Background

Psychopathic, Covert Borderlines (Literature Review)

Uploaded 6/4/2022, approx. 31 minute read

Lying on my bed at night, great by apprehension and anxiety, not to say terror, I contemplate the eternal question, is my mini, my long-suffering mini, a psychopathic borderline or just a classic borderline.

And if anyone has any doubt, mini is black, but after the Amber Heard trial, borderline is the new black. Borderline is the new black. Print it out on your t-shirts, print it and spread it on all the social networks and social media.

Because that's what the world is coming to. A division between narcissists and borderline and let the war begin.

The Depp Heard trial was only the opening shot in a cataclysmic collision between these two types of pathologies.

Now, jokes aside, my name is Sam Vaknin, actually still in the joking part, my name is Sam Vaknin, I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited and Silver Fox, professor of psychology. Yes, you've heard it here the first time.


Today we are going to discuss covert borderlines as opposed to psychopathic or antisocial borderlines.

Now, as usual, there are two or three videos, I think two videos, which I have dedicated to the topic of or to the new diagnosis, which I'm proposing and diagnosis of covert borderline.

One of these videos clarifies the distinction between covert borderline and classic borderline. The regular diagnosis that is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

But in this lecture, I'm going to focus on other differences and distinctions at your request. Actually, I'm responding to numerous queries that I have received from you. I've received more queries than views, if that's at all possible.

Okay, Shoshanim, onwards, Jewish soldiers to borderline land.

Now, you talk to any borderline, and you talk to anyone who has the misfortune of being with the borderline or the fortune of being with the borderline, depending on one's free elections, and they will tell you that borderlines switch. They suddenly change on a dime. They disappear as one personality, and they reappear a microsecond later as another personality.

And the two personalities have very little in common. They're mutually exclusive almost.

And this is what I call self-states.

Now, I've developed a whole theory of self-states. And in my theory, everyone has self-states. Healthy people also have self-states.

Self-states is an organizational principle, which I propose should replace the antiquated concept of self or unitary self.

But borderlines have very pronounced self-states, which appear to have nothing in common.

Actually, many borderlines go to the point of naming the self-states, giving them names, and identifying each self-state almost as a separate person, with features and attributes and traits and behaviors and proclivities and tendencies and interests and beliefs and emotions and cognitions.

You talk to any borderline, and she would be able to identify several such self-states. And as I said, many of them have names, separate names.

Borderlines claim that they switch from one self-state to another.

Many borderlines will say that they go on autopilot. They are suddenly no longer there, a process known as depersonalization. Depersonalization is, of course, a form of dissociation, together with the ensuing amnesia, forgetting what had happened.

So many borderlines will tell you, for example, when they cheat or when they have casual sex, a promiscuous incident, they will tell you that they went on autopilot and then they forgot most of what had happened.

This is actually a form of switching from one self-state to another.

Now, the self-states in borderline don't share all the memories. They don't share everything.

So there is what we call permeable dissociative walls or partitions between the self-states.

Consequently, the borderline has something known as identity disturbance. She doesn't have a coherent unitary identity, but she has multiple states or fragments of identity, which she has great difficulties to put together.

And if this is reminiscent of multiple personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, it's because it is.

Actually, giants like Otto Könberg had suggested that borderline is on the verge of psychosis.

Another typical claim by a borderline, it wasn't me, or it wasn't like me, or I don't recognize myself, or I can't place myself in the same state of mind as when I had done it. I don't understand myself. I don't know why I've done it, etc.

These are very common claims among borderlines. These are all strong indications that borderlines are fragmented and fractured when it comes to core identity, and that instead of self, should it exist at all, what they do have is an assemblage of pseudo-identity, sub-personalities, which come to the fore according to or in reaction to environmental cues and stimuli.

The self-states of the borderline are not the same as Millon's types of borderline. Millon and others, by the way, had suggested a typology of borderlines, a taxonomy of borderlines.

There's a borderline with this way and a borderline with that way, and a borderline with emphasis on this kind of behavior, and a borderline with emphasis on another kind of contact.

This is not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about the phenomenology of borderline. I'm talking about times of borderline which are structural types. I'm talking about differences which could almost lead to separate diagnosis.


So let's start with the classic dissociative borderline.

