Similarities and differences between antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder

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Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder Basics

Personality disorders come in many forms, but few, if any, are as deleterious as borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder tends to be congruent with criminal behavior and is better known as sociopathic behavior1. People who suffer from antisocial personality disorder lack empathy and tend to be shallow. They tend to think very highly of themselves while looking down on others or condemning them for their problems. Also, it is common for people with antisocial personality disorder to exhibit charm which is useful for taking advantage of others.

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by persistent instability in relationships, self-image, and emotions2. These problems have persisted for years and are apparent in most, if not all, of their interpersonal relationships. Generally, these relationships are of a love-hate form where their feelings towards someone will shift rapidly based on the other’s actions. One mintue, they will be best friends with somone, and, the next, that person will be the worst friend ever. This sort of fluctuation is also present in the sufferer’s emotions.

Similarities and Differences between Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder

While these personality disorders are very different from one another, they still share many similarities. As with all personality disorders, someone has to be 18 years old to be diagnosed with either disorder, and their causes are both environmently influenced. People who suffer from one of these mental illnesses also regularly exhibit impulsive behavior and tend to be shallow in nature.

Treatment strategies for both disorders are also similar in nature. For example, neither has a medication that specifically treats the personality disorder. Also, the psychotherapy for each is a long and difficult process. The severity of both disorders will also decrease as the sufferer becomes older. By their 40s or 50s, they will experience only a few of the symptoms related to the disorder, and the severity of the symptoms will decrease. However, that is where the similarities between the two end.

The differences between the two disorders are many. First, their relationships with others is different. People with borderline personality disorder are terrified of being abandoned and will take drastic steps to avoid this. They also have an unstable sense of themselves, and, likewise, their relationships and emotions are unstable2. In contrast, people with antisocial personality disorder show no remorse for hurting others, will deceive in order to gain profit or some other pleasure, and show a reckless disregard for their or other’s safety1. Often times, they will not have close relationships because of these behaviors.

Secondly, suicidal or self-mutilating behavior is present in many who suffer from borderline personality disorder2, but this isn’t a symptom of antisocial personality disorder.

Third, there is a gender difference between the two disorders. Borderline personality disorder tends to affect women more often at a rate of three to one while antisocial personality disorder affects more men at a three to one ratio1.

There are many similarities and differences between borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, with more differences than similarities. Similarities exist in symptoms, diagnosis, treatment strategies, and severity over time. The differences are many, but the main differences are in their relationships, suicidal tendencies, and population prevalence by gender.