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Home arrow Health arrow Mental Health arrow Petulant BPD: Understanding and Managing It

Petulant BPD: Understanding and Managing It

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 8, 2023
5 min read 1302 Views 0 Comments
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The emotional and behavioral instability that people with petulant BPD present affects not only them but also the people around them. This type of disorder has no cure, but there are therapies aimed at providing a better quality of life.

petulant bpd

It is normal for people to experience emotional changes since the situations and experiences they face influence their behavior. While it’s true that a person doesn’t feel the same way every day, what actions make the difference between someone who has and doesn’t have petulant BPD?

Knowing the symptoms of petulant BPD will allow a person to recognize if they are facing someone with this disorder and how to act. This article is intended for readers to learn about petulant BPD, how it manifests, and how it can be treated.

What Is Petulant Borderline Personality Disorder?

Petulant borderline personality disorder, also known as petulant BPD, is a subtype of borderline personality disorder (BPD) characterized by people who are impatient, unpredictable, pessimistic, anxious, critical, resentful, and prone to outbursts of frustration or anger.

People suffering from petulant BPD have changes in their emotions that manifest unexpectedly. They also feel worthless and unloved, which makes them feel dissatisfied in their relationships. People with this disorder carry out risky activities without thinking about the consequences, such as substance abuse.

Another common aspect of those with petulant BPD is how they handle their relationships. They find it difficult to relate healthily with others because of their destructive behaviors.

Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is a mental illness characterized by recurrent patterns of extreme and turbulent emotions in interpersonal relationships. People with this mental health disorder present instability in their self-esteem, behavior, state of mind, and their identity.

According to studies, borderline personality disorder is one of the most common personality disorders in the United States. This mental illness belongs to cluster B of personality disorders, known for being people with unpredictable, dramatic, and overly emotional behavior.

Currently, there are 4 types of borderline personality disorders:

  • Impulsive BPD
  • Self-destructive BPD
  • Discouraged BPD
  • Petulant BPD

What Can Cause Petulant BPD?

The causes that lead a person to develop petulant BPD are different. There is the genetic part, where a person coming from a family with a history of mental illness may be more prone to developing this disorder. People who have experienced trauma like abuse in childhood or adolescence, or abandonment by one or both parents, are also more likely to have this personality disorder. 

Petulant BPD: 6 Red Flags You Need to Know About

Each type of borderline personality disorder has a series of signs that allow a diagnosis to be made. With petulant BPD, the symptoms that occur in this type of mental illness are as follows:

#1 Negative attitude

People with this personality disorder are pessimistic. This attitude is not only with themselves but also with the people around them and the world. 

Their negative attitude can influence others, causing discomfort and the inability to see things from a different perspective. They may feel irritated, annoyed, belittled, and stubborn. 

#2 Passive-aggressive behavior

Those with passive-aggressive behaviors experience strong mood swings towards those who upset them. 

The symptoms of this type of behavior are usually presenting resistance to cooperation, constantly complaining that they do not feel valued and that their partner is cheating on them, making mistakes on purpose, and having a hostile and cynical attitude.

#3 Impatience

People with petulant BPD are often impatient and violent if their needs are unmet. They can instantly change their emotions without considering who they may affect. 

Seeing that their needs are unmet takes them back to their childhood, where their parents or caregivers did not give them what they needed, so they expect everything to be given now.

#4 Overly sensitive

Those who have petulant BPD are often very sensitive. These people tend to hold resentment and find it difficult to let go. Also, someone with this disorder gets easily annoyed with others and feels very insulted. If they feel belittled, they express it aggressively.

#5 Demanding behavior

Demanding behaviors are also part of those with petulant BPD. Those with this disorder hold very high expectations for everyone around them. They can have rapid emotional swings and passive-aggressive behavior when their expectations are not met.

Those around people with this disorder are often distanced, as they feel they never meet the demands.

#6 Jealousy and paranoia

Someone with petulant BPD is envious of people who are successful and happy. They feel that the world is not fair and that people who achieve their goals do so by cheating.

They also feel suspicious and paranoid about the intentions of others. It doesn’t matter if they are people who have good intentions. Someone with this disorder thinks others are only looking for their own benefit.

Petulant BPD and Relationships

Someone with petulant BPD can become very possessive and manipulative in a relationship. They will try to control their partner when they feel their needs are not being met. These people will constantly complain and express how little valued they are in the relationship.

Those who are in a relationship with a person with this subtype of mental illness can experience borderline personality disorder relationship cycles. These cycles are characterized by episodes of emotional highs and lows, where the person with petulant BPD can act aggressively. They also have emotional outbursts when they don’t feel satisfied in their relationships.

For a person with petulant BPD to learn to manage negative attitudes, impulsive behavior, emotional outbursts, and the high demands they have regarding their relationships with others, it is necessary to put various strategies into practice. 

Petulant BPD vs. Other BPD Types

While it is true that the borderline personality disorder subtypes share similar characteristics, each subtype has certain differences that distinguish one from the other. In this case, the petulant BPD manifests certain symptoms differently from the rest.

  • Petulant BPD vs. impulsive BPD: Both disorders have problems managing their emotions, where mood swings are quick and unexpected, but those with impulsive BPD act excessively. They overdo activities like shopping or eating. Excessive eating behaviors can even lead to eating disorders.
  • Petulant BPD vs. discouragement BPD: People with these two subtypes of the disorder have resentment and anger problems, but those with discouragement BPD tend to be more dependent in their relationships.
  • Petulant BPD vs. self-destructive BPD: Those who suffer from these subtypes are overly sensitive. However, those with self-destructive BPD tend to self-harm when they feel they are no good to others. 

A Word From a Psychologist

Diagnosing a person with petulant borderline personality disorder can be difficult. The reason is the symptoms of this disorder can overlap with symptoms of other mental illnesses such as depressive disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders.

Some studies highlight how reluctant health professionals can be to diagnose people with this disorder because of the complexity of its symptoms. Although it is indeed complicated, a diagnosis is the first step so that people with various mental disorders, such as petulant BPD, can have a better quality of life.


People living with petulant BPD face several challenges in their daily lives. Mood swings, self-destructive behavior, having a favorite person, and impatience are some of the most common behaviors they experience. It negatively impacts not only them but also everybody around them.

Although there is no cure for this mental illness and its different subtypes, there are therapies to treat borderline personality disorder. 

Dialectical behavior therapy is the most efficient type of therapy used to treat petulant BPD. This type of therapy focuses on helping patients with this disorder learn to regulate their emotions and manage their relationships.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 8, 2023
5 min read 1302 Views 0 Comments

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