The majority of borderlines, actually. The classic dissociative borderline is emotionally dysregulated. It has separation insecurity, also known colloquially as abandonment anxiety. It has engulfment anxiety. It tends to develop a relationship obsessive compulsive disorder. Philophobia, fear of intimacy and love. Low self-monitoring, the typical borderline, is not aware of her behavior and impaired transparency estimation, inability to realize or to grasp how her behavior, her words, her choices, decisions affect other people around her, especially how her emotions or dysregulated emotions affect other people around her. So she doesn't monitor herself well and she cannot monitor other people well.

She is possessed, however, of empathy. It's just that the exercise of empathy is impeded or impaired by a variety of dysfunctions.

So this is a classic dissociative borderline.


Then there is the purported or suggested shy or quiet borderline. Allegedly, this borderline internalizes her struggles rather than externalize them. She becomes the exclusive target of her own turmoil. She doesn't act out, she acts in.

Now, I am dead set against this suggested distinction or diagnosis because all borderlines go through phases of being shy or quiet or acting in or internalizing aggression. That's why all borderlines are depressed or they have depression or mood disorders, not all but most, because they are internalizing their aggression in various phases.

All borderlines go through shy, quiet phases and then through classic dissociative phases. I'm willing to accept that borderlines have a shy or quiet phase, but I'm not willing to accept that there is a borderline who is only shy and quiet. That is rank nonsense and flies in the face of everything we know.

Borderlines are intermittently aggressive, externalizing and shy and quiet. They oscillate, they vacillate between these two conditions.

So I put this aside.

Classic dissociative is the first structural type of borderline.


The next one is the psychopathic borderline, the dark personality borderline. It's a borderline that tends to be violent and aggressive more than usual.

I'm going to dwell on this borderline a bit later in this video. I'm going to describe the most recent literature and research.

So psychopathic borderline.

Then there is the antisocial borderline.

Now Robert Hare made a distinction between factor one psychopathy and factor two psychopathy.

Factor two psychopathy has to do with behaviors and factor two psychopathy presumably also has empathy and a modicum of emotion, a modicum of empathy and some emotions, including positive emotions.

The borderline is a secondary psychopath. She's a factor two psychopath and factor two psychopath is very, very close to the antisocial personality disorder definition and diagnostic criteria in the DSM.

Antisocial personality disorder in the DSM is not factor one psychopathy, which is why Robert Hare had been fighting for decades to include factor one psychopathy as a separate diagnosis.

Antisocial personality disorder is what Robert Hare calls secondary or factor two psychopathy and borderlines are factor two psychopaths in one of their self-states. One of the self-states or pseudo identities or sub-personalities of a borderline is invariably a psychopath.

In the psychopathic borderline, this self-state is a primary psychopath.

In the classic borderline, this self-state is a secondary psychopath.

Now the antisocial secondary psychopath borderline is socio-sexually unrestricted. She has low sexual disgust, so she's very open to sleep with total strangers. She engages in behaviors like compulsive sexting, transactional sex, and she's generally speaking promiscuous.

While the distinguishing or differential feature of the psychopathic borderline is aggression and violence, the distinguishing or the differential feature of the antisocial borderline is unboundaried dysregulated sexuality, a form of non-autonomous, in effect, promiscuity.

I refer you now to my video titled borderline woman as dissociative secondary psychopath, where you can learn a lot more about everything I've just said.

Generally, to find videos on my channel, go to the right end of the screen. There's a magnifying glass symbol, very unhelpfully. Click on the magnifying glass. A search field opens. Type what you're looking for. Type psychopath, secondary psychopath, borderline. Type the word, the keyword you're looking for, and YouTube will provide you with a list of all the videos on my channel that correspond to the keyword.

This process is called searching. You should engage in it from time to time.

Okay. This is the psychopathic borderline, the social borderline, the classic borderline. And I had suggested a few months ago, a few years ago, I had suggested a fourth structural category. I called it the covert borderline.

The covert borderline is actually a narcissistic borderline. Now, both the classic borderline and the covert borderline act out. They lose their defenses because they are subjected to stress. The classic borderline is subjected to humiliation or to rejection or to anticipated humiliation and rejection and abandonment.

And so she loses it. Her defenses crumble and she begins to act out. She begins to do crazy, reckless things, violent things, aggressive things, self-sabotaging, other harming behaviors.

The same goes as far as the covert borderline. The covert borderline also acts out, but it acts out in a very different way.

