What Is The Link Between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Victim Mentality?

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In this blog, we will explore the victim mentality of people living with borderline personality disorder, and also cover what is borderline personality disorder, what is victim mentality, forms of self-victimization, causes of victim mentality, how to support people with BPD, and answer frequently asked questions. 

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Family Counseling

What Is The Link Between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Victim Mentality?

With borderline personality disorder (BPD), it’s easy to fall into a victim’s attitude and a person with BPD might feel that their life is unnecessarily difficult, they are broken and a victim. 

It’s common to feel as if your brain is conspiring against you and making life unnecessarily difficult. Treating yourself as a victim, on the other hand, can be counterproductive and prevent you from recovering and moving on from stressful situations.

What is a borderline personality disorder? 

A borderline personality disorder is a mental health problem that makes it difficult to operate in daily life because it affects how you think and feel about yourself and others. It includes issues with self-esteem, trouble managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of insecure relationships.

If you have a borderline personality disorder, you may have a great fear of abandonment or instability, and you may find it difficult to accept being alone. Even if you want to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships, inappropriate anger, impulsiveness, and mood swings can drive people away.

Most persons have developed a borderline personality disorder by early adulthood. The problem appears to be worsening in young adulthood, although it may improve as people get older. Many people with this disorder, on the other hand, improve with treatment over time and learn to live happy lives.

What is Victim mentality?

BPD regard themselves as always being the victim of other people. They are continually accusing those closest to them of conspiring against them. These allegations change regularly. Despite the fact that their allegations are frequently nonsensical and inconsistent, they compensate for this with a massive quantity of lies and the theatrical emotionality of their narrative.

Their charges that others are sabotaging them are frequent projections of their own efforts to destroy and betray coworkers, wives, and children (pot kettle black). In the end, the only person who truly sabotages BPD is most likely themselves, through antisocial behavior and substance misuse, however, they are also emotional “crap magnets” for abusive individuals. 

They may reject any romantic relationship that isn’t abusive, yet they’ll continue to call their partner abusive in order to get sympathy and attract new lovers. They will go to ludicrous lengths to instigate a conflict in order to claim victimhood. 

Many BPDs will attempt to be viewed as heroes, defenders of the truth, and protectors of the weak, in addition to being the eternal victim. This entails stating that “bad” people are deserving of punishment and then single-outing them for months or years of accusations and abuse. They are good because they are enraged and abusive.

Three important assumptions underpin the victim mentality include:

  • Things go wrong and will continue to go wrong.
  • It’s the fault of other individuals or situations.
  • Any attempt to bring about change will fail, so there’s no use in trying it.

Forms of self-victimization 

Direct self-harm

Self-mutilation is common among those suffering from BPD. Cutting or burning themselves with razor blades, knives, or cigarettes is perhaps the most common kind. These behaviors are frequently seen at times of extreme emotion. These people describe cutting or burning as a technique of reducing emotional anguish and claiming that it helps them relax.

Self-harm is sometimes used by people with BPD symptoms to manipulate them. 

Let us consider an example, suppose a child with BPD enters into an argument with her mother who is not allowing him/her to go to a party. At the end of the argument, the child screams angrily “ if you don’t let me go, I will kill myself’’. 

While it is rare for a child to commit suicide in these circumstances, it is normal for them to make a gesture. These gestures frequently include hurting themselves with a knife or, if they have access, taking a large number of pills. 

Indirect Self-harm

This is a broad category of behavior that encompasses a wide range of hazardous actions. This encompasses substance abuse as well as high-risk behaviors like promiscuity and breaching the law. 

It also involves self-neglect, such as bad dietary habits, failure to attend school/work, and failure to receive necessary medical/dental treatment. Indirect self-harming activities are frequently used as a means of expressing self-loathing. They demonstrate to the world that they believe they are unworthy of attention and that they are unconcerned about what happens to them.

Projected Self-harm

This is the form of self-harm that wreaks havoc on relationships the most. This entails projecting self-loathing onto others and then feeling victimized as a result of it. For example, a father confronts his son about failing his maths exam. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, the son plays the victim card and in turn, starts blaming the father for his failure. He says that he failed because his parents are always after his life, asking him to study and help with household chores. 

This kind of self-blame has two purposes:

  • By blaming his parents, he is able to escape taking responsibility for failing his class.
  • Because his parents have ‘victimized’ him, it justifies other behaviors, such as lashing out at them.

Causes of the victim mentality 

Traumatic Past

Someone with a victim mindset may appear unduly emotional to others. This worldview, on the other hand, is frequently formed in response to genuine victimization.

It can develop as a coping mechanism in the face of abuse or trauma. When you’re confronted with a string of bad luck, this is more likely to happen.

People react to misfortune in different ways, and not everyone who endures horrific situations develops a victim mentality. Emotional suffering can destabilize a person’s sense of control, leading to feelings of powerlessness and eventually giving up.

