Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can cause a wide range of reactions that can be seen as self-destructive or self-sabotaging. It affects thoughts, emotions, behavior, and communication, making daily life unpredictable and unsettling for those with BPD and their loved ones. Self-sabotage can take many forms, such as damaging relationships, sabotaging job opportunities, and more. People with BPD may not even be aware that they are engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors.
When things are going well, anxiety can increase due to fear that the stability will suddenly end. This is because stability is a foreign concept for those with BPD, making them feel uncertain and suspicious. A study found statistical correlations between a greater number of endorsements in the measure of medical self-sabotage and each of the three measures of BPD. This suggests that medical self-sabotage is a behavioral characteristic of those suffering from BPD.
In fact, this pattern of behavior may be more common in psychiatric populations than in primary care populations. With a prevalence rate of 63% among hospitalized psychiatric patients, medical self-sabotage should be considered an additional diagnostic element in the DSM. In relationships, self-sabotage can lead to signs of love and concern from the partner who has been blamed for not caring enough. Since people with BPD may have difficulty expressing their feelings, these are attempts to make sure everything is alright.