Okay. I had constructed a schematic based on the work of Arnold and Cooper and Akhtar, Salman Akhtar in 1989. In 1989, they came up with a table comparing covert narcissists and overt narcissists. And I came up with a table comparing covert borderline and overt borderline or classic dysregulated borderline.

And again, I refer you to my videos about covert borderline, where I go through this table at length and explain each feature.

But right now what I want to do is a brief recap, just very fast. Before we go to the second part of this video, which will be a literature review, the recent studies and what we can learn from these studies.


So let's start with the, so now I'm talking about the covert borderline and defining for you the covert borderline.

Let's start with self-concept and emotional regulation.

The covert borderline has a false self and is grandiose. He is preoccupied with fantasies of outstanding love, he has an undue sense of uniqueness, feelings of entitlement and alloplastic defenses. He accuses other people for his defeats and failures.

This is very similar to the narcissist. That's why the covert borderline can also be called easily the narcissistic borderline.

The covert borderline, however, has an internal locus of control and seeming self-sufficiency. He has mood lability, like the classic borderline. He has emotional dysregulation and rationalization of reactance, defiance and contumaciousness.

In this sense, he has elements of the classic borderline, the dysregulation and elements of the psychopathic borderline. He's defiant, he's reactant, he's reckless and he hates or rejects authority, his contumaciousness.

The covert borderline has a low threshold for boredom, the low tolerance for boredom. He can't tolerate boredom and when he's very, very bored, he does crazy things. He tends to externalize his impulses, his urges, for example, his aggression and then internalize.

So first he externalizes. He has no suicidal ideation, unlike the borderline. And his aggression is other directed, as I said, externalized. There's no self-mutilation, as distinct from the classic borderline.

There is, however, hypochondriasis and addictive behaviors.

The covert borderline, exactly like the classic borderline, has dissociative self-states, mainly selective attention, contribulation, repressional denial and primary psychopathic protector. This is very similar to the classic borderline.

What about interpersonal relationships?

In interpersonal relationships, the covert borderline has paranoid ideation. He's very suspicious, he's very jealous, he's very possessive. He tends to have numerous but shallow relationships because usually he has an insecure attachment style, insecure avoidant attachment style. He has an intense need for love from others, though. He needs love from others. He craves intimacy and in this sense is a people pleaser.

But when he gets to the goal, when he acquires an intimate partner, he tends to walk away and he tends to develop jealousy and paranoia. He has a lack of real empathy. When the covert borderline isn't a narcissistic or primary psychopathic phase, when he switches to this self-state, he has no real empathy. He has no empathy.

This is not true of the classic borderline. It's the classic borderline when she switches to secondary psychopathy, maintains her empathy and her emotions. That's why afterwards, after the secondary psychopathic phase or self-state, she feels regret and shame.

What differentiates the psychopath from the borderline is the ability to experience remorse and shame. And so the psychopathic borderline is very conflicted in this sense because she has a dominant factor, one psychopathic self-state and a dominant borderline state. One of them has no empathy. One of them has empathy. One of them has no emotions. One of them has too many emotions which are too intense and overpowering, overwhelming, and dis-regulating emotions.

And so the two entities, the two self-states in the psychopathic borderline are incompatible. They're constantly fighting. We'll come to it a bit later.

Covert borderlines value children overspouse in family life, possibly because children constitute sources of narcissistic supply, but I'm not sure. Covert borderlines are unable to genuinely participate in group activities. They're passive-aggressive. They're sullen. They're surly. They're self-denying. Their behaviors are cunning. And sometimes they have premeditated malevolence.

In this sense, they're very reminiscent of covert narcissists, which is a reason I chose the epithet covert borderline. Covert borderlines engage in intermittent reinforcement. Hot and cold. It's a form of bullying and conditioning. Hot and cold. I love you. I hate you. I'm here. I'm gone. They have scorned for others, often masked by pseudo-humility, false modesty.

Again, very similar to the covert narcissist. The covert borderline, as distinct from the covert narcissist, but similar to the borderline, to the classic borderline, is histrionic, is attention-seeking, usually by displaying dysregulated or fake dysregulated emotions, imitating or simulating the emotional dysregulation, because the covert borderline is not emotionally, not fully emotionally dysregulated as the classic borderline, but he can imitate the condition well for histrionic purposes, for garnering attention.

