Can Parents Cause Borderline Personality in Their Children
Mental health

Can Parents Cause Borderline Personality in Their Children? Myths and Truths

Most parents begin to ask themselves questions like, “Is it my fault my daughter has borderline personality disorder” when their child is diagnosed with a severe mental health concern such as BPD.

Sometimes it can be really hard to know and understand the cause of most mental health issues mostly because it rarely has one particular conclusive cause.

In most cases, a variety of factors are responsible for your child coming down with mental illness, especially borderline personality disorder. 

In this article, you will get to understand if parents have a role in causing borderline personality in their children, the causes of borderline personality, what to do to manage it, and essential information you need about borderline personality disorder. 

Is It My Fault My Daughter Has Borderline Personality Disorder?

Can Parents Cause Borderline Personality in Their Children

As a parent, you should know that it is not your fault your daughter has borderline personality disorder. It hasn’t been proven scientifically that parents can solely cause borderline personality disorder in their children.

However, if your child is faced abused, neglected, or traumatized because of rape, bullying, or bad parenting, it might increase her risk or contribute to the child developing borderline personality disorder. The best thing to do if your child has BPD is to seek treatment and help not to blame yourself. 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reported that there are factors that can increase your child’s risk of developing borderline personality disorder. They are:

  • Having a parent or sibling diagnosed with BPD
  • Specific structural or functional differences in the brain
  • Experiencing childhood abuse or neglect
  • Facing conflicts or instability in previous relationships

What Exactly Does Borderline Personality Disorder Mean?

Can Parents Cause Borderline Personality in Their Children

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is an often and complex misunderstood mental health condition that is characterized by traits of impulsiveness and instability.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), BPD is classified under Cluster B personality disorders. This group also encompasses antisocial personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Individuals with Cluster B disorders are characterized by their tendency to display “dramatic, emotional, or erratic” behaviors. Most reports have shown that 75% of those diagnosed with BPD are women; some studies suggest a more balanced prevalence between genders. 

Signs Your Daughter Has Borderline Personality Disorder

  • She engages in self-harming behaviors or makes threats of suicide.
  • She frequently has periods of intense irritability or anxiety, ranging from hours to days.
  • Your daughter has to exhibit at least five of the following nine criteria to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. 
  • She has an unstable self-image, and she struggles with a consistent sense of identity.
  • She makes frantic efforts to evade perceived rejection or abandonment, even without actual indications of such occurrences.
  • She has had intense yet unstable relationships, characterized by abrupt shifts between idealization and devaluation of her partner.
  • She exhibits impulsive behavior in at least two areas prone to risk, such as sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating, or excessive spending.
  • She has persistent, intense feelings of emotional emptiness.
  • She experiences rapid, unwarranted anger, often resulting in violent outbursts or physical altercations.

Is Borderline Personality Disorder Treatable? 

Can Parents Cause Borderline Personality in Their Children

Borderline Personality Disorder, although it has a high chance of worsening, is treatable if the proper counseling and psychiatric services are offered to your daughter. You just have to get a good doctor and hospital to handle her symptoms. 

You have a role to play during your daughter’s treatment to ensure she recovers very fast and avoids any hiccups during the treatment process. Here are some tips to help your daughter during her treatment process. 

  • Avoid being judgmental and be nice to her
  • Support her in enhancing her interpersonal abilities.
  • Encourage your daughter to engage in yoga, meditation, and relaxation.
  • Pay attention to your daughter’s non-verbal signals, including body language and general bodily and facial expressions. 
  • Always remain vigilant to prevent the emergence of suicidal tendencies 

Myths About Borderline Personality Disorder

Myth 1: BPD Diagnosis Only Applies to Individuals Over Eighteen

Contrary to this misconception, neither the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) nor its previous editions prohibit the diagnosis of BPD in individuals under eighteen.

Myth 2: BPD Destroys Your Daughter’s Future

Your daughter having BPD does not mean her life is ruined. Individuals living with BPD can adopt strategies to mitigate its impact and lead fulfilling lives despite their diagnosis. What’s crucial is that they comprehend their condition, learn coping mechanisms, identify triggers, and effectively communicate their needs to those in their lives, and with this, they can live normal lives like everybody else. 

Myth 3: BPD Is a Rare Condition

Contrary to popular belief, BPD is not rare. While schizophrenia and bipolar disorder might have been prevalent, BPD affects a significant portion of the population.

Borderline personality disorder is more prevalent than commonly understood, impacting approximately 1.6% of adults in the United States. However, this figure could potentially be higher due to the misdiagnosis of BPD as conditions such as PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, or depression.

Myth 4: Poor Parenting Causes BPD

Parents often face unwarranted blame for their children’s challenges, including BPD. However, there is no substantial evidence linking bad parenting to the development of BPD.

While some instances may involve exacerbation of a child’s underlying vulnerabilities, most parents are caring individuals striving to assist their children. It’s time to dispel the unfounded notion that parents cause BPD in their children.

Myth 5: BPD Solely Affects Women

BPD affects both men and women, not only women. While initial studies suggested a higher prevalence among women, recent research indicates a more balanced distribution between genders. The perpetuation of this myth can be attributed in part to the lack of extensive research on BPD in men.


Various factors can contribute to borderline personality such as childhood trauma, and structural brain differences may contribute to BPD, and parental blame is unwarranted.

So, parents should stop asking themselves questions like, “Is it my fault my daughter has borderline personality disorder” Instead, focusing on seeking treatment and support is paramount.

Recognizing the symptoms of BPD and providing a supportive environment during treatment can significantly improve outcomes. 


Hy I'm iffy!! A chronic worshiper with a DIY spirit! After a near death experience I started my journey to living a more purposeful life.

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