Betrayal

Trust betrayal, particularly repeated betrayals, can make people feel like victims and make it difficult for them to trust others.

If your primary caregiver, for example, rarely kept their promises to you as a youngster, you may find it difficult to trust others in the future.

Codependency

This attitude can develop in tandem with codependency. A codependent individual may put their own objectives on hold in order to support their relationship.

As a result, individuals may become upset and resentful at not being able to receive what they require while failing to recognize their own role in the issue.

How to Support People with BPD 

  • Avoid using labels.
  • Labels aren’t always helpful. The term “victim” carries a lot of baggage. It’s preferable to avoid calling someone a victim or implying that they’re acting like one.
  • Set some limits.
  • Some of the stigma associated with a victim mentality stems from people’s tendency to blame others for their troubles or to guilt-trip them over things that haven’t worked out.

“You might feel continually accused as if you’re walking on eggshells,” Botnick says. “You might have to apologize for circumstances where you believe you’re both at fault.”

It’s difficult to assist or support someone whose viewpoint appears to be far from reality.

Drawing boundaries can assist if they seem judgemental or accusatory toward you and others, according to Botnick: “Detach as much as you can from their negativity, and transfer responsibility back to them.”

Even if you need to distance yourself from someone from time to time, you may still have compassion and care for them.

Take into account where they’re coming from. People who have a victim mindset are more likely to:

  • feeling gloomy, 
  • believing they don’t have enough support, 
  • blaming themselves,
  • lacking self-confidence,
  • having low self-esteem, 
  • suffering from depression and PTSD

These distressing feelings and events can exacerbate emotional discomfort, making overcoming a victim mindset even more challenging.

Conclusion 

A victim mentality can be upsetting and difficult to live with, both for those who have it and for those around them. However, with the help of a therapist and plenty of compassion and self-kindness, it may be overcome.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): What Is The Link Between Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Victim Mentality?

What if I’m the one who thinks like a victim?

If you believe you’re always a victim of circumstance, that the world has been cruel to you, or that nothing goes wrong because of you, talking to a therapist may help you see other possibilities.

If you’ve experienced abuse or other trauma, it’s a good idea to speak with a skilled professional. While untreated trauma can lead to emotions of victimhood, it can also lead to the following:

A therapist can assist you in the following ways:

  • investigate the root roots of the victim mindset
  • Identify personal needs and goals while working on self-compassion.
  • Make a strategy for achieving your objectives.
  • Look into the reasons for your sense of helplessness.

What is the difference between borderline and narcissistic personality disorder? 

The main distinction appears to be that the BPD sufferer is codependent, whilst the narcissist is counterdependent. In other words, the BPD will cling to almost anyone, whereas the narcissist would usually end romantic connections. BPD patients are more likely to experience clinical despair and guilt. 

Despite the fact that the BPD appears to be more unstable, angry, and impulsive than the narcissist, the existence of guilt in the BPD may signal a larger chance of recovery. The narcissist is more attractive, but he or she is also more ruthless and has less guilt. Despite having evident issues, people with BPD may have fewer antisocial (sociopathic) tendencies than narcissists. A borderline is also significantly more prone than a narcissist to threaten suicide.

Who is the most vulnerable to BPD?

Women are much more often than men to be diagnosed with BPD. In fact, women make up roughly 75 percent of those diagnosed with BPD, with three women diagnosed for every one man.

What is a person’s life expectancy if they have BPD?

People with Borderline Personality Disorder have a 20-year life expectancy reduction, which is mostly due to physical health issues, particularly cardiovascular disease. Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, a bad diet, and smoking are all risk factors.

What well-known figure suffers from a borderline personality disorder?

Brandon Marshall- Marshall is one of just a few well-known people who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and has openly disclosed his condition. In fact, he has been vocal about mental illness and has sought to raise awareness about it.

What’s it like to date someone who suffers from BPD?

A romantic relationship with someone who has BPD can be turbulent to say the least. It’s not uncommon to have a lot of conflict and dysfunction in your life. People with BPD, on the other hand, can be extremely kind, sensitive, and affectionate. In fact, some people enjoy this amount of commitment from a spouse.

References 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237#:~:text=Borderline%20personality%20disorder%20is%20a,a%20pattern%20of%20unstable%20relationships.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/my-side-the-couch/202012/why-do-people-bpd-self-victimize
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2013/11/29/1251025/-Borderline-Personality-Disorder-Heroic-Martyr-or-Emotional-Vampire
https://www.healthline.com/health/victim-mentality#dealing-with-it-in-yourself
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/borderline/2021/7/living-with-a-victim-mentality-with-borderline-pd#:~:text=It%20can%20be%20easy%20to,moving%20on%20from%20traumatic%20events.

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