Despite common beliefs, there are many similarities between borderline personality disorder (BPD) and autism spectrum conditions (ASC). The two disorders have more in common than you may think, but their differences are more significant. By understanding the similarities and differences, individuals struggling and those around them can take proper steps towards healing. Highlighting these similarities and differences will also show the complexity of mental health conditions and help reduce the stigma surrounding them.

Emotional Challenges

One of the main similarities between BPD and ASC is that individuals with them typically have problems reading and expressing emotions, according to Dr. Chris Gordon of Yeovil, England. For example, individuals with autism may have trouble expressing their needs by utilizing verbal cues or gestures. They may also feel uncomfortable discussing their own feelings or hearing about others’ feelings.

Individuals with BPD also face emotional challenges; however, they are of a different sort. Distrust, poor empathy, and intimacy problems are common in BPD patients, often leading to difficulties in friendships and relationships. These symptoms may appear in both disorders, but typically those with autism are less defensive and are unable to read others’ emotions.

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Social Challenges

Individuals with BPD and autism frequently experience problems in interpersonal relationships. However, the reasons why are not always the same.

For those with autism, maintaining relationships can be challenging due to social avoidance and withdrawal. They are often unable to read social cues and may not have the words to express themselves accurately.

On the flip side, individuals with BPD have trouble in relationships due to mistrust, antagonizing behaviors, and frequently shifting emotions. They may go to great lengths to avoid being abandoned but still drive people away due to extreme emotional swings.

Therefore, both individuals with BPD and individuals with autism may have challenges in social relationships but for different reasons. Those with autism may prefer to be alone or cannot read others’ emotions, while those with BPD are more likely to experience extreme emotions and impact their relationships because of it.

Borderline personality disorder and autism have more similarities than you may believe, but their differences are also significant. By learning about both, individuals struggling with one or the other can receive proper treatment, and those around them can become more educated to reduce stigma. If you are looking for treatment for BPD or autism, Alta Loma Transformational Services is here to help. We work with men struggling with mental and substance use disorders to help them succeed in recovery. Located in Texas, our facility provides the perfect place to heal. Call us today to learn more at (866) 457-3843.