such diagnosis might have the paradoxical effect of legally excusing cruel behaviour.

    • Sadistic Personality Disorder is definitely a real entity! I am not sure if I have ever met one. The line between Sexual Sadism, Sadistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder is probably pretty damn thin.

      There was also a Self-Defeating Personality Disorder that seems to describe a real entity. This was also dropped from DSM due to political reasons. It’s akin to “masochism” and almost all of them are female. It was thought that battered woman would be saddled with this dx (a lot of them probably would) and this would be unfair, cruel and sexist.

      I think most of the PD’s, existing and provisional, describe actual entities. Once you have met someone with an actual PD, it’s amazing how many criteria they line up on.

      I believe they are also throwing out Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder, but I have known some horrifically passive aggressive people, so passive aggressive that they functioning is badly damaged. It’s real!

      I also think that Depressive Personality Disorder may be real, but I don’t understand it very well. The line between this and early onset chronic dysthymia is probably very thin indeed.

      • ‘Sadistic Personality Order’ describes the average Indian & Indian culture perfectly.
        “A pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning, and aggressive behavior, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by the repeated occurrence of at least four of the following:
        Has used physical cruelty or violence for the purpose of establishing dominance in a relationship (not merely to achieve some non-interpersonal goal, such as striking someone in order to rob him/her).
        Humiliates or demeans people in the presence of others.
        Has treated or disciplined someone under his/her control unusually harshly.
        Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals).
        Has lied for the purpose of harming or inflicting pain on others (not merely to achieve some other goal).
        Gets other people to do what he/she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror).
        Restricts the autonomy of people with whom he or she has a close relationship, e.g., will not let spouse leave the house unaccompanied.
        Is fascinated by violence, weapons, injury, or torture.”

        These behaviors are all ‘culturally acceptable’ if not outright encouraged & admired in Indian culture. Frightening.

        • Now Robert, I know you keep mentioning these as females, but a lot of this sounds too much like my child’s father, who I often used to call…Big Berth.. since he was the biggest b*/** I know. Demanding without reciprocity, clingy, whine, and worse than the FrankenStorm when he couldn’t have his way. “You don’t give me attention, then I’ll sabotage everything around you until you are backed in a corner and can focus on no one but … MEEeeeee!” . Partly pitied him and partly cared for him, but you could never care enough because they play heavily on that… I was saddened because it reminded me a very close family and I found myself saying… OMG, was I about to marry my ************?! Just to be cruel and vindictive, even when you haven’t actually done them wrong, but anytime they can’t get their way, you’ve offended them.
          I pray to God to help me get out and stay out… It’s been real hard…. but then my Ex is far more whinier, while my *************** is a drama queen for sure… it’s like when he tries to say “Hi”.. I’m just like “click, dial tone”.
          My ****************** will say ” If you loved me, you…. while my EX was like ” Wahhhhhh! nobody loves me! Will you? You will?! It’s about time. Wahhhhh!!!! you’re not doing it right at the right time. At this time, you love me like this and at that time you love me like that. Waaahhhh! You love me at the right times, but you gave me too much at the wrong time. I need this much love at this time, and then 5 times that amount at this time. Waaaaahhhhh! How dare you ask me to reciprocate the love you are giving me? You’re supposed to give me all this love, You’re meant to. I’m so broke, I don’t have any love, and that is why I need all of yours, all the time. Waaaaaahhhh! You’ve run out of love, now? That’s because you’re weak! I thought you were strong enough to love me and let me push you as hard as possible. I think I need more love than what you have anyway. Since you seem tapped out, how about a two-some or threesome so that I don’t run out of love because you’re waning? You want me to Give you some of my love? Waaaahhhh! You’re so selfish. You’ve hurt my feelings, and I can’t believe you’re an indian giver. Wahhhhh! I thought you were different. I think you are better off if I give you some d*** instead; you might as well take it because I’m not giving you any of the love you gave me. Why? Because You don’t need love, yours will grow back sometime, but Wahhh!!! mine never grew in the first place. Wahhhh!!!I think it is very unfair to make me share love with you that you gave to me, seeing my pitiful conditional although I’m still interested in sharing your love with someone else on the side. No? You won’t accept this arrangement? Wahhh!!! Now I have to leave you… You really make me sick. Look, I don’t wanna leave you.. I need you. You’re the only one who has finally perfected the art of loving me, and if you would quit asking me to love you back…. this thing could really work!

        • LOL are these Indian guys?

          You know, there are men who act like women. Like these two “men.”

          LOL!

  2. Well, one is…from Amritsar, a punjabi. The other? my mom calls him “Twosome Gruesome”…which is kind of nice as opposed to the other names, he’s earned from just always seeking to make a conflict where there isn’t one.

  3. Nat4477

    The both sound as though they had HPD.

  4. Meghan

    Case 1- HPD
    Case 2- BPD

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