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Borderline Personality Disorder

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/24/2006 | Health
Recognizing Emerging Borderline Personality Disorder

By definition, a person suffering from borderline personality disorder, fears being abandoned and will do just about anything to prevent this. For example, self-manipulation, by slashing arms or legs, repeated overdosing, delinquency, sexual promiscuity, addictions and other self-destructive acts.

They will experience feelings known as "splitting". They will see a person as being only "good" one day and only "bad" the next, as they are unable to distinguish that there is both bad and good in everyone.

Recognition of borderline personality disorder has been established since the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, 3rd Edition (a diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals), included it in 1980. However, characteristics of the disorder have been acknowledged since as far back as 1930.

Development of Borderline Personality Disorder

When a symptom such as the inability to meet developmental demands of separation and individuation are evident, the person with borderline personality disorder has then obviously shown that they are unable to integrate external relationships and internal representation. This is just one of the many symptoms which may develop in these personalities, some others are impulse control problems, chronic anxiety and a number of other defenses.

Aspects of Borderline Personality Disorder Behaviours

The most severely affected individuals are those who have difficulty establishing relationships, they are lonely, depressed, angry with others, and experience periods of psychosis mixed with periods of inappropriate maladaptive behaviours. One of the most typical borderline styles can be described as a person who searches for companionship and affection. They become anxious and angry during relationships retreating and then feeling loneliness and depression. They show little real affection towards anyone.

Others can become isolated or withdrawn; they wait to be identified, behaving in a fashion similar to someone whom they are attached. Finally, some people with borderline personality disorder are able to develop relationships, however they still lack consistent identity and giving. They develop self-oriented relationships, characterized by whining, crying and dependency.

According to cognitive-behavioral perspectives the borderline tends to dichotomize their thinking about themselves and other people. For example, they think in terms of "all or nothing". The sociocultural perspective states that the pressures of society on family and individual cause dysfunctional family problems, therefore a lack of clearly defined cultural norms and expectations are experienced. Humanistic perspective explains that the individual is incapable of reaching self-actualization because needs are not motivated; therefore, growth and development are restricted.

In conclusion, it is not just the person with the disorder who is struggling, but others (family, friends) go through troubling times as well. Those dealing with the individual with borderline personality disorder also need support whether it is from professionals or from each other.