The Nine Personality Problems Associated With Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) :
There is no clear demarcation between those who have borderline personality disorder (BPD) and those who do not ; this is because the personality problems that contribute to a BPD diagnosis lie on a continuum. I have described the symptoms of BPD in numerous other articles that I have previously published on this site, but, for the sake of convenience, will list them again :
- emotional instabilty
- chronic feelings of emptiness
- feelings of intense anger
- paranoid ideas and ‘dissociative’ symptoms
- suicidal behavior and self-harm
- fear of abandonment
- unstable relationships
- identity disturbance
Three Criteria That Contribute To A Diagnosis Of BPD :
According to DSM V (The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) an individual must
Buie And Adler :
Buie and Adler propose that the pathology displayed by sufferers of borderline personality disorder (BPD) such as instability, uncontrolled rage and anger, can be attributed, primarily, to early dysfunction in the relationship between the individual as a young child and his/her mother.
More specifically, Buie and Adler hypothesize that, as a young child, the BPD sufferer was insufficiently ‘held’ by the mother, particularly during the rapproachment phase of interactions.
What Is Meant, In Psychotherapy, By ‘Holding’?
Peter Fonagy, an internationally renowned clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and expert in borderline psychopathology and early attachment relationships, and who has produced some of the most influential work relating to this field, has stressed the importance of MENTALISING (or, more precisely, the avoidance of it) in relation to borderline personality disorder (BPD).
What Is Meant By The Term ‘Mentalising’?
The term ‘mentalising’ refers to a person’s ability to perceive, understand and make
What Does ‘Diathesis’ Mean?
The medical definition of ‘diathesis’ is ‘a heriditary or constitutional predisposition to a disease or other disorder.‘ (The word ‘diathesis’ itself derives from the Greek word for ‘disposition).
What Is The Diathesis-Stress Model?
The diathesis-stress model is a psychological theory that proposes that a psychiatric disorder is caused not by heriditary factors (i.e. predispositional vulnerability) alone, NOR by psychologically stressful experiences
In terms of symptoms, there exists a clear overlap between the psychiatric conditions of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and dissociative identity disorder (DID). DID used to be referred to multiple-personality disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder And ‘Splitting’
‘Splitting’ is a psychological defense mechanism in which one ‘part’
Are Those With BPD Manipulative?
Sadly, many individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) are stigmatized by others and, amongst other perjorative terms, are frequently described as ‘manipulative’.
However, in recent years, it has been increasingly recognized that intentionally manipulative behavior is, in fact, NOT a defining characteristic of BPD sufferers after all ; this shift in attitude is best exemplified by the fact that the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Illness, Fifth Edition, or DSM-V (sometimes informally referred to as the ‘psychiatrists’ bible’), has ceased to list ‘manipulative’
BPD And Dysregulation :
We have already seen from many other articles that I have published on this site that those who have suffered severe and protracted childhood trauma are at greatly increased risk of going on to develop borderline personality disorder (BPD) than those who were fortunate enough to have experienced a relatively stable upbringing.
One of the main symptoms of this very serious and life-threatening condition (about ninety per cent of sufferers attempt suicide and about ten per cent die by
Because there is a considerable overlap in symptoms between those suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) and those suffering from complex posttraumatic disorder (complex PTSD) , those with the latter condition can be misdiagnosed as suffering from the former condition (you can read my article about this by clicking here).
In order to help clarify the differences between the two conditions and help show how they are distinct from one another,
What Are Hallucinations?
Hallucinations are PERCEPTIONS that people experience but which are NOT caused by external stimuli/ input. However, to the person experiencing hallucinations, these perceptions feel AS IF THEY ARE REAL and that they are being generated by stimuli/ input outside of themselves (in fact, of course, the perceptions are being INTERNALLY GENERATED by the brain of the person who is experiencing the hallucination).
Different Types Of Hallucination :
There are several different types of hallucination and I summarize these below :
- VISUAL HALLUCINATIONS – these involve ‘seeing’ something that in reality does not exist or ‘seeing’ something that does exist in a DISTORTED / ALTERED form.
- AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS – these, most often, involve ‘hearing’ voices that have no external reality (though other ‘sounds’ may be hallucinated, too).
- TACTILE HALLUCINATIONS – these occur when an individual feels as if s/he is being touched when, in fact, s/he isn’t (for example, feeling the sensation of insects crawling over one’s skin).
- GUSTATORY HALLUCINATIONS – these occur when a person perceives a ‘taste’ in his/her mouth in the absence of any external to the person causing the taste.
- OLFACTORY HALLUCINATION – this type of hallucination is sometimes also referred to as phantosmia and involves perceiving a smell which isn’t actually present.
BPD And Hallucinations :
One of the main, and most problematic, symptoms that those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from is the experiencing of disproportionately intense emotional responses when under stress and an inability to control them or efficiently recover and calm down once such tempestuous emotions have been aroused. This very serious symptom of BPD is also often referred to as emotional dysregulation.
The main theory as to why such problems managing emotions occur is that damage has been
According to psychodynamic theory, originally associated with Sigmund Freud (but modernized by various psychologists since), the most crucial part of our psychological development takes place in the earliest years of our lives, between birth and about five years old (this is why very early trauma is especially damaging). A central concept of psychodynamic theory is that our minds comprise three parts, namely the id, the ego and the superego, which I briefly describe below:
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Learning Difficulties :
Research suggests that individuals who suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD) may have mild to moderate dysfunctions in certain areas of cognitive processing, in particular in the area of learning and memory that involves the processing of complex information.
However, such problems tend to be subtle and are therefore difficult for doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and other clinicians to detect.
Notwithstanding this difficulty of detection, brain abnormalities have shown up
The term DISTRESS INTOLERANCE refers to a frame of mind in which we consider the mental pain, anguish or discomfort we are experiencing to be UTTERLY INTOLERABLE AND UNBEARABLE so that we become frantic and desperate to avoid it/escape it.
The emotions we feel unable to tolerate usually belong to three main categories; these are:
- Emotions connected to sadness (such as depression, shame and guilt)
- Emotions connected to fear (such as dread, anxiety and terror)
- Emotions connected to anger (such as hatred, rage and frustration)
Those who have suffered severe childhood trauma, especially if, as a result, they have gone on to develop Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), tend to feel emotions
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Self-Absorption :
We have seen in many, many articles on this site, how childhood trauma can lead us to experience great mental distress and anguish in our adulthood; indeed, some who experience high levels of chronic and repetitive stress in childhood may incur physical damage to their developing brains and go on to develop psychiatric disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD)when they get older.
People with BPD, through no fault of their own, are frequently self-absorbed and may be accused,
It is as if the mother sucks the life out of her child