Bisexuality, Borderline Personality, and Hopelessness

We are continuing to explore the relationship between borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bisexuality.  I realize that many of you have accepted your sexual orientations and are very comfortable with it. Enjoy. However, research suggests that 30% to 50% of us have BPD issues. So when you meet someone who is struggling with their bisexuality, this may help you understand them better.

Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Depressivity: Frequent feelings of being down, miserable, and/or hopeless;

In one study[1] about 83% of patients with BPD also met criteria for major depressive disorder. People with major depression disorder typically have feelings of sadness or guilt whereas depression in people with BPD seems to be associated with feelings of anger, deep shame, loneliness, and emptiness and is often triggered by interpersonal issues.  In the case of bisexuality and BPD, people often put on a positive front when they are with other people from the LGBQT community or with their families but suffer extreme guilt and shame when they are alone with their own inner feelings. This can lead to depression and suicidal behavior.     

This trait from the DSM 5 sounds hopeless doesn’t it? Literally. However at this point it is just a trait and not an impairment. I think it is safe to say that most of us have difficulty with mood swings and when we feel down we usually feel the situation is hopeless. Some of us have learned to control this trait and have learned to take steps to get us out of this mood before it becomes a disorder. I think the terms being down, miserable and hopeless need some further explanation.

Being down is defined as “being in a weaker or worse position, mood, or condition.” Interestingly the dictionary also includes “express strong dislike of a specified person or thing”. First of all, let me say that in the case of those of us  bisexuals with BPD, the down with phrase usually is referring to ourselves and usually because or inability to cope with our sexuality. We are so ready to devalue and blame ourselves for not being able to control our impulses. The second part is also telling. We definitely feel inferior because of our gay or lesbian tendencies so we assume that our sexuality is to blame for everything that goes wrong.  We often overreact by harboring huge amounts of guilt.

Miserable is an entirely different kettle of fish. It refers to being extremely unhappy or uncomfortable. It again is usually based on our sexuality. We often feel small or inadequate. Hopelessis closely related to being miserable. It is a feeling of despair about having these impulses and not being able to control them. We feel inadequate and incompetent in meeting the expectation of being good husbands or wives, or mothers and fathers, resulting in shame or self-loathing. Hopelessness sets in. So what can we do about it?

My Five Suggestions for bisexual borderliners

1. First of all acknowledge that you are a bisexual with this borderline personality trait. You accept it for what it is. It is a predisposition to feelings of being down, being miserable, and hopelessness. Your bisexuality is also part of your genetic predisposition. This is who you are. You can’t change it. You accept it for what it is.

2. You also realize that you are no longer that child. You are an adult in complete control of your emotions and feelings. Your brain, by nature, has a lot of neuroplasticity. You can change your brain patterns by changing your thinking patterns. You can learn to accept your sexual tendencies and make conscious decisions on either exploring and enjoying them or just recognizing these tendencies without acting upon them.  Remember it is always okay to enjoy your sexuality. It is always a choice you can make without guilt and shame.

3. If you have a life partner and children. You have some difficult decisions to make. Make them rationally. Do not let feeling of guilt and shame affect your power to choose what is best for the whole you.

4. Do a self-analysis. Every time you feel down, miserable, or hopeless, because of your bisexuality write it down and look at the situation that brought about these feelings.  Then use your active imagination to go back into that situation and handle it by being in charge emotionally and resolve it with the positive approach and outcome. Then, if possible, go back to the situation and do it right this time.

5. Chart your progress and celebrate your successes. As time goes by you will find that you are getting better at dealing with your feelings. Be patient with yourself. It probably took twenty plus years to develop these patterns so give yourself the right to make mistakes and slip back into old patterns from time to time. Reassess; make amends; and keep on going.


[1] Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault; and Steven Gans, MD . A Guide to When BPD and Depression Occur Together. Verywell Mind. , 2020.  https://www.verywellmind.com/bpd-and-depression-425421

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