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Author Topic: Does stress trigger negative BPD behaviors?  (Read 24765 times)
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Health - even mental health - is a choice.

« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2010, 05:39:56 PM »

confused - I love H.A.L.T, we were taught that over at BPDRecovery.com and I find it really useful if I remember to use it. I also like to use my own words, like sometimes I'm just horny angel or alienated or listless or teary-eyed, etc, but the main 4 really do get at something fundamental: if those are taken care of, I find I can handle other things better.

Act as if the future of the universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference. ~a wise buddhist


This board is intended for general questions about BPD and other personality disorders, trait definitions, and related therapies and diagnostics. Topics should be formatted as a question.

Please do not host topics related to the specific pwBPD in your life - those discussions should be hosted on an appropraite [L1] - [L4] board.

You will find indepth information provided by our senior members in our workshop board discussions (click here).

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Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 7203

« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 11:56:58 PM »

All of the above refers to acute stress.  The Cleveland Clinic goes a lot further saying that stress plays a major role in triggering the development of BPD in a person - childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, prolonged separation, or inconsistent parenting.

The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is not known, but most researchers believe that it is caused by a combination of biological and psychological factors. People with this disorder might be born with a vulnerability to the disorder, which is then triggered by stress or other factors.

For example, research suggests that a malfunction in the brain might be responsible for the impulsiveness, mood instability, anger, and negative emotions that are common in people with this disorder. Psychological "triggers" might include childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect, prolonged separation, or inconsistent parenting.

A disruptive family life and poor communication within the family also are risk factors for the development of BPD.

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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 12:47:18 PM »

In talking about stressors, it's helpful to understand the different levels of stress that a pwBPD encounters and how they might react:

1) overreactng to simple stressors;

2) getting angry or becoming depressed on moderate stressors; and

3) going into panic, rage, or deep depression on what they perceive as overwhelming stressors.

So, depending on the stress trigger, there is a range of reactions that we might witness.


“The path to heaven doesn't lie down in flat miles. It's in the imagination with which you perceive this world, and the gestures with which you honor it." ~ Mary Oliver

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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 05:40:15 PM »

Stress ALWAYS sends my husband over the edge.  From what I've read and witnessed about BP traits, they certainly seem to have low to zero tolerance for stress, be it something unexpected or just the wear and tear of "life".  I know my husband hates schedule changes and would rage at me if there were additional activities or responsibilities in our lives.  

Just the mention of the word schedule will set my BPDw off.  Again, so interesting the simularities.

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Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 24

« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 03:28:03 AM »

I think so... Mine broke an almost year and a half relationship during her final medicine exam, caring nothing at all about all the support I gave her during that period. Is like one Day suddenly she changed from dr jekyll to mr hyde. Then she left, asking me for money, insulting me... That lovely and caring person, suddenly changed to the opposite kind of person.
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Person in your life: Romantic partner’s ex
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 06:11:58 AM »

I've seen stress trigger my SO's uBPDxw, some of the stressors are from outside sources, friends, family etc.   But what I see the most are situations that she creates herself, renting a town house she can't afford and being evicted, sending a daughter to camp that she didn't/can't pay for, bouncing a check and having to go to court, or not paying income tax for example.  Not thinking or realizing the consequences of her actions.

Yes, her particular brand of BPD involves a lot of dysfunction around money and appearances.

I understand her reasons behind the things she is doing and can have compassion for her from that stand point, but her actions create stress for not only her but those around her.

It becomes a vicious cycle of dysfunction creating stress and stress creating elevated dysfunction. 


"Have you ever looked fear in the face and just said, I just don't care" -Pink
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Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 93

« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 08:49:57 AM »

absolutely. Stress is a huge trigger. Transitions and change cause stress:

So holidays,travel, beginning of school, visitors, parties.. change in schedule, everything about raising kids all cause stress and are triggers.

On the flip side, boredom sets in easily so he needs new. And new means change. And change means...

Ah yes, a deadly circle..


That’s the ultimate irony. Stress triggers the childish reactions but still waters generate boredom that can lead to equally destructive impulses.

Before things got bad in July between my wife and I and we really had not been arguing much, but she got bored.

It’s almost like if you aren’t arguing you aren’t trying.

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Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 3

« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2018, 12:37:35 AM »

I'd say yes!

 My ex the week before we split was thinking a lot about his tramatic childhood. He spent the whole week just discussing that. When he is stressed out, it also trigger another disorder he has, misphonnia ( summed up, it's a hatred of certain sounds). It then would begin this cycle of no escape for him and he would start isolating himself and self medicating ( whiskey). The world then would be split black ( me included). This would bring him into a tail spin and he would continue self destructive habits which made him feel worse. On our break up, he was going through one of these phases. I was split black and smeared to his family.

We need to remember that these are not "bad" people, but they cannot regulate their emotions as they have arrested development stemming from usually childhood abuse. Imagine a 5 year old dealing with the stresses of adulthood. It really is torture for these people. I wouldn't wish BPD on my worst enemy
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