Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

The image illustrates some theory of famous ps...

The image illustrates some theory of famous psychologist Melanie Klein, advanced by John Steiner (1979). The theory is about how Borderline Personality Disorder develops and how it interacts with other disorders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My husband had been given a book to read by a close friend about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as a way to understand their daughter – or so I thought.  He later revealed to me that it was because these friends had observed my behaviour and could see that I was showing traits of BPD.

So even before the official diagnosis my husband had been looking at ways to understand me, he did not tell me this because he knew that my reaction would not be that of calm acceptance but more explosive rage.  I did have a look at the book and decided that although I had eight of the nine criteria (you only need five for a diagnosis) I was just going to ignore it! I was scared, I felt guilty about the way I behave and ashamed (shame and guilt being the cause of my behaviour because I can turn everything on and and bring it back to these two emotions).  I let things hit rock bottom before I faced the glaringly obvious – I had Borderline Personality Disorder.

So here it is: The Definition of BPD

Psychiatry A disorder of adult onset, which is characterised by instable interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affect, impulsivity in various contexts, and fluctuations in intense moods.

  1. Frantic efforts to prevent real or imagined abandonment
  2. A pattern of intense and unstable interpersonal relationships swinging between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  3. Unstable self-image
  4. Impulsivity in 2+ areas & self-destructive potential, eg binge eating, driving, gambling, sexual relations, substance abuse
  5. Recurring suicidal or self-mutilating gestures or behaviors
  6. Marked lability of moods and affect
  7. Chronic feeling of ’emptiness’
  8. Inappropriate anger and inability to control anger
  9. Transient stress-related paranoid ideation or dissociative symptoms

McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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