Connection between borderline personality and sexual addictions. There is some link between them. One again the goal is not to stigmatize but understand why. You will find on the last part of this document our vision which we hope comprehensive and listening to the sufferingGlossary
Paraphilia is abnormal sexual activity.
A paraphilia is distinguished by a preoccupation with the object or behavior to the point of being dependent on that object or behavior for sexual gratification
For example, Fetishism, Masochism, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, etc... are paraphilias
- Fetichism : Use of non-human objects to produce or enhance sexual arousal with or in the absence of a partner
- Masochism : Involve being beaten, humiliated, bound or tortured to enhance or achieve sexual excitement. It is also called "self-defeating" and was a personality disorder in DSM III R
- Voyeurism : Observing an unknowing and non-consenting person, usually unclothed and/or engaged in sexual activity, to produce sexual excitement
- Exhibitionism : Involve surprise exposure of the individual's genitals to a stranger.
* Zubenko GS, George AW, Soloff PH, Schulz P. -
1987 Am J Psychiatry - Sexual practices among patients with borderline personality disorder.
They obtained the sexual histories of 80 patients who met standardized criteria for borderline disorder and found that nine (11%) had diagnoses of paraphilias. Ten (53%) of the 19 men with borderline disorder were homosexual, compared with seven (11%) of the 61 women. Homosexuality was 10 times more common among the men and six times more common among the women with borderline personality disorder than in the general population or in a depressed control group.
* Reich J. -
1987 J Nerv Ment Dis - Prevalence of DSM-III-R self-defeating (masochistic) personality disorder.
The prevalence of DSM-III-R self defeating (masochistic) personality disorder was determined on an outpatient population (N = 82) and a normal population (N = 40) using the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire (PDQ). Fifteen (18.3%) of the outpatients and two (5%) of normals were assessed as having the disorder. Overlap of greater than 50% with borderline, avoidant, and dependent personality disorders was found.
* Dowson JH. - Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.
1994 Acta Psychiatr Scand - DSM-III-R self-defeating personality disorder criteria evaluated
Relationships with other personality disorders and positive predictive powers of the individual criteria.
A self-report questionnaire for DSM-III-R personality disorders (PDs) was completed by 64 patients in adult psychiatric practice and their informants. Various correlations and associations of the number of patients' positive criteria (scores) for the controversial category of self-defeating PD (SDPD) are reported. When evaluated by a patient's self-report, the highest correlations of SDPD scores were with borderline PD in relation to individual PDs
* Hurlbert DF, Apt C, White LC. - Division of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Texas, San Antonio
1992 J Sex Marital Ther - An empirical examination into the sexuality of women with borderline personality disorder.
Borderline women were found to have significantly higher sexual assertiveness, greater erotophilic attitudes, and higher sexual esteem. Despite these findings, the borderline group evidenced significantly greater sexual preoccupation, sexual depression, and sexual dissatisfaction
Please read also data about BPD and sexual identity, homosexuality
"Most people with paraphilia are not mentally ill e.g. psychotic. However: Significant number do show personality disorders e.g. antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder; borderline personality disorder" (sss-studnet.tees.ac.uk)
"Suicidality. Psychopathology associated with diminished risk includes: infantile personality (with hysterical features) and masochistic personality" (qmo.amedd.army.mil)
"Sexual problems are extremely common with the BPD, particularly if the sexual activity temporarily relieves dysphoria. Borderlines will do anything to stop their pain, some choose sexual indiscretions as their way out." (Leland M. Heller, MD, “Borderline Personality Disorder and Sexual Addiction”, www.biologicalunhappiness.com)
Here is our feeling.Please read also the page BPD and gender identity disturbance
Is there some links between paraphilics peoples and BPD peoples ?
On the face of it, yes
I suppose that there are several reasons
- One could be that a lot of BPD peoples doesn't know, who they are, what they need or what they want. Sexual is one of it
- Another could be the reason mentioned by Dr Heller, is that sexual addication is a way to calm their suffering like all other addictions
- Also a way to more or less fulfil emptiness of their live, sense of their life or simply keep themselves busy !
- A last could be similar to a self-injury, a way to punish himself and to demean himself to be what he is (or what he is not)
Do you have more data ?
No. Are studies hidden, is it without interest for peoples, is it disturbing ? I don't know the answer, but it is right that I have a few statistics and percents
- Back to BPD summary page
All the informations on this site are with an aim of helping to understand a "particular" disease at the very least and puzzle
But more especially to support peoples who suffer, sick or not. In all cases, it is ESSENTIAL to have recourse to a therapist specialized in the disease to confirm or to cancel a diagnosis
Though it is the name doesn't much matter, which is important, it is to apply "the right" treatment to each patient
last update 2008
Copyright AAPELTM - All rights reserved
Author, Alain Tortosa, psychotherapist, founder president of the Aapel
Non profit organization