What Is Borderline Personality Disorder

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Borderline personality disorder "is defined in the DSM IV, a manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose all mental disorders, as an AXIS II disorder which has symptoms of impulsively and emotional dysregulation" (Livesley 146). A person with BPD have feelings of abandonment and emptiness, and have "frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, going to extremes to keep someone from leaving" (Burger 300). He or she is emotionally unstable and forms intense but unstable interpersonal relationships. They show impulsive behavior, such as spending money, sex, eating and substance abuse. Borderlines engage in self-manipulating behaviors and recurrent suicide attempts and thoughts. "Their behavior can be seen as maladaptive methods of coping with constant emotional pain" (Livesley 144). "Personality includes those aspects of a person's thinking, moods and behavior which affect his or her relationship with others" (Livesley 98). Differences in personality style (traits) add color and variety to relationships but may become too extreme, inflexible or maladaptive, significantly impairing a person's ability to function. When a person is not able to deal with people or problems of the environment, he or she is said to have a Personality Disorder (Livesley 99). "Originally the term borderline was used to refer to individuals whose adjustment was on the borderline between normal and psychotic" (Holmes 393). Today borderline personality disorder is primarily marked by instability, showing different symptoms at different times. Most of the symptoms revolve around problems of mood, mild disturbance in thought processes, and impulsive self-injurious behavior (Holmes 393). All of this prevents the borderline to have interpersonal relationships. Individuals with the borderline personality disorder tend to have intense relationships that are very unstable. "Frequent interpersonal conflict, unstable, stormy relationships are characteristics of a borderline; Relationships usually have "love and hate characteristics" (Durand 334). Individuals with this disorder do not simply drift in and out of friendships, but instead show abrupt, frequent and dramatic changes between "intense love and equally intense hate" (Durand 334) in any one relationship. The fluctuations in their mood, involved with their anger; involved with their thought disturbances, and mixed with their paranoid thoughts about betrayal and abandonment by others; as well as their impulsiveness make it difficult to maintain relationships with others. Borderlines have problems with their mood. Their mood is not manic, but alternates between normal and flat to moderate or severe depression (Livesley 150). These individuals also go through periods of intense anger that can interfere with effective social functioning. Persons with borderline personality disorder are very vulnerable, and usually over-react to stress. These individuals usually form unstable and intense 'love-hate' relationships, either a person or situation is "all-good", or if any problems occur, "all-bad'" (Durand 273). "The borderline's anger usually alienates a relationship yet the borderline will make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment" (Burger 299). People with BPD angrily fear the abandonment of their friend or loved one and have episodic angry outbursts in fear that the person might abandon him or her. Recent research has shown that medications can significantly relieve the suffering of borderline patients when used in combination with psychotherapy (Livesley 145). Individuals with the borderline personality disorder experience thought disturbances. The thinking of a borderline show to have "unusual perceptions" that include illusions, "a mistaken or distorted perception" (Chaplin 220), and depersonalization, "a pathological condition in which the individual experiences a feeling that he or his body is unreal" (Chaplin 122). Individuals with this disorder show to have "black - white...
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