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

Borderline Personality Disorder – Fear of Dependency

              In this article we will continue to explore the relationship between borderline personality disorder and bisexuality. As mentioned in a previous article, about one third of patients with BPD are bisexual. We do not have the data on the reverse of that; we do no know how many of us bisexuals also have BPD, but I guess it would be much higher. Today we will look at fears of dependency and loss of autonomy.

Trait Eight – Pathological personality traits in negative affectivity – Separation insecurity: Fears of excessive dependency and complete loss of autonomy. (DSM5)

            In my search of the literature, I found one article that indirectly dealt with fear of dependency and loss of autonomy by alluding to it as part a subtype associated with dependent personality disorder[1]. According to this article, discouraged borderline is marked by noticeable clinginess and a passive follower type of mentality. While on the outside this person might just seem indecisive or weak-willed; they normally experience internal turmoil about their lack of leadership and bitterness toward those whom they feel are controlling them. This type of borderline disorder in a person often leads to self-harm in the form of self-mutilation or even suicide.

            This diagnosis is seen more in women than in men, perhaps due to possible disturbed estrogen levels or part of systematic sexism. However, some research suggests that this tendency affects men and women equally, but women are more likely to seek treatment or to be officially diagnosed as BPD.        

            Descriptors of discouraged borderline includes excessive dependence upon others. They are often compliant and easily swayed by others, even when it goes against their own desires. They have low self-esteem, feel continuously insecurity, and appear to be vulnerable. They may feel hopeless, helpless, powerless, and depressed. There may be a reliance on fantasy or substance abuse as a means to escape.

            The cause is thought to involve many different life factors. These include PTSD, childhood trauma or neglect, a smaller hippocampus or amygdala, genetic predispositions involving genes DRD4 and DAT and chromosome 9, neurobiological factors like estrogen levels, family and social stability levels, and negative social experiences as a child. People with the disorder often have other illnesses including major depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, or antisocial personality disorder. People suffering from this BPD trait make up a large chunk of suicides on an annual basis. So if you or someone you know is at risk for suicide because of this trait, it is important that you get help as soon as possible.

            Psychotherapy is the primary method used for managing and treating discouragement BPD. Depression and anxiety are among the two most common conditions that can be treated with medicine while the patient is treated for general BPD with psychotherapy. Antipsychotics might be used to reduce anger or suicidal tendencies as well as impulsivity, psychotic paranoid symptoms, anxiety, and depression. It is important to understand that these medications cannot treat BPD, but that the treatment of concurring conditions can help clear the way for a more successful treatment of BPD through psychotherapy.

            So how does this apply to those of us who are also bisexuals? I do not see it as a direct correlation; however, we can make some interesting comparisons. We usually do not fear losing our autonomy in our heterosexual relationship; in fact, we want to wallow in it. We often depend on them for our sense of security and sanity. In fact, we are afraid of losing it. On the other hand, when it comes to our same-sex relationships, we mostly avoid dependency at all cost. We do not want to become dependent and do not want anyone to become dependent on us. We prefer casual. We mainly want to relate just for the physical pleasures we can get. In other words we seek dependency with our life partner and avoid dependency with same sex friends. What we do fear is dependency of the fix and we fight it because we fear it will ruin our lives.

MY Suggestions

1. Come to terms with your sexuality. It is what it is so you may as well relax and enjoy it. You can realize that your impulses are natural urges of your body and your mind. You are not sick because of your bisexuality. You do not need therapy for your sexual impulses but you may need therapy for your BPD.

2. Be honest with yourself and deal with your fears. Discover the worst case scenario and come to terms with it.

3. If your love relationship with our life-partner is essential to your sense of well-being, try to develop the will and power to do without your same sex experiences (this may be near impossible to some of us).

4. If you wish to continue with a secret life, accept it as it is and go on with our secret life,  but you need to be able to do this without anxiety or fear. You have to be willing to accept and live with the consequences.

5. Most of us cannot live with the stress that comes from feeling that we are being dishonest with our life-partner. If that is the case, we have to be honest with them and tell them about our bisexual desires and needs. Once again, we have to be willing to accept the consequences. If our fears and shame are causing us anxiety and pain, we have to be willing to give up our life-partner in order to live lives free of shame, regret and chronic anxiety. If we continue living with these stresses, they will eventually kill us.


[1] Discouraged Borderline Personality Disorder, Optimum Performance Institute. https://www.optimumperformanceinstitute.com/