The covert borderline is reckless, and his recklessness is aimed at hurting or affecting other people. It's directed recklessness, as distinct from the classic borderline, whose recklessness is the outcome of disintegration, dysregulation, decompensation. She just falls apart. When she falls apart, she becomes reckless, and then she dissociates it. She forgets about it, and she doesn't feel that she's fully present in her reckless pursuits. She is depersonalized.

The covert borderline is sadistic, punitive, and he engages in goal-oriented triangulations.

We are beginning to see that the covert borderline has many elements of psychopathy and many elements of narcissism, so it's a pretty toxic mixture of all cluster B personality disorders.

The covert borderline in the future, if the diagnostic and statistical manual decides to emulate the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases, Edition 11, if the DSM eliminates all personality disorders and replaces them with a single diagnosis, covert borderline could be a candidate, because it embodies and reifies and includes and contains elements from almost all personality disorders.

The covert borderline also suffers from object inconstancy. He is unable to create an inner representation avatar, an introject of a loved one, or an intimate partner, or a significant other, or even an important role model. He is unable to create an inner representation that is stable over time and also that is stable when the other person is absent, and so he has no object constancy.

And consequently, exactly like the narcissist, the covert borderline idealizes devalues and then discards and then reverts, overs or replaces, narcissistic behavior.


What about social functioning, social adaptation, covert borderline exactly like the narcissist is socially charming, it's charismatic.

He is a hard worker and his consistent hard work is done mainly to seek admiration and attention.

We call this process pseudo sublimation. He has intense ambition and he's often successful.

He has a preoccupation with appearances, his ethics, his standards and his ideals.

They are idiosyncratically and unevenly moral. It's a form of caricatured modesty.

His activism and his apparent enthusiasm for social political affairs is affected and is goal oriented. He seeks power or he seeks narcissistic supply. It's virtue signaling, rigid virtue signaling.

Recent studies conducted in British Columbia, in Canada, in Israel, Gabai and others, recent studies show that victimhood movements tend to be taken over by psychopaths and narcissists. And I think they mostly tend to be taken over by covert borderlines, which in this diagnosis, this new diagnosis I'm proposing, includes strong elements of psychopathy and narcissism coupled with this regulation, other features of borderline.

The covert borderline has an inordinate ethnic and moral relativism. He would usually be a kind of racist. He has pretended contempt for money in real life while he actually adores money. He's addicted to money, but he would feign contempt. I don't need money. I hate money.

Similarly, he can feign or fake spirituality and he would very much want to attain a guru status. He has an irreverence towards authority. He disrespects authority. He flaunts morays and rules and laws. He is a law unto his own.

What about the love and sexual life of a covert borderline?

He has an island of stability, very much like the narcissist, but his island of stability tends to be in the vast majority of cases, his marriage, his family.

So covert borderlines are characterized by marital stability with a long suffering spouse.

He has cold and greedy seductiveness, and he has many extramarital affairs and promiscuity. He has an uninhibited sexual life. So it's a combination of being married, which is an appearance. It's for the sake of appearance. While actually he hollows out the union, he hollows out the committed relationship and engages in behaviors which undermine intimacy and true love, because he's incapable of either.

His cognitive style involves dichotomous thinking, splitting, exactly like the borderline. He is impressively, impressively knowledgeable. He has an egocentric perception of reality, fondness for shortcuts to acquisition of knowledge, but he's decisive and opinionated. He loves language. He is frequently strikingly articulate.

Okay, that's a covert borderline.

So by now, we have enumerated the dissociative classic borderline, the psychopathic borderline, factor one psychopath borderline, the factor two psychopath, which is the anti-social, factor two psychopath borderline, which is the anti-social borderline, and the covert borderline, which is a portmanteau. It's a basket diagnosis, which includes elements from borderline, from narcissism, and from psychopathy.

But as many of you have written to me, covert borderline is much more widespread, much more common than given credit to. I think, actually, covert borderline is as prevalent as classic borderline. I also think, these are all speculations at these days, there's a research agenda being set up, but it's all speculation.

I also think that because of the narcissistic and psychopathic elements of the covert borderline, this diagnosis would tend to be more common among men than among women, exactly as classic borderline until about 10 years ago, was more common or more commonly diagnosed among women.

Now we know that borderline personality disorder is equally represented among men and among women. So we got rid of the gender, culture-bound gender bias.

What about the recent literature?

Let's start with an article from December 2020 in the Frontiers of Psychiatry article was titled Executive dysfunction associated with the primary psychopathic features of borderline personality disorder. So we are talking this article discusses a co-morbidity when psychopathy and borderline personality disorder diagnosed in the same person.

I remember what I said much earlier, when we were all, we were all much younger. I said that psychopathy and borderline are mutually exclusive.

As far as empathy, as far as emotions, as far as this regulation, they seem to be basically mutually exclusive. And this would tend to create an enormous dissonance or even outright conflict, civil war between the two self-states, each of them vying for dominance.

And of course, when there is such a civil war, this creates a lot of aggression. Some of these aggression is consumed in the inner conflict, but most of it is externalized.

So here is what the article says.

It was authored by Lopez Vellatoro, Di Sciara, May Magsa, etc. So the results were borderline personality patients showed significantly higher scores on both primary factor one and secondary factor two global rates of psychopathy than control.

The results for these patients also showed a statistically significant association between high scores in primary psychopathy and deficits in executive functions.

However, no associations were found between the scores of secondary psychopathy and executive dysfunction.


Conclusion, primary psychopathic features presenting patients with borderline personality disorders.

And so what they're saying actually that this comorbidity exists actually is pretty common.

So primary psychopathic features presenting patients with borderline personality disorder.

And they are associated with patterns of executive dysfunction.

It would therefore be interesting to investigate the role of cognitive rehabilitation in the empathy dysfunctions within this disorder.

Of course, this is exactly what I'm saying.

The impairment in executive dysfunctions is owing to the internal conflict between two of these mutually exclusive and incompatible self states.

Let's proceed.

APA psych articles, borderline personality disorder is a female phenotypic expression of psychopathy, question mark. It was authored by Sprague, JeVardani, Sade, and others.

And I quote, I refer to this article extensively in my work. Sprague had written a similar earlier article. This article is from 2012. Sprague has written another article in 2013. I'm sorry, later article in 2013. And this article says, evidence suggests that the combination of the interpersonal affective factor one and impulsive antisocial factor two features of psychopathy may be associated with borderline personality disorder, specifically among women. And she refers, they refer to a series of studies by Coinde 1993, Hicks, Vaidana Thanh, and Patrick in 2010 and so on. However, continues the article, empirical research explicitly examining gendered relationships between borderline and psychopathy factors is lacking, was lacking in 2012, is no longer lacking. It's a major field of study.

To further inform this area of research, we investigated the hypotheses that the interplay between the two psychopathy factors is associated with borderline among women across two studies.

So they conducted two studies. And let me scroll down.

They describe the studies, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, and then they come to the results across two independent samples.

Results indicated that the interaction of high factor one and factor two psychopathy scores was associated with borderline women.

I repeat this, it's a critical sentence for all of you who keep writing to me that borderline and psychopathy are totally incompatible, and that I'm completely wrong. That includes self-styled experts online with academic degrees, but with no relevant knowledge of cluster B personality disorders.

I'm repeating this sentence. Across two independent samples, results indicated that the interaction of high factor one and factor two psychopathy scores was associated with borderline in women. This association was found to be specific to women in study one. These results suggest that borderline and psychopathy, at least as they are measured by current instruments, overlap in women and accordingly may reflect gender differentiated phenotypic expressions of similar dispositional vulnerabilities.

Let's proceed to a bit more, to a more recent article titled psychopathy and associated personality disorders.

Searching for a particular effect of the borderline personality disorder was written by Neosh, Pham, Ducreux, Debaupere, et cetera.

The article says, borderline personality was associated with both the total score of psychopathy and the score of factor two psychopathy.

Recent clinical and empirical works are based on clinical observations in which psychopathy is viewed as a personality disorder characterized by a lack of emotions, callousness, unreliability, and superficiality.

Here, operationalize Clarkley's concept of psychopathy by developing the psychopathy checklist revised composed of 20 items that load on two factors in majority.

Factor one, personality aspects of psychopathy and factor two, behavioral manifestations like impulsivity. Factor two is close to the antisocial personality disorder DSM four criteria.

Here's the clinching argument, the sentence, the result of this study.

Comorbidity is strong with antisocial personality disorder, but also with histrionic, narcissistic, and borderline disorders.

It seems that there is a coalescence and a coalition of cluster B personality disorders.

I think this diagnosis converging, I'm sorry, and about to become one.

