While BPD and NPD are two separate and distinct disorders, people may mistake them because they are both in a class of cluster B disorders. Both the BPD and NPD will have problems regulating emotions, and with interpersonal relationships. When the BPD person becomes emotionally dysregulated can act out in ways which may seem narcissistic, however the motives of the BPD and NPD are quite different. The BPD fears abandonment and may act out in fear of being left alone, while the narcissist does not want to be left alone because it would mean a loss of supply. The BPD can act out in harming themselves such as cutting. I have never seen a narcissist who cut themselves as a way to relieve themselves from the stress of painful emotions. While those with NPD lack empathy this is not true for the BPD who is not comorbid with NPD. Those with BPD are comorbid with depression more than any other condition. About one third of those who suffer with BPD also struggle with NPD. Below is a list of criteria for the BPD and the NPD. I hope this helps.
9 Traits of Borderline Personality Disorder:
1 Fear of abandonment. People with BPD are often terrified of being abandoned or left alone. Even something as innocuous as a loved one getting home late from work or going away for the weekend can trigger intense fear. This leads to frantic efforts to keep the other person close. You may beg, cling, start fights, jealously track your loved one’s movements, or even physically block the other person from leaving. Unfortunately, this behavior tends to have the opposite effect—driving others away.
2 Unstable relationships. People with BPD tend to have relationships that are intense and short-lived. You may fall in love quickly, believing each new person is the one who will make you feel whole, only to be quickly disappointed. Your relationships either seem perfect or horrible, with nothing in between. Your lovers, friends, or family members may feel like they have emotional whiplash from your rapid swings between idealization and devaluation, anger, and hate.
3 Unclear or unstable self-image. When you have BPD, your sense of self is typically unstable. Sometimes you may feel good about yourself, but other times you hate yourself, or even view yourself as evil. You probably don’t have a clear idea of who you are or what you want in life. As a result, you may frequently change jobs, friends, lovers, religion, values, goals, and even sexual identity.
4 Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors. If you have BPD, you may engage in harmful, sensation-seeking behaviors, especially when you’re upset. You may impulsively spend money you can’t afford, binge eat, drive recklessly, shoplift, engage in risky sex, or overdo it with drugs or alcohol. These risky behaviors may help you feel better in the moment, but they hurt you and those around you over the long-term.
5 Self-harm. Suicidal behavior and deliberate self-harm is common in people with BPD. Suicidal behavior includes thinking about suicide, making suicidal gestures or threats, or actually carrying out a suicide attempt. Self-harm includes all other attempts to hurt yourself without suicidal intent. Common forms of self-harm include cutting and burning.
6 Extreme emotional swings. Unstable emotions and moods are common with BPD. One moment, you may feel happy, and the next, despondent. Little things that other people brush off can send you into an emotional tailspin. These mood swings are intense, but they tend to pass fairly quickly (unlike the emotional swings of depression or bipolar disorder), usually lasting just a few minutes or hours.
7 Chronic feelings of emptiness. People with BPD often talk about feeling empty, as if there’s a hole or a void inside them. At the extreme, you may feel as if you’re “nothing” or “nobody.” This feeling is uncomfortable, so you may try to fill the hole with things like drugs, food, or sex. But nothing feels truly satisfying.
8 Explosive anger. If you have BPD, you may struggle with intense anger and a short temper. You may also have trouble controlling yourself once the fuse is lit—yelling, throwing things, or becoming completely consumed by rage. It’s important to note that this anger isn’t always directed outwards. You may spend a lot of time being angry at yourself.
9 Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality. People with BPD often struggle with paranoia or suspicious thoughts about others’ motives. When under stress, you may even lose touch with reality—an experience known as dissociation. You may feel foggy, spaced out, or as if you’re outside your own body.
9 Traits Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
DSM IV – TR
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1 has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2 is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3 believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4 requires excessive admiration
5 has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6 is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7 lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8 is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9 shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes