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Petulant BPD – What is It?


A petulant borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by erratic mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and intense fear of abandonment. People with this disorder often have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. They may engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm. 

Petulant borderline personality disorder is estimated to affect 1.6% of the general population, and it is more common in women than men. The cause of petulant borderline personality disorder is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with PBPD also often have a history of trauma or abuse, which may contribute to the development of the disorder.

What is Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder?

Petulant borderline personality disorder (PBPD) is a psychiatric condition characterized by impulsive and uncontrollable behaviors, mood swings, and erratic thoughts and emotions. People with petulant BPD often have difficulty regulating their emotions, leading to anger, sadness, or anxiety outbursts. They may also fear abandonment and go to great lengths to avoid being alone. This can include staying in abusive or unhealthy relationships or clinging to friends and family members.

Petulant BPD vs. BPD

Petulant borderline personality disorder (PBPD) is one of four types of borderline personality disorder (BPD)

BPD is a mental illness that centers around the inability to manage emotions effectively. The NIMH describes it as a mental illness that causes intense and unstable emotions, impulsiveness, and troubled relationships. People with BPD often have extreme mood swings, known as BPD episodes. They go from feeling happy and content to feeling angry and hopeless within a short period. 

They may also engage in risky or impulsive behaviors, such as spending sprees, unprotected sex, or substance abuse. BPD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary from person to person and overlap with other mental illnesses. However, several key symptoms of BPD are generally present in those with it.

These include:

Intense fear of abandonment

Unstable or tumultuous relationships

Extreme mood swings

Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom

Inappropriate or uncontrollable anger

Feelings of dissociation or detachment from reality

As a subtype of BPD, PBPD is characterized by impulsive behaviors, severe mood swings, impatience, passive aggressiveness, stubbornness, and difficulty regulating emotions. However, PBPD is distinguished from BPD’s petulant (childish or sulky) behavior. This may be exhibited through tantrums, pouting, or acting out in an attempt to get attention. 

People with PBPD are more likely to be sensitive to criticism and fear abandonment. PBPD is often comorbid with other disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Compared to other types of BPD people with petulant BPD often have more anger issues. They can be highly negative and bitter towards their relationships. They can also feel shame or worthlessness and be more hostile and cynical in their relationships.

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one might have a type of BPD, please take our free borderline personality disorder self-test.

Explain the Treatments for Petulant BPD

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating PBPD. Treatment plans for PBPD will vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the individual’s needs. However, several evidence-based treatments are effective in managing PBPD. 

These treatments include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of talk therapy focusing on how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected. It can help people with PBPD better understand and manage their emotions. CBT teaches people to identify and challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their symptoms. It also helps them to develop healthy coping skills and to make positive changes in their behavior.

PBPD is a complex mental illness characterized by unstable moods, impulsive behavior, fear of abandonment, and difficulty regulating emotions. And while it has no cure, cognitive behavioral therapy can be an effective treatment for managing symptoms.

Numerous studies have shown that CBT can help BPD patients to improve emotional regulation, reduce impulsivity, and increase interpersonal functioning. It can also help reduce the frequency and severity of self-harming behaviors.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy developed initially to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT treatment focuses on helping patients to change problematic behaviors and thought patterns to improve their overall quality of life. The goals of DBT include reducing self-harming behaviors, improving interpersonal relationships, and increasing emotional regulation.

Unlike other types of therapy, DBT is not focused on helping patients to understand or come to terms with their past experiences. Instead, it allows them to learn new skills and coping strategies that they can use in the present moment. For example, patients may learn how to manage their emotions better or resolve conflicts constructively.

One key component of DBT is dialectical thinking, which involves holding two opposing ideas in mind at the same time. For example, patients might simultaneously believe they are both good and bad. Patients can develop a more balanced and healthy perspective by learning to embrace contradictions.

In addition to dialectical thinking, other critical components of DBT include mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills can help patients better understand and manage their emotions, set boundaries with others, and build healthier relationships.


Some mental health professionals may prescribe medications to help manage PBPD symptoms. However, it is essential to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to medication treatment. And not all remedies are effective for everyone. Some people may find relief from their symptoms with medication, while others may not experience any benefit.

The most commonly prescribed medications for PBPD include:

These medications can help to improve mood swings, reduce impulsivity, and stabilize emotions. However, they can also cause side effects, such as weight gain, fatigue, and sexual dysfunction. It is essential to discuss the risks and benefits of medication with a mental health professional before starting any treatment.

Treat Petulant BPD with Acera Health

Acera Health is a leading provider of mental health services. We offer a comprehensive range of treatment options for PBPD. Including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and medication management. Our experienced mental health professionals will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. 

Contact us today to learn more about our PBPD treatment services.


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