At any rate, the next article I would like to discuss was published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology volume 25, 2014, issue six. Its title, antisocial personality disorder, comorbid with borderline pathology, and psychopathy is associated with severe violence in a forensic sample.

I repeat, antisocial personality disorder, comorbid with borderline pathology and psychopathy is associated with severe violence in a forensic sample.

The authors are Howard, Halifa, and Dagenin.

In the conclusion of the article, personality disorder patients with high psychopathy co-occurring with borderline and antisocial personality disorder show a criminal profile characterized by a high degree of serious violence.

So yes, borderlines are capable of violence exactly like psychopaths.

Why? Because they are psychopaths. They have a psychopathic self-state. Many of them have a facto one self-state, which competes with the borderline self-state. And others have a facto two self-state, which comes out only during the acting out phase.

Onwards to 2017 personality and individual differences. It's an academic journal, volume 107.

And the article is titled, students, sex, and psychopathy. What a combination. Students, sex, and psychopathy, borderline and psychopathy personality traits are differently related to women and men's use of sexual coercion, partner poaching, and from insecurity.

The authors, Han, Brewer, and others say, primary psychopathy traits correlate with sexual coercion, mate poaching, and lack of relationship exclusivity, reflecting instrumental use of other people to fulfill personal desires. These sexual behaviors can also be explained by sexual thrill-seeking or impulsivity, or by striving for relationship intimacy through fear of abandonment.

Given that impulsive thrill-seeking and rejection avoidance are related to secondary psychopathy and borderline personality disorder, respectively, this study is the first to consider the independent effects of psychopathic traits versus borderline personality disorder traits on sexual behaviors in a nonclinical mixed university student sample.

On to the results.

The results broadly support our sexual behavior dissociation hypothesis.

Unique relationships were identified between primary psychopathy traits and use of nonviolent sexual coercive tactics for women, reduced relationship exclusivity terms, and increased likelihood of mate poaching.

This is for the psychopathy, whereas borderline personality disorder traits showed an independent relationship with increased likelihood of sexual coercion for men and having lost a partner through poaching.

These opposite experiences of mate poaching, along with the unique association between psychologically manipulative sexual coercion and primary psychopathy, are considered here in terms of their fit with clinical equivalence.

So this is a differential study. It's a study that tells us the differences between pure psychopathy and pure borderline, and then a combination of psychopathy and borderline, and their differences from facto to psychopathy, even when it co-occurs with borderline.

In the academic journal Personality and Individual Differences, volume 57, January 2014, there's an article about alexithymia and borderline and psychopathy, a very interesting article.

Research explaining the overlap between psychopathy and alexithymia is in its infancy.

A study by Lander, Lutz, Zizac, Reigen, Goodnight in 2012 revealed a significant positive correlation between secondary but not primary psychopathy and alexithymia.

However, little is known about what accounts for this differential association, because both alexithymia and secondary psychopathy have been linked to borderline personality disorder.

The current study sought to determine if emotional processing deficits characteristic of borderline could explain the link between secondary psychopathy and alexithymia.

Alexithymia is inability to properly express or identify emotions.

The results supported the hypotheses that borderline personality disorder would mediate the association between secondary psychopathy and alexithymia.

So, borderline is the bridge, the link between secondary psychopathy and alexithymia, implying that borderline is effectively a form of secondary psychopathy or includes the borderline personality disorder, includes a dominant strain of secondary psychopathy, a dominant clinical diagnostic strain.

Indeed, we are beginning to see a convergence of borderline and psychopathy, and many scholars are suggesting that borderline personality disorder is a form of female psychopathy, in effect, exactly like histrionic personality disorder.

Stereonic personality disorder is a dying diagnosis, because it's clear that it's a form of psychopathy.

Same is happening to borderline, but this leads to a very interesting conundrum.

Most borderlines, including the covert borderline, are emotionally dysregulated.

Psychopaths are actually also emotionally dysregulated, but in a very different way.

The dysregulation expresses itself differently, and the psychopath is not aware of his own emotions as distinct from the borderline.

So, how can we unify it? How can we say that borderline is both emotional dysregulation disorder and psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder? How can we put these incompatibles, these apples and oranges, together and call them fruits?

It's because we have been mischaracterizing psychopathy for a very long time. For example, we have many, many self-styled experts and alleged experts and wannabe experts claim that psychopaths are fearless. It's expressly untrue.

Psychopaths don't experience fear, but they're actually very anxious people. They have pronounced anxiety disorder.

