Living with a Victim Mentality with Borderline PD

July 26, 2021 Kate Beveridge

It can be easy to fall into a victim mentality with borderline personality disorder (BPD). You can often feel like your brain is working against you and making life unnecessarily hard. However, treating yourself as a victim can be detrimental and prevent you from recovering and moving on from traumatic events

The Characteristics of a Victim Mentality with BPD

As a teenager, I started to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and BPD. These mental illnesses sapped my energy, contributed to my rock-bottom self-esteem, and often made it challenging for me to emotionally move past small and large traumas alike. Additionally, I carried a victim mentality that started to get worse over time.

I could see people around me who didn't live with any mental illness or experience symptoms to the extent that I did. Therefore, I felt resentful and like I had been born into unfortunate circumstances. I resented others for their visible normality and beat myself up subconsciously for not being able to function as well as them. Rather than seeing my symptoms as something that I could work on and lessen, I saw them as my cross to bear. 

My victim mentality worsened after I was raped at 19. I tried to treat myself as a survivor, but I always felt like a victim and held onto self-blame for many years. I felt like I had been robbed a year of my life because my mental health was so atrocious after the event, pushing me to turn to alcohol, drugs, and other reckless behavior to escape what I was feeling inside. Although I didn't always outwardly acknowledge it, I truly felt like a victim and someone who had been dealt a bad hand in life. 

When I received my BPD diagnosis at age 22, I once again felt like a victim. I knew that it was a controversial disorder and that many people with BPD do not fully recover from their illness. Consequently, I felt overwhelmed by yet another thing that was wrong with me and that I didn't think I could fix. 

The Dangers of a Victim Mentality with Borderline Personality Disorder

Living with a victim mentality made it very difficult for me to improve my BPD symptoms. Although it is true that I was not responsible for having a mental illness, I was also ignoring the responsibility that I hold for my actions. No one was forcing me to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Accepting them as part of my reality, I wasn't taking steps to recover and apply my therapy lessons. 

Consequently, I didn't make significant improvements for many years. I languished in self-hatred and accepted that it was going to be my life circumstances forever. Some small things got better, but my overall attitude remained as that of a victim. As such, I never viewed myself as someone who had the resources and capabilities to improve my situation and my relationship with myself

In the following video, I talk about some strategies I use to escape a victim mentality and take ownership of my mental health:

Do you or have you ever struggled with a victim mentality with your mental illness? How has it affected your mental health and recovery? Let me know in the comments section below.

APA Reference
Beveridge, K. (2021, July 26). Living with a Victim Mentality with Borderline PD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Kate Beveridge

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July, 28 2021 at 9:43 pm

Borderline also comes with ptsd & psychosis. It’s important to understand the complexities of that diagnosis.

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