Borderline Types

Both attractive and intriguing, the borderline personality disorder is one of the most frequent psy conditions. About 1 in 5 people have it. I covered this disorder in an earlier article, from the viewpoint of Schema Therapy, probably one of the best approaches available. Here is the link:

You should also find interesting to review a bit you knowledge of Schema Therapy here:
and also read about the narcissistic personality, the other main focus of Schema Therapy:

Now, it seems to be fairly easy for everybody to diagnose a borderline personality following the criteria available in every psy book. But in fact, it’s not that simple. You need to constantly screen for the feeling of inner void and of being abandoned, even in persons who don’t seem to be impulsive or emotionally imbalanced.

Depending on the ego-states activated in a given person, the borderline disorder has 4 subtypes. In fact, they are 4 different aspects but experience shows that a person often prefers to stay in one state for longer periods of time. At any given moment you may find none or all the 4 aspects below, and this gives to the borderline disorder that famous heterogeneous structure. The 4 aspects can be assimilated into 4 archetypes, and this helps a lot in practice.

Here follows the description of the subtypes. I’ve chosen some quotes specific for each ego-state. I’m also using a psychodynamic technique: checking your transference versus each of the 4 subtypes, that is, becoming aware of what you think, what you feel and what you’d like to do when coming into contact with a certain subtype. In doing so, you’re using your own subconscious mind and intuition, short-cutting through the analytical process that often requires time to gather information.

For each subtype I’ve chosen a crying eye. Notice the difference. For those who know me personally, each image has a hidden significance. Moreover, I exhibit myself intense borderline traits, and checking your transference will reveal them quite easily.

The Borderline Waif

“Life is too hard. I am a worthless victim.”

You are in front of a Waif if…
– you think her needs are more important than yours
– you feel your sacrifice is needed to show you love her
– you fantasize about saving her or you feel you MUST save her
– you feel overwhelmed by her neediness
– you try to help her but she keeps refusing aid and this gets you confused

The Borderline Queen

“It’s all about me! I deserve more attention. And, by the way, what have you done for me lately?”

You are in front of a Queen if…
– you feel that your best efforts to meet her needs aren’t enough
– your needs aren’t satisfied and you fear to say this or she’ll leave you
– you wonder why is everything always about her
– you need to prove you have material goods so as to meet her standards and be worthy of her attention
– you feel used or manipulated
– you have bursts of anger both at her and at yourself (for surrendering so much to her that you no longer recognize yourself)

The Borderline Hermit

“Life is too dangerous. No place is safe.”

You are in front of a Hermit if…
– you feel too that the world is a risky place
– you feel you need to protect/defend him of the outside world
– you feel trapped and isolated by his fear
– you fear making mistakes for fear he will tell you: “I told you so!”
– you give up your social life because he fears to go out and make friends

The Borderline Witch

“I can’t be happy until I have found someone to hurt.”

You are in front of a Witch if…
– you need to comply with what she wants, or else…
– you avoid to annoy or trigger her in any way
– you are afraid, very afraid…


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