Borderline – nature or nurture?

I can’t explain myself sir, I’m afraid. Because  I’m not myself you see – Alice

This is where I’m looking into whether borderline is something we are born with or it’s all due to childhood, environmental factors, abuse and events. 

Also in response to some sites that claim “BPD isn’t even an illness. We make it up for attention and are like kids lashing out using BPD as an excuse. ” sigh. Ok. 

For nature 

If you have a direct relative with a mental illness especially ; bipolar, BPD, schizophrenia, autism spectrum or depression you have a 17% -25% change of having any of those mental illnesses.  Now I think personally the percentage is a lot higher, but more on that in another post. 

Also Brain scans have been done on “normal people” people with BPD and other mental conditions. BPD has these differences;

  • Hippocampus tends to be smaller ( the same in PTSD)         This is located in the temporal lobe, the part that sorts out memory. The hippocampus helos control : inhibitions, space and memory.  I assume it means we have less of each as its smaller.
  • Amygdala; tends to be more active in BPD.     This part generates emotions, emotional learning and memories about emotions.  
  • Prefrontal cortex is less active. Especially when recalling memories such as abondanment, effects parts of personality, social behaviour, emotional expression and decision making. So I guess we ain’t as good at those lol
  • Hyperthalamic-pituirity adrenal Axis;  ( try saying that when drunk)  this part releases cortisol, which effects our response to stress. We have a hyperactive axis so release more cortisol which makes our responses far more extreme. 


Makes sense doesn’t it. We can’t regulate our enotions and feel extremes at inproportionate events. ( basically)

Also add in reduced serotonin etc for depression, our brains ain’t normal and need medication to help become more normal. Though I doubt ever be fully “normal”

We can’t help any of these things, our brains are wonky donkey, and results come out in all kinda ways.

For nurture 

There is a high level of childhood or later abuse within BPD sufferers neglect and such events while young actually causes part of the brain to develop wrong! Emotionally stunting us in that area.

Stress brings out the worse enotions, panic attacks anxitety, paranoia so stressful life events are going to effect us negatively for a longer time

Neglect, maladaptive parenting or growing up too young can all effect our emotional development and leave a longing to fulfil the sense of abondanment with whatever we perceive we missed.

Later life events like abusive relationships result in us learning toxic behaviours to escape from our emotions and people please to avoid the stress. This can stay with us and repeat itself over and over in other relationships or interactions.  

All these negative feelings lead us to keep feeling the negative emotions long after an event, and leave us acting impulsively to make us feel better.

Impulsiveness can be in many forms and we will do whatever we can to escape our emotions;

  1. Spending money/ excessive shopping /debt
  2. Strange business ideas/plans/groups 
  3. Reckless sex and promiscuity
  4. Self medication, booze, drugs etc
  5. Self harm
  6. Manipulation of loved ones to get emotional comfort, including lies.
  7. Obsessive behaviour to people
  8. OCD

We learn that if people indulge these behaviours that we can repeat them with no consequences …. Leads me on to another thing that can effect BPD:

Lack of boundaries. Either through an absent parent, unwell parent or just very independent a lack of rules or being disciplined makes us likely to exhibit more behaviours others may not do. 

I find if I get set boundaries I actually do reign myself in and be more stable.

Those that don’t I walk all over. 

Learning to change behaviour to avoid abuse/stress or gain good feelings.- being a social or defensive chameleon can make us lose our own sense of identity. 

I’m sure there is lots more but that’s all I can think of for now, 


In summery i think it’s nature we get BPD and nurture effects to what effect and how severe we get it. 


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