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Borderline Personality

 

Explanations > Personality > Personality Disorders > Borderline Personality

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The borderline personality occurs where a person has a history of unstable emotions, which may be focused on themselves or on others.

Noticeable symptoms may include:

  • Fear of abandonment or abuse.
  • Feeling empty, bored, alone.
  • Feelings of paranoia, depression.
  • Sudden, extreme displays of emotion.
  • Idealization of others, then rejecting rejecting.
  • Impulsive with money, relationships, etc.
  • Self-harming, shoplifting, substance abuse, eating disorders.

The borderline personality may be caused by childhood traumas such as abandonment, abuse and chaotic family life. It may lead them into self-harm such as eating disorders

Discussion

A borderline personality tends to think in dichotomous extremes, seeing the world as black and white. People and things are either wonderful or terrible. This can lead to extremes in practice, such as idealization of another person and then, when the person does not turn out to be perfect, rejecting them.

