All About Quiet BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

What is quiet BPD?

Silence may be one of the most defining characteristics of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), but it doesn’t mean silence from others. It means a lack of emotion, which can include sadness, anger, fear, guilt and many other emotions. These feelings are often expressed through behavior such as withdrawing into oneself or acting in ways that appear irrational or even dangerous.

How is quiet BPD diagnosed?

The diagnosis of quiet BPD requires two things: 1) A history of depression; 2) A pattern of self-harm, suicidal thoughts or attempts. There are no tests to diagnose silent BPD. However, there are several questions that can help determine if someone might have borderline personality disorder (BPD). These questions will be answered by your doctor during a physical exam.

A history of Depression

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tend to experience periods of depression. They may not feel sad all the time, but they do seem to suffer from bouts of severe sadness.

You may wonder how someone could possibly be depressed for so long without anyone noticing. One explanation is that these individuals are hiding something because their moods change very quickly and unpredictably.

A Pattern of Self-Harm, Suicidal Thoughts or Attempts

While everyone has the occasional urge to hurt themselves, people with BPD feel like hurting themselves most of the time. They will deliberately cut, burn or bruise themselves.

This may be a way of punishing themselves for failing to meet their own expectations. Such individuals also feel a lot of shame about their actions and will hide their wounds from others.

In addition to harming themselves, people with BPD are at a high risk for suicidal behavior. They may make superficial suicide attempts or they may threaten suicide without meaning to carry it out.

If you think an individual is at risk for suicide, keep them away from sharp objects and toxic substances. Also, get immediate help from law enforcement or emergency services.

People with BPD also engage in a pattern of unstable relationships. They may have long periods without speaking to someone, then call them several times in a row.

They may idealize important figures in their lives, then suddenly hate them with a passion. In addition to mood swings, people with BPD experience very dramatic shifts in their self-identity. Some days they may feel like a confident and productive member of society, while other days they may feel like an outcast.

In general, people with this disorder have difficulty regulating their emotions.

Sources & references used in this article:

Psychotherapy of borderline personality disorder by MC Zanarini – Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 2009 – Wiley Online Library

The self‐harm inventory (SHI): Development of a scale for identifying self‐destructive behaviors and borderline personality disorder by RA Sansone, MW Wiederman… – Journal of clinical …, 1998 – Wiley Online Library

Auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with borderline personality disorder are similar to those in schizophrenia by CW Slotema, K Daalman, JD Blom… – Psychological …, 2012 –

Disentangling emotion processes in borderline personality disorder: physiological and self-reported assessment of biological vulnerability, baseline intensity, and … by JR Kuo, MM Linehan – Journal of abnormal psychology, 2009 –

Neurophysiological correlates of borderline personality disorder: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study by S Barnow, KA Völker, B Möller, HJ Freyberger… – Biological …, 2009 – Elsevier