What is the difference between narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder?

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Having Lived with a borderline NPD there are a few key differences... A true narcissist is almost totally wrapped up in themselves, and the entire world revolves around their needs and desires. The borderline I lived with had moments of minor concern for others, to a point of actually seeming to care how I felt or what I needed... She bought me a large tool box for Christmas, and had to lug it into the front room. It was to large to lift, but she managed to wrap it sitting on the floor. The tol box was a great thought for a present, but, I was constantly reminded of how much she cared for me because of the extra effort she had to go through to get it into the house and wrap it etc... and she usually reminded me when others were around... just to re-enforce my acknowledgement of how much she cared about me because of what she did... subtle but mostly it was about her... Thank the stars I am living alone now... after 10 yeaars I just had to 'walk away' from that abusive relationship...but still got a lawyer to protect my interest in the material properties...

Think of a continuum, with Sensitivity at one extreme end and Insensitivity at the other.

A Narcissist is close to the Insensitivity end, but a Borderline is close to the Sensitivity end.

A Narcissist is halfway psychopathic. The difference is that they do have normal emotions. But they have no empathy.

A Borderline can often be empathic to a fault, taxing his or her strength and putting others before him or herself until it becomes health-threatening.

Borderlines have an extremely alert cerebral cortex and are easily excited. And they are most often excruciatingly sensitive. Often, they also have an overbearing and self-punishing conscience.
  There are many similarities. Actually the Borderline and Narcissist both are wrapped up in their own universe with little or no concern for others and how their behavior affects others. However the N is wrapped up in his own self image and buries his emotions while the BPD is wrappd up in their imediate needs and have no control over their own emotions. The BPD is capable of empathy however because they have feelings for themselves as far as pain rejection etc. She only seems to empathize with you for a while only and *ONLY IF* it pertains to her universe.
NPD expects others to revolve around his universe as if to be a satellite dependent on worshipping him as a god. While the BPD wraps her universe around you as if to FUSE your very existense to themselves, you are her universe. Both NPD and BPD are extremely fearfull of abandonment but handle it in two different ways. BPD will cling to you while the NPD ever concious of his self image will abandon you before you have a chance to abandon him. Both of them have excessive Rage emotions built up. The BPD will dump on you while the NPD dumps you alltogether. ( I use male for NPD and female for BPD because that is how the genders are likey to be diagnosed - however either geneder can suffer from either disorder)
BPD has an arrested emotional development set at age three while NPD is set at age six. Some authorities suggest its all all along the same continuim as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. With NPD at one end and BPD at the other. They are both in the same "B" cluster of personality disorders also with histrionic and antisocial personality disorders. IN fact many BPDS have been co-morbidly diagnosed as also having NPD. The degree of functionality among three of them is something like this Histrionics are more able to function in society than narcisssists who in turn fare better than Borderlines.
Those close to Borderline or Narcissist will find ways to deal with them are very much the same. Also the effect they have on others close to them are stikingly similar. Manipulating, lies, deception, self centeredness. and most of all a complete lack of concern for anyone but themselves. They just chose to cover it up in different ways.
I know all this because my so called "mother" was a full blown (diagnosed) Borderline Personality Disorder and eventually got locked up because of it. I have also had two "relationships" with NPDs decades apart. Looking back the characteristics of them were nearly identical to Mommie dearest. They just concaeled their true intentions better. The first one I had no realization what was going on until it was too late and I'd been burned - Bad. the second one i found out just in time and GOT OUT!
Anyone that has been raised by a borderline or narcissist will have a tendency to attract N's because they have already been "trained". If you even think you are getting involved with one of either get out now. They are nothing more than a parasite set to suck the very life out of you.
***Many people with BPD can and do recover if they are willing to get help and examine how their actions have affected others. Because they can empathize - just like a 3 year old can - it is possible for them to "grow up" mentally and emotionally with the help of a therapist/psychiatrist/support group. Doctors used to believe that is was very difficult to treat BPDs but are now finding that those diagnosed in their 20s often overcome many of their BPD behaviors by their 30s. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ABANDON a loved one with BPD. It's just like dealing with an alcoholic - you may have to pull away in order for them to get help, but once they do, they can see the error in their ways.
i was diagnosed Borderline and i have almost recovered now. its taken 7 years. but i didn't try find my identity in another person, i felt i didnt really have an identity and didnt like myself so i tried to use other things to gain a sense of being. at the same time i often felt very in need of compliment sto bolster my fluctuating ego.

Both disorders tend to over-emphasize the centrality of the person who has the disorder in the wider scope. The differences tend to be in terms of motivation and the payoff.

BPD tend to be heavily driven by a bipolar fear - fear of being hurt through intimate exposure of themselves to others, and fear of being isolated and abandoned. One may argue that these are two sides of the same fear, but with regards to the social expression of this fear, it results in rapid and unpredictable flip-flopping between adoration and repulsion.

NPD tend to be heavily driven by autoerotic interest - pleasing themselves takes on a higher priority than fearing retribution, although high profile NPDs also tend to share paranoia - they seek to defend their perfect image of themselves and are easily frustrated by confrontations or challenges to their self-image.

Both disorders can result in the individual losing all sense of boundaries of self due to lack of emotional discipline. The difference is often that BPD will recognize and admit that they have feelings of inadequacy and will even use expression of those feelings to prevent isolation. NPD will never recognize such feelings - the external world serves either to support their grandiosity or it cowers in secretive jealousy.

Both disorders also include the attitude that they are special cases and therefore have special entitlements or are above the law. In the case of BPD, this can result in erratic stalking behavior or pre-emptive defense tactics that come off to stable individuals as excessive and/or overtly aggressive. In the case of NPD, this results in exploitative behavior towards any who are perceived as weak, poor, naive, etc. Many sexual abuse cases involve NPD - often with children who were also raised by NPD parents and are thereby groomed to respond to the emotional needs of adults. NPD patients often struggle with pornography and narcotics addictions.

Both disorders utilize deceit. BPD will unconsciously rescript historical events in order to justify their behavior and avoid shame and ostracism. Deceit for a BPD is closer to an involuntary trauma response. NPD will consciously fabricate historical events to portray a reflection of their ideal self-image. Deceit for an NPD is a form of willful self-delusion.

BPD has slightly better treatment odds than NPD - though both disorders are very challenging for any therapist to treat. In most cases treatment stops either because of the client's grandiosity or paranoia. At times treatment stops when clients become too much of a drain on the therapist's psyche or time schedule.
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