Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder – What Is It?

Petulant borderline personality disorder can involve feelings of worthlessness.

We’ve all heard someone being described as petulant at some point in our lives, and chances are we know at least one person if not more who can be and often is petulant in nature. Many people have also heard of the psychological condition known as borderline personality disorder, but not that many know exactly what it is. So what does it mean when someone is diagnosed with petulant borderline personality disorder?

SoCal Empowered is an Orange County mental health treatment facility that provides inpatient care to people who are suffering from even the most severe mental health challenges. We understand the nature of petulant borderline personality disorder and how to work with people who have it so that they can learn to manage it successfully and move on to happy and healthy lives both for themselves and for those around them.

Below we’re going to provide a brief overview of petulant borderline personality disorder, and if you recognize any warning signs of this condition either in yourself or in someone you love, please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss the situation. We can help you decide the best way to get the help you need.

Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder – Relevant Definitions

In order to dive into the details of petulant personality disorder, we need to first lay out some definitions. The first term that needs defining is petulant. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines petulant as, “insolent or rude in speech or behavior.” In short, someone who is petulant is basically unpleasant to be around for one reason or another.

The Oxford Dictionary defines borderline personality disorder as, “a personality disorder characterized by severe mood swings, impulsive behavior, and difficulty forming stable personal relationships.” Therefore, petulant borderline personality disorder describes someone who experiences severe mood swings and who is generally unpleasant to be around. Specifically, petulant borderline personality disorder, as we have discussed, involves people who:

[A]re often critical, pessimistic, and easily disappointed. They may feel offended and decide to react out of rage or anger. Feeling unwanted, unloved, or unworthy are all big trigger points for these individuals. 

So… Just What IS Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder?

Now that we’ve covered some basics, we’re going to dive into the specifics relating to petulant borderline personality disorder. Petulant borderline personality disorder is one of four defined borderline personality disorders. Those who suffer from this condition can have a very hard time diagnosing the problem, as the characteristics of it can easily be confused with other challenges.

However, someone who suffers from petulant borderline personality disorder tends to have a strong instinct and/or need to manipulate others in relationships. They also have an obsessive need for control in those relationships and they often quickly express extreme dissatisfaction with others when they decide that they are disappointed in something. Those with petulant borderline personality disorder are also generally quite possessive with regards to the relationships of others.

These tendencies often play out by way of random and intense outbursts of anger coupled with an inability or seeming lack of interest in expressing feelings. One of the underlying factors of petulant borderline personality disorder is an extreme fear of abandonment that can motivate these actions many times in the first place.

There is also a bit of an emotional cycle that plays out with someone suffering from petulant borderline personality disorder. While others tend to remember the angry outbursts and attempts at control and manipulation that occur, those who have this condition also undergo periods of feeling totally unworthy or unloved – almost a form of depression in some sense, even though that’s obviously a different diagnosis.

In short, petulant borderline personality disorder is an extremely difficult, often subtle and extremely complicated condition to recognize and ultimately to diagnose. There are few constants present that you would often see with other mental health challenges, and when people who have this disease experience “up” or “happy” days, all seems well with everyone involved.

Treatments for Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality in general was only first recognized and defined by psychiatrists in 1980, which means that it’s a relatively new condition in terms of knowledge of treatment. Given the different types of borderline personality disorder that exist as well as the nuanced nature of the diagnosis, there is no medication out there to date that helps to treat this problem. There are some medications that can help with the outbursts of anger, but that’s treating the symptom and not the disease.

Therefore, the best way to treat petulant borderline personality disorder is by way of individual treatment in counseling sessions. In severe cases, inpatient care may be necessary, as we have seen often with our Orange County mental health treatment protocols. Fortunately, there are some pathways emerging with regards to treatment that are showing promise.

The initial challenge for anyone with petulant borderline personality disorder in particular is getting the person to trust his or her therapist. Given the feelings of abandonment and the need to manipulate others, this can be a difficult step. However, once that’s achieved, the treatment can progress successfully.

Often times, someone with petulant borderline personality disorder will undergo what is known as IPT, or Interpersonal Psychotherapy, which teaches that person how to better manage and handle relationships. The person will learn to recognize warning signs of the disease and deal with it accordingly.

Beyond that, the patient may undergo what is known as DBT, or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT was designed in part to specifically help those with different types of borderline personality disorder, and it features work on learning how to resolve situations in ways other than angry outbursts and the like when everyday situations present themselves. It’s an intensive, one-on-one learning process, but one that has produced results in many patients.

How SoCal Empowered Can Help

As we’ve always said with regards to those who trust us with their Orange County mental health challenges, every patient is different, even those who have similar diseases. If you are concerned that you or someone you love may be suffering from petulant borderline personality disorder or any other type of mental health condition, the best way to start dealing with that is to talk to someone who understands these situations.

You can always feel free to talk to our team at SoCal Empowered, and there are no strings attached. If we feel that you need inpatient Orange County mental health treatment, we’ll tell you so, but if we don’t, we’ll even help you find the best resource for your situation. Call us today to find out more about how we can help you.