What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness characterized by a repetitive pattern of disorganization and irresolution in self-conception, interpersonal relationships, mood, and demeanor. The instability associated with this disorder is often disruptive to the individual's personal and professional life, long term goals, and self identity. Webster's New World Medical Dictionary states, "Distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values." According to the Webster's New World Medical Dictionary, "Originally thought to be at the "borderline" of psychosis, people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation." An individual with this disorder may often appear amicable and capable, and he or she is typically highly intelligent. The individual can often maintain this appearance for a number of years until a stressful situation, such as a breakup or a death in the family, causes an emotional collapse. "Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone." (medterms.com) According to Webster's New World Medical Dictionary, Borderline Personality Disorder is more common than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, affecting two percent of adults, mostly young women. (medterms.com) "There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases. Patients often need extensive mental health services and account for about 20% of psychiatric hospitalizations" (medterms.com).
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