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Key Differences and Similarities Between BPD and NPD

Personality disorders are common, and they can often be severe and have a significant impact on how someone sees the world around them and interacts with it. Often, BPD and NPD are confused and used interchangeably, but while they do have some similarities, they are different mental health issues and both require treatment for the person to live a normal life.

What is BPD?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health issue based on the person’s unstable mood, self-identity, and relationships. They may feel empty, have trouble managing their emotions, and could fear being abandoned. The symptoms of bpd can include drastic mood swings, a distorted view of self, intense emotional reactions, and impulsiveness. Those who suffer from BPD may engage in self-harm behaviors or have recurring suicidal ideations. Professional assistance is recommended to help treat BPD and help them manage the symptoms.

What is NPD?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health issue based on a lack of empathy, entitlement, and patterns of grandiosity. NPD is a spectrum, and there are various types of NPD. Symptoms of this can include bragging about their importance, acting entitled, manipulating or exploring others, and lacking empathy. Someone who suffers from NPD can also have feelings of uniqueness, an obsession with appearances and being powerful, and arrogant. Like with BPD, professional assistance can help with treatment and managing symptoms.

Similarities Between Them

The confusion between these two personality disorders lies in the number of similarities they can have. Both involve a person’s belief that they are the center of the world and a need for attention and validation. Both involve a disconnect from reality and can be seen in unstable personal relationships. With both, the person may have a disregard for how they affect or hurt others and they may not be able to admit fault. They may be overly sensitive to criticism or have a disproportionate and uncontrollable rage in some situations.

The Differences

The main component of BPD is the fear of abandonment, while for NPD it’s the lack of empathy. While someone with BPD may lash out if they fear rejection and use manipulation tactics to get someone to stay, a person with NPD might react violently or play the victim and attempt to manipulate the person into staying because the end of the relationship can challenge their grandiosity. The result can be the same for both BPD and NPD in these situations, but the reason for the manipulation or violence is different.

Can Someone Suffer From Both?

It is possible for someone to suffer from both. Someone who is BPT can have NPD traits or the two mental health disorders can co-occur. This can lead to a disconnect from self, hypersensitivity, and feelings of insecurity. It can also change how they feel about themselves and may end up behaving more aggressively, which can impact their relationships and ability to function.

BPD and NPD are two of the most common personality disorders and they can be challenging to treat. They do have a lot of similarities, so it can be difficult to determine which one a person is suffering from without expert assistance. However, with professional help, it is possible to treat the personality disorder and for the person to change as they learn and grow.

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