Borderline Personality Disorder

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Mental illnesses can affect a wide range of people and they do not discriminate. This is shown in the movie, “Girl, Interrupted,” which was directed by James Mangold. The movie is based on the memoir by Susanna Kaysen. Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and spent a period of eighteen months in a psychiatric facility. The movie is based in a mental hospital, in the east, during the 1960s. After the main character, Susanna, attempts suicide, she admits herself into a psychiatric hospital. It is here that she is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, close personal relationships, self-image, and behavior. It also includes a persistent instability in identity. In extreme cases, it can lead to dissociation which is when certain thoughts, emotions, sensations, and/or memories are sorted out because they are too overwhelming for the conscious mind to put together. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual’s sense of self-identity. People with BPD suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation (Martinson, 2002). Borderlines are born with an innate biological tendency to react more intensely to lower levels of stress than others and to take longer to recover. In some cases, they were raised in environments in which their beliefs about themselves and their environment were frequently undervalued (Martinson, 2002). Their attitudes towards their family, friends and loved ones can change drastically from idealization which is admiration and love to devaluation which is intense anger and hate. Individuals with BPD are highly sensitive to rejection, reacting with anger and misery to leaving on a vacation, business trip, or a sudden change in plans. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety...
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