Melissa Patton, MA, HS-BCP
Abnormal Psychology 25644
March 8, 2013
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
Abstract: This paper will discuss the causes and psychological impact of borderline personality disorder. It will also talk about how to treat those impacted by borderline personality disorder.
Introduction: This article discusses the significance of psychotherapy options in treating borderline personality disorder (BPD). Borderline personality is a disorder with a variety of symptoms that can be briefly summarized as instability in mood, thinking, behavior, personal relations, and self-image. Psychotherapy options include cognitive behavioral methods, which sought to change conscious thoughts and behaviors; and, psychodynamic treatments that are directed at unconscious processes. The beneficial results of such approaches could take months or years.
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder
Researchers today don’t know what causes borderline personality disorder. There are many theories, however, about the possible causes of borderline personality disorder. Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation — that is, the causes of are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). This suggests that no single factor is responsible — rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be “passed down” to their children. Do you have BPD? On the other hand, do you think you know someone who does? Here is a checklist for “clues” and “early warning signals” for mental illnesses. The following life events and behaviors may be clues to the presence of BPD. Quick BPD Checklist:
* Traumatic childhood experiences (especially physical or sexual abuse) * Self-sabotaging behaviors (such as ruining a job interview, destroying a good relationship) * History of disappointing relationships, jobs, or other commitments * Frequent changes in jobs, schools (and majors) relationships (several divorces, separations, and remarriages) * History of hurtful relationships (e.g., several marriages to alcoholics who are abusive) or relationships with controlling, narcissistic partners that result in conflict * Utilization of transitional objects (relying on a multitude of dolls or teddy bears for comfort) * Sexual confusion (e.g., bisexuality)
* Dangerous behavior that may be perceived as exciting (such as drug abuse, promiscuity, shoplifting, bulimia, anorexia) * Frequent conflicts ( especially with important figures such as bosses, colleagues, friends, family) * Repeated history of violence, either as perpetrator, victim or both * Severe changes in attitude ( e.g., idealizing a friend and later reviling him; purporting to love a book and later declaring it boring) * Attracting to extremist organizations ( such as religious or political cults) * Functioning better in structured situations (e.g., performing poorly in college but succeeding brilliantly in the army) Caution: just as you should not try to diagnose your own heart condition, you should not attempt to diagnose your own mental disorder. If you check more than a few of the boxes, and they are interfering with your normal day –to-day functioning, you should consult your physician (Kreisman, 2004, p. 12).
Biological and Anatomical Correlates
Some of the most exciting research discoveries in BPD research employ modern medical tools to explore the brain’s mechanics, such as monitoring chemical changes...