4 TYPES OF BPD TEST & How to Deal With It Effectively


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) comes in four generally recognized subtypes: impulsive, discouraged, self-destructive, and petulant BPD. It is possible to experience multiple BPD types simultaneously or sequentially. It’s also possible to fall outside of these stereotypes for borderline personalities. Below, we’ll examine four (4) types of BPD tests and how to respond to them.

Emotional control problems, impulsive behavior, and relational challenges are all symptoms of this mental health disease. Though symptoms like aggression and rage might differ significantly across the different kinds of BPD, there can be significant overlap between them.

In this article, the four (4) types of borderline personality disorder are examined, along with what each one entails. It also describes how a mental health practitioner recognizes them.

What is BPD?

Cluster B personality disorder, also called borderline personality disorder, is distinguished by erratic moods, interpersonal connections, and self-perception (Mayo Clinic 2019). You may go through sudden, extreme mood changes and abruptly break off relationships with others. Other indications of BPD include:

  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideas and behaviors
  • A persistent sense of emptiness
  • Erratic conduct
  • Paranoia

Because BPD might make you feel like you don’t have control over your actions, daily life can become quite challenging. BPD can manifest in various ways because it is not the same for everyone.

4 Types of BPD Tests

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that causes people to feel unstable emotionally, act on impulse, and have a sense of being alone and being empty. Theodore Millon, a specialist in personality disorders, claims that BPD can be split into 4 types. The intensity of specific symptoms may vary across individuals with various kinds of BPD. The 4 types of BPD tests are:

Discouraged Borderline (Quiet BPD)

The high-functioning BPD or “quiet borderline” are other names for the discouraged borderline type. This kind of BPD combines avoidance and dependence on others. The caring and modest nature of those with discouraged BPD is often so great that they may even cling to others. Their relationships, especially romantic ones, significantly impact how they define themselves. People often have trouble dealing with the end of a close relationship, which can throw their whole world out of balance. They may experience insecurity, helplessness, and uncertainty due to their fear of abandonment.

People who have discouraged borderline frequently feel hopeless and sad. They lack initiative and motivation, and they also struggle to complete even simple tasks. They thus depend on others to the point of unhealthy reliance. These people find it difficult to express their rage. Since showing their anger makes them feel bad, they may hurt themselves or kill themselves to eliminate their offense.

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The traits of the discouraged borderline are:

  • Avoidant
  • Depressed
  • Hopeless
  • Submissive
  • Loyal
  • Humble
  • Helpless
  • Vulnerable

Impulsive Borderline

People who are borderline impulsive have a combination of histrionic and antisocial characteristics. These people frequently lack focus, are overly busy, and act without first thinking. Their actions could injure themselves or others because they lack self-awareness. Because they are continually upset and irritable, their emotions are just as erratic as their conduct. Borderline impulsive people typically come from chaotic, action-packed households.

Furthermore, they had to be intriguing, surprising, and theatrical to stand out from the mayhem. Some people may have felt appreciated when they were lauded for their masculinity or appearance, which can result in seductive conduct and flimsy relationships. Overall, they may feel worried and tense all the time due to their desire for attention and excitement.

The traits of the impulsive borderline personality are:

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  • Superficial
  • Irritable
  • Chaotic
  • Easily irritated
  • Fearful
  • Unreliable
  • Prone to distraction
  • Seductive
  • Suicidal

Petulant Borderline

The passive-aggressive personality style describes the petulant borderline. Others may characterize them as negative, obstinate, demanding, and impatient. Furthermore, they frequently envy the joy of others and dislike being dependent on them. Some people may report somatic ailments to get attention. Petulant borderlines frequently feel uneasy in their relationships because they don’t always get their needs addressed as children.

It’s possible that they felt neglected, abused, or used by caregivers. Adults could experience periods of feeling unworthy, sad, and guilty, as well as moments when they are overcome with unreasonable hatred and violence that may lead them to attack others. After the experience, they frequently feel regret, regret, and a need to make up for their actions.

The traits of the petulant borderline personality are:

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  • Pessimistic
  • Impatient
  • Irritable
  • Stubborn
  • Rebellious
  • Cynical
  • Resentful
  • Easy to offend

Self-Destructive BPD

Borderline self-destructive people have masochistic personalities. They frequently focus their emotions inward, which can cause them to act dangerously or negatively toward themselves. They fear being independent, even if they desire it so badly. Significant internal conflict and tension resulted from this.

These people frequently exhibit sacrifice, conformity, and deference in interpersonal interactions. They may get resentful, bitter, and feel unappreciated over time as a result of the extreme actions they display. Increased stress and sadness may result from this also, which is frequently internalized through self-harm or suicidal attempts, among other things.

The self-destructive borderline personality type is more likely to be:

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  • Moody
  • excess compliance
  • Self-focused
  • focusing one’s rage inward
  • Submissive
  • Suicidal

How Can I Tell Which of the 4 BPD Types I Have?