Psychopaths are definitely emotionally dysregulated. Anyone who has ever come across a psychopath would tell you this. They lose it. They go crazy. Their aggression turns on a dime. They're unpredictable. They're emotionally dysregulated. They act out.

So, there are many commonalities between borderlines and psychopaths, many more than anyone online that meets, because it's politically incorrect to say this. It's politically incorrect because most borderlines are victims of abuse, including sexual abuse.

In early childhood, it's not nice to say bad things about victims. We are in the age of victimhood. Everyone and his dog is a victim of someone.

But the truth is that borderlines are psychopaths, primary or secondary, not all the time. Most of the time, then they have a lot in common, including, and that's why I came up with a new diagnosis, the covert borderline, which is explicitly and openly a diagnosis of psychopathic narcissistic borderline, not mincing words, not beating around the bush anymore.

On to personality disorders. It's a leading academic journal, May 2022, very recent.

Do my emotions show or not problems with transparency estimation in women with borderline personality disorders features?

My thanks go to Leora, who had referred me to this article. It was authored by the nonpronounceable Celine Demille Meuster, Benedict Lewick.

I keep telling you, people become psychologists because they're traumatized by their family mates.

I found the main etiology of psychologists formation.

Anyhow, here's the abstract.

Transparency estimation, that is estimating the extent to which one's mental states are observable to others requires the simultaneous representation of the self and of others' perspective on the self.

Individuals with borderline personality disorder have difficulty integrating multiple perspectives when mentalizing, which may be reflected in impaired transparency estimation.

And so they conducted a study and so on and so forth. Let me see the results. It's a long list here.

So it says individuals high in borderline personality disorder features showed a larger discrepancy between estimated and objective transparency than individuals low in borderline features, showing that they both over and underestimate their transparency.

Indeed, estimated transparency positively predicted objective transparency in individuals low in borderline features, but not in individuals high in borderline features.

Moreover, the ability to estimate intra individual variability in one's own objective transparency was moderated by self-reported arousal in the participants high in borderline features.

Impairments in transparency estimation were correlated with self-report measures of borderline features, attachment and mentalizing.

In conclusion, we found that borderline features relate to a reduced capacity to estimate the extent to which one's own emotional states are observable to others.

Although replication in clinical samples of BPD patients is needed, the present study provides evidence for problems in mentalizing the embodied self from another person's perspective in BPD.

Indeed, I fully agree.

Borderline personality disorder people are unable to identify their emotions properly. They mislabel emotions.

Actually, I have a video how borderlines mislabel their emotions. Again, search the channel.

They also have very heightened empathy, which impairs their ability to understand people properly.

Yes, high empathy, high empathy diminishes their ability to understand and to read people properly, not the other way.

And they have problems with self-monitoring. As I mentioned before, they don't see themselves from the outside properly.

And finally, they have problems with transparency estimation. They put all these together, the borderline, exactly like the autistic person, exactly like the narcissist, and to a very large extent, like the covert borderline, is unable to read, to decipher social cues, including body language and interpersonal cues and sexual cues, which would explain, for example, promiscuity.

This inability to read cues properly, to decode them, and to then proportionately react to them as a dysregulation renders everything disproportionate and dramatic. This inability is at the core of cluster B disorders. That's why cluster B personality disorders are called dramatic or erratic.

I think the main problem is actually impaired ability to read cues, environmental, social, sexual, linguistic, body language, everything. This is a bridge which leads to ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and so on.

So we may need a more unified approach, cross-discipline, connecting multiple mental health issues. They have so much in common. And to ignore these commonalities in favor of a categorical approach to diagnosis favored by the insurance industry is both counterfactual and academically corrupt, not to mention unethical to the patients.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Covert Borderline, Classic Borderline - Psychopaths?

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the proposed new mental health diagnosis of covert borderline, which is more typical of men. He compares and contrasts the covert borderline with the classic or dysregulated borderline. Both types have mood lability and emotional dysregulation, but the classic borderline dissociates from emotions, while the covert borderline rationalizes emotions and becomes a primary psychopath. Many anti-racism activists are covert narcissists and covert borderlines who obtain indirect attention and self-gratification through their activism.


