People with Borderline Personality Disorder can seem quite crazy. 80% of cases are women. These women are often called nuts, crazy, crazy women, crazy woman from Hell, etc. These are the classic crazy women who display remarkable mood changes from depression to happiness to ecstasy to anxiety to rage, perhaps all in one day or even in a single morning. The PD is characterized by frequent and dramatic mood changes.
Borderlines also engage in a lot of push-pull behaviors, teasing and seductiveness, and dramatic shifts between love and hate. They tend to either idealize people as near-Gods or demonize them as completely evil. They also often switch back and forth with the same person, seeing them as both wonderful at one time and diabolical the next.
This is called splitting. It is a primitive defense that children frequently use. Young children split the world between good and evil. Good is pure good, and evil is pure evil. The child loves his parent one minute, and the next hates the parent’s guts when they are thwarted, reprimanded and sent to their rooms. How often have you heard a small child scream, “I hate you Mommy!” and run to their room crying?
Most people get over this Manichean view of the world by the time they are adults, but Borderlines never do that.
Relationships with Borderlines are characterized by constant chaos and drama that never ends. If you are in a relationship with a Borderline, you need to get out of it because it is going to be nothing but continuous chaos and drama as long as you are with them. Borderlines often do not think there is anything wrong with themselves, or perhaps even more disturbingly, they actually enjoy being crazy. The latter is my theory from being around Borderlines quite a bit. I am convinced that they actually love being nuts. Perhaps it is exciting.
Borderlines are often in and out of the hospital. They are very commonly suicidal. I met two Borderline women, one in her late 20’s and the other in her early thirties. One had tried to commit suicide 13 times, and the other had tried 8 times. The suicide attempts are often deliberately fake, which is something women do a lot. They actually want the suicide attempt to fail. They probably do this as a means to get attention, and there is a good chance that it is a cry for help too. They are trying to get people to pay attention to their misery and chaos.
Some Borderlines can be dangerous or homicidal. Many or possibly even most male Borderlines are or were incarcerated in jails or prisons. Male Borderlines are much more dangerous than female Borderlines. I do not think I have ever met a male Borderline, but I have heard that they are very bad news. You probably do not want to have a man like this anywhere near your life.
I have met extremely ill Borderlines who appear at first glance to be extremely crazy. I have seen some where I thought, “Wow, this is the craziest, most insane person I have ever met.” These very ill types can appear psychotic. I am not sure if they are actually psychotic or if they just appear that way.
They present as chaotic people who tell wild, dramatic, often contradictory stories about their lives, many of which seem to be completely made up or delusional notions. These stories often have to do with enemies who are supposedly persecuting them or wild and chaotic stories of abuse when they were children. Upon close examination, many of these disturbing stories are not even true. The person is either making them up, has a poor boundary between reality and fantasy, or is delusional.
They can be litigious, battling their enemies in court.
Even female Borderlines are often arrested, often for wild fights with one of their enemies or lovers. Sometimes a disturbing level of violence is used in these fights. The murderer Jody Arias is an example of a homicidal female Borderline.
They are disliked or even hated by many clinicians and mental health workers because of their constant drama and chaos which often involves extreme anger, tirades, tantrums, threats, and generally Hellish behavior. There are clinicians who hate Borderlines so much that they refuse to take them. Not that it matters because they usually don’t get better in therapy anyway.