Bipolar vs BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

Bipolar vs BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

What’s the difference between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder (BPD)?

Are all women with bipolar or BPD narcissists?

Most importantly — is she worth it?

Before we get into the differences between bipolar vs BPD, please keep in mind I’m not a psychologist or therapist, so I topped up my knowledge with research.

Shout out to Dr. Tracey Marks, Dr. Ramany Durvasula and Dr. Todd Grande, trained experts in bipolar vs BPD and narcissistic personality disorder.

Let’s explore…

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the Bible of psychological disorders et al.) describes the differences between bipolar and borderline personality disorder as follows—

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

BPD showed up as a pattern of unstable relationships, self-image and emotional expression marked by impulsivity, starting in early adulthood as exhibited in five or more of the following:

Frantic Efforts to avoid real or perceived abandonment.

Example: You postpone plans because something important has come up but she thinks you’re avoiding her and don’t want to be with her anymore. You’ve given no reason for her to feel this way at any time.

Pattern of unstable and intense relationships (romantic or not) alternating between idealization and devaluation extremes.

Example: One day she gushes about how amazing you are and how she wants to spend the rest of her life with you and the next day you do the slightest “wrong” thing and she calls you a “stupid loser” and questions being with you at all.

Identity disturbance marked by persistently unstable sense of self or self-image.

Example: She acts like a spoiled princess expecting you to spend all your money on her and acts like you’re lucky to be with her and the next day her hair doesn’t go right or she gains a pounds and is overly dramatic about being fundamentally worthless worried you’ll leave her because she’s fat. She’s not fat. You did nothing to make her feel fat.

Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging.

Example: She goes on a big spending spree even though she’s lost her job and has no savings; gets drunk or does drugs and drives when she’s three sheets to the wind; overeats until she’s sick; or sleeps around recklessly not caring if you find out. Maybe all of these! #blazingredflags

Recurrent “ultimate self harm” — suicidal behaviour, gestures, threats or self-mutilating behaviours

Example: She cuts herself on purpose or threatens suicide.

Unstable reactive moods that rollercoaster or Bungy jump all over the place, depending on if bipolar or BPD.

BPD Example: She goes into a rage with you for little things like being five minutes late even if you texted her to let her know and the last time this happened she simply acted happy when you got there.

Bipolar Example: Same as above but she goes from rage when she sees you to loving and affectionate five minutes later when you meet up with your friends like nothing happened.

I’m throwing in the bipolar example now because—surprise!—most of these traits overlap!

The big difference in bipolar vs BPD is in how long the mood lasts.

More on this shortly, for now let’s continue with the list…

Chronic feelings of emptiness.

Example: She starts a fight over nothing but the intensity of the fight makes her feel something so her anger escalates. She may feel justified in the moment.

Which brings us to…

Inappropriate or intense anger or difficulty controlling anger.

Example: She doesn’t only interrupt, raise her voice if you interrupt or walk away and slam a door; she may yell, scream, throw things or physically escalate.

Transient, stress-related, paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms aka micro-psychotic episodes.

Example: Even though you’ve given her no reason to wonder because you’re as loyal as the year 2020 is long, she constantly questions you and cross-examines your every statement like a lawyer because she’s sure you’re cheating. You are not cheating.


Example: You got 100% caught cheating on her, but even though normally she would fly off the handle, outwardly she doesn’t react at all instead behaving as though nothing happened.

Remember, in order for a clinical diagnosis of bipolar or borderline personality disorder, the person must have at least five of the above.

The big difference with bipolar is these groups of behaviours may express and change within hours or less whereas with borderline personality disorder they can last a minimum of two weeks if in a depressive state or a minimum of one week if in a manic state.

So it’s whether the behaviours are episodic (bipolar) with quick mood swings, or pervasive (BPD) with slower mood changes.

Both may struggle with abandonment issues and can be manipulative; and both can be narcissists but aren’t necessarily so. More on this in a moment.

Think of it like comparing a scary bungy jump adventure (bipolar) vs riding a scary rollercoaster (BPD).

This is why these type of people can be so appealing!

Women with bipolar or BPD are a thrill to be with—spontaneous, exciting, never boring—but there are healthier ways for you to get your kicks.


Good news and less good news, my friend: both bipolar and BPD can respond positively to treatment but there’s a “but.”

Bipolar disorder is primarily treated with medication and sometimes therapy whereas BPD is primarily treated with a special form of therapy and sometimes medication.

Here’s the “but.”

If she’s also a narcissist, that disorder (so far) has no cure. Behaviours may be modified but the core of her doesn’t change. #highrisk

Some of you may want to go back and score yourself on these!

Questions to Ask Yourself

Can she be helped?

Will she get help?

How can you support her in getting help?

But the most important question is…

Why are you with her?

Not all women are damaged goods.

Read that again.

Not all women are damaged goods.

So, if you keep attracting (and being attracted to) emotionally damaged women—whether with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder (or any combo therein)—why is that?

If this is you, get WakeUP2Luv and do. the. work.

You can get an amazing woman.

xo Anna


Red flags:

Damaged / Narcissistic Women:



Donations & Anna’s Memoir?:

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