Compassionate Care, National Accreditation:​​
The Joint Commission
NIDA logo
Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services
DSS licensed
Woman who is showing signs of petulant BPD

About Petulant BPD

Jump to Section

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a widely misunderstood mental illness. Many people are not even aware of the fact that this condition can be broken down into four subtypes. In today’s post, we’re focusing on one of these subtypes: Petulant BPD.

What is Petulant BPD?

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by impulsivity, instability, and an intense fear of being abandoned. Though BPD affects only about 1% of the general population, as many as 20% of people who receive inpatient psychiatric treatment have this disorder.

BPD is one of 11 types of personality disorders that are included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The DSM-5 does not contain entries for variants or subtypes of BPD. However, many mental health professionals acknowledge the existence of the following four subtypes: 

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

The parameters for petulant BPD and the other three subtypes were established by Theodore Million. Theodore Million was a psychiatrist who specialized in personality disorders.

Signs and Symptoms of Petulant BPD

The dominant features of petulant BPD are sudden and severe mood swings, negativity, and a pervasive sense of being unloved or unworthy of love. A person who has petulant BPD may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • Suddenly shifting from a joyful or excited mindset to a sense of extreme sadness,. This typically happens with no obvious or reasonable cause for such a change
  • Outbursts of intense anger
  • Feeling that they have been slighted, insulted, or disrespected by even the smallest gestures, which they may be prone to misinterpret
  • Exhibiting a persistent sense of pessimism. They typically believe that good things simply cannot or will not occur in their life
  • Pouting, sulking, or exhibiting a resentful attitude when things don’t go the way they wanted them to
  • Acting in a stubborn or defiant manner, which may also include impatience or restlessness
  • Engaging in passive-aggressive behaviors as a means of manipulating others or indirectly expressing their disdain
  • Turning their anger and negativity inward, which can manifest as a sense of self-hatred or worthlessness

Difference Between Petulant BPD and Regular Borderline Personality Disorder

It can be difficult to tell the difference between petulant BPD and the “regular” form of this disorder. In fact, depending on which professional diagnoses and treats a person who has this condition, they may not differentiate among petulant BPD and the other subtypes that we discussed earlier in this post.

With that in mind, here are some differences between a person who has petulant BPD and someone who has another type of BPD, or who has not been assigned to a borderline personality disorder subgroup:

  • The criteria for petulant BPD don’t include impulsive, excessive acting out in dangerous areas such as sex, gambling, or eating. These behaviors are more common among people who have other types of BPD.
  • Threats (or attempts) related to self-harm and suicide are more common among people with self-destructive BPD than among those who have petulant BPD. However, please note that people who have petulant BPD are not immune to suicidal thoughts or actions.
  • A desire for perfection and a propensity for self-isolation are characteristic of discouraged BPD, but they are not as common among people who have petulant BPD.

Helping someone with petulant BPD

How is Petulant BPD Treated?

Comprehensive treatment for petulant BPD may involve medication and therapy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any prescription medications solely for treating BPD and the subtypes of borderline personality disorder. However, depending on the type and acuity of a person’s symptoms, they may benefit from the following medications:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants such as SSRIs or SNRIs
  • Mood stabilizers

The therapeutic component of treatment for petulant BPD can help people manage the symptoms that are not alleviated by medication alone. As is the case when deciding which medications to include in a person’s treatment plan, selecting the right therapies should be based on a thorough review of each patient’s history, needs, and goals. 

Therapies Used For Treating Petulant BPD

With the factors in mind, there are three types of therapy that may be beneficial for someone who has been exhibiting the signs and symptoms of petulant BPD.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This solution-focused, short-term approach is based on the perspective that mental health concerns are partially based on unhealthy thought patterns and maladaptive behaviors. During CBT sessions, patients explore their motivations, enhance their problem-solving skills, and develop more productive ways of thinking and acting.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): This approach can help patients develop skills in four key areas: distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, who at the time was working with women who were struggling with suicidal ideation due to borderline personality disorder. 
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: This technique helps eliminate distress that is related to traumatic memories.  In addition, EMDR has proved to be an effective element of care for people who have various types of BPD.

Treatment for petulant BPD may also incorporate a variety of additional therapies and services, such as:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • TMS therapy
  • Neurofeedback
  • Holistic treatment
  • Somatic therapy

Contact Our Montare BPD Treatment Center in Los Angeles, California

Montare Behavioral Health is a trusted source of life-affirming care for adults who have developed petulant BPD,. Additionally, we treat other forms of borderline personality disorder, and other mental health concerns. The treatment centers that are part of the Montare Behavioral Health network are safe and welcoming places where patients work in close collaboration with teams of skilled and dedicated professionals.

Untreated BPD can have a profound negative impact on a person’s life. However, when you get the care you need, you can learn to manage your symptoms. In addition, you can take greater control of your thoughts and actions. With our help, you can live the healthier and more satisfying life that you deserve.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Admissions page or call us today.