11 Subtle Signs Your Mom Might Have Borderline Personality Disorder

Some people are lucky to have a healthy, loving relationship with their mom. But if that’s never been the case for you, you might be wondering what happened, what went wrong, or why you just can’t get along. While there are countless causes of unhealthy mother-daughter relationships, one possible explanation could be that your mom has borderline personality disorder (BDP).

BPD makes it difficult to have stable relationships — and that can play out in toxic ways between moms and their kids. “It’s really, really hard to have a mom with BPD,” licensed clinical psychologist Natalie Feinblatt, PsyD, tells Bustle. “Primary caregivers of infants are ideally stable and predictable, which is pretty much the opposite of someone with BPD. If your mom never enters treatment specific to BPD it will be difficult, or maybe even impossible, to have a consistently positive relationship with her.”

That’s because this personality disorder is marked by a rigid pattern of unhealthy and abnormal thinking and behaving, and is focused on chronic instability in mood, behavior, relationships, and self-image, Feinblatt tells me. That can, for obvious reasons, truly take a toll on how your mom feels, and how she treats you as a result.

Below, some subtle signs she might have BPD, as well as what you can do to help yourself and your mom.

1. She Constantly Thinks You’re Going To “Abandon” Her

Fear of abandonment is a huge issue for people with BPD, and it can leave them scrambling for attention and reassurance. If this is your mom, she might call you a million times a day, assume you’re never going to visit, or decide one day that you hate her — despite evidence to the contrary. As Feinblatt says, “Your mom cannot handle feeling like she has been abandoned by anyone.”

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