Covert Borderline: Narcissist or Psychopath (Primary, Secondary) ( Differential Diagnoses)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of covert borderline personality disorder, a diagnosis he proposes based on extensive literature. He explains the differences between covert borderline, narcissism, and psychopathy, emphasizing the complex and overlapping nature of personality disorders. He also delves into repetition compulsion and the cognitive style of covert borderlines. Vaknin advocates for a unified approach to understanding and categorizing personality disorders.


Borderline Triangulates with Rescuer to Silence Pain, Abandonment Anxiety

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and its similarities to narcissism. BPD is currently thought to be a female manifestation of secondary psychopathy and involves dissociation. Borderlines often have a diffuse identity and rely on their intimate partners to regulate their internal environment. They may engage in dysfunctional attachment strategies, such as running away or triangulation, and experience dissociation during sex or other emotionally intense situations.


Covert Borderline's Relationships (with Melissa Rondeau, LMHC, MBA)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses his proposed diagnosis of covert borderline, which he suggests is a gap between classic narcissism and classic borderline personality disorder. He explains that the covert borderline is emotionally dysregulated and overwhelmed by emotions, unlike the classic narcissist who does not have access to positive emotions. The covert borderline is also seductive, glibly seductive, and likely to be flirtatious, socially charming, and charismatic. In addition, he discusses the characteristics of covert borderlines, their internal focus of control, and their need for narcissistic supply. Finally, he talks about the differences between psychopaths and narcissists, stating that psychopaths are more human than narcissists.


Borderline’s Mating Strategies, Mismanaged Aggression

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the role of aggression in Cluster B personality disorders, particularly in borderline personality disorder. He explains that healthy aggression is externalized and sublimated, while unhealthy aggression is both externalized inappropriately and internalized self-destructively. This ambivalent duality leads to approach-avoidant behaviors and decompensatory acting out in individuals with borderline personality disorder. Vaknin suggests that Cluster B patients need to learn how to externalize aggression safely and sublimate it in socially acceptable ways to improve their mental health and relationships.


Is Your Child a Psychopath, Borderline, Narcissist? (Turnu Severin Intl. Conference on Psychology)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the signs of emerging personality disorders in children and adolescents, emphasizing the importance of early intervention. He also notes the prevalence of self-harm and substance abuse in those with emerging personality disorders and the effectiveness of psychotherapy in treating borderline personality disorder. In the lecture, Vaknin provides ten warning signs to look out for in children and adolescents, including attachment disorder behaviors, emotional dysregulation, and disturbed object relations with peers. He also discusses the importance of distinguishing healthy adolescent behaviors from signs of personality disorders.


6 Cluster B Personality Disorders Misconceptions (Conference Presentation)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses six misconceptions about personality disorders in a YouTube video. He explains the differences between codependents and borderlines, the role of abuse in relationships, the distinction between mental illness and mental health, and the characteristics of approach avoidance repetition compulsion and intermittent reinforcement. Additionally, he delves into the emptiness at the core of borderline and narcissistic conditions and how it becomes a choice for individuals with these disorders.


Borderline Woman as Dissociative Secondary Psychopath

Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychopathy may not be as different as previously thought. Recent studies suggest that Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders may be manifestations of secondary type psychopathy in women. Survivors of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) also exhibit psychopathic and narcissistic behaviors. Borderline Personality Disorder can be described as a subspecies of Dissociative Identity Disorder, with mood lability and emotional dysregulation being outward manifestations of changes in self-states.


Borderline Girl, Interrupted (Rebecca Ray's "Pure")

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the book "A Certain Age" by Rebecca Ray, praising it as a masterpiece that provides insight into the formation of borderline personality disorder in adolescence. He reads excerpts from the book and comments on them, highlighting the pathogenesis of borderline personality disorder, precocious sexuality, dissociation, and the internal struggles of individuals with this disorder. He emphasizes the transactional mindset, external locus of control, and the use of fantasy as a defense mechanism. The discussion also touches on self-harming behaviors, lying, and the need for external validation in individuals with borderline personality disorder.


How Narcissist/Psychopath Sees YOU, his Victim, and Why Borderlines Adore Them

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the inner experiences of narcissists, psychopaths, and borderlines. He explains how narcissists idealize their partners to reinforce their own grandiosity, while psychopaths manipulate and discard their partners for entertainment or personal gain. Borderlines exhibit a complex mix of traits from other personality disorders and may transition between narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors in response to frustration. Vaknin also clarifies that cheating is just one example of a behavior that can mortify a narcissist.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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