There isn’t a single “BPD test” that can identify the 4 types of BPD you may have or diagnose the illness. To also identify BPD, your healthcare provider might:

  • Inquire about your symptoms and past health issues.
  • Inquire about the medical history of your family, particularly any mental health issues.
  • Have you finished a comprehensive questionnaire?
  • Perform a comprehensive medical evaluation to rule out any other diseases that could be the source of your symptoms.

One or more kinds of BPD may be diagnosed after evaluating them. Some individuals, however, exhibit the primary BPD symptoms and may not necessarily fall under one of the four categories covered in this article.

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Your doctor will keep track of your symptoms over time. With treatment, most BPD sufferers get better. However, relapses are possible. This is why checking in with your doctor is crucial, even if you feel things are getting better.

What Options Are There for Treatment?

The three most popular BPD treatments are talk therapy, medication, and day treatment.

The focus of talk therapy is on the ideas that can lead to particular behaviors and actions. With the help of this therapy, patients gain the ability to manage their distress and deal with strong emotions.

While there are currently no drugs that effectively treat BPD, several can lessen the underlying symptoms. For instance, a doctor might advise a patient to take antidepressants, mood stabilizers, or antipsychotics. Remember that medicine and talk therapy are typically used in conjunction with one another. In this manner, patients can express their feelings while easing their discomfort.

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A more thorough therapy strategy is offered by day treatment nonetheless. Usually, this treatment is used in an emergency. Also, it’s for people who might be approaching a crisis. A patient receiving day treatment will benefit from expedited therapy and potentially even alternate drugs to help them avoid a crisis.

When & How to Seek BPD Help

BPD treatment frequently combines medication, self-care, and individual and group therapy. Effective treatments for BPD include mentalization-based therapy (MBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and psychodynamic therapy. Furthermore, these approaches can help patients better manage their emotions, interact with others, and reduce harmful behaviors.

A BPD patient may need to be hospitalized if they exhibit severe symptoms, such as suicidal thoughts. Until their symptoms can be safely treated in an outpatient setting, although there are no drugs specifically designed for BPD, doctors may prescribe drugs to manage symptoms, including anxiety, mood swings, and sadness. Also, the best results with BPD medications come from combining them with therapy.

It’s crucial to pick a therapist with experience treating BPD due to its complexity. You can also find assistance by looking through an online directory that lists service providers who deal with BPD.

Are there different variations of BPD?

There are numerous subtypes, and no two cases are alike. BPD frequently co-occurs with other illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders, to name a few. This may make diagnosis challenging.

How many stages of BPD are there?

The BPD Relationship Cycle’s Seven Stages

The traditional push and pull is the primary theme of the BPD relationship cycle. Even though there are four distinct varieties of BPD, each with its own distinctive characteristics, this pattern seems to emerge in most cases of the disorder.

How many combinations of BPD are there?

Nine symptoms that encompass affective, interpersonal and intrapersonal disorders are used to describe BPD in the DSM-5 (APA, 2013). There are 256 possible ways a person can be diagnosed with BPD based on any five symptoms required for a diagnosis.

Does BPD count as a disability?

A borderline personality disorder is listed on the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments as a mental health disorder. However, to receive a formal disability determination, you must fulfill specific requirements. For instance, you must demonstrate that you exhibit the illness’s symptoms.

Can you have mild BPD?

Some psychologists classify a subtype of borderline personality disorder as a quiet borderline personality disorder or quiet BPD (BPD). Individuals with silent BPD may direct symptoms like anger inward, even though many symptoms of BPD can appear outside (such as violence against others).


The four subtypes of BPD are impulsive, discouraged, self-destructive, and irritable. Each focuses on a distinct feature of BPD.

For instance, those with impulsive BPD often behave without considering the repercussions of their actions. Suicidal thoughts and self-hatred are challenges for those with self-destructive BPD. Some people don’t neatly fit into any of these categories, but everybody with BPD may have one type or more.

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An individual with BPD often goes through a great deal of emotional suffering. But remember that no two people with BPD have the same experience. Similar to how different BPD symptoms can manifest in the same person.

You can get through this by consulting with a mental health expert. Additionally, you might benefit from joining a BPD support group.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tests are used to diagnose BPD?

Although there is no specific test for BPD, a healthcare professional can make the diagnosis after conducting a thorough mental interview and physical examination. Following that, you can receive the proper care, start better managing your symptoms, and continue with your life.

Are there different severities of BPD?

According to Theodore Millon, a personality disorder specialist, four types of BPD exist: discouraged, impulsive, irritable, and self-destructive. The intensity of specific symptoms may vary across individuals with various kinds of BPD.

Can I test myself for BPD?

Can I diagnose BPD on my own? No. An accurate diagnosis of a mental health disorder can only be made by a medical or mental health specialist.

What can be mistaken for BPD?

BPD symptoms and those of other mental health issues can sometimes be extremely similar.

  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression.
  • Psychosis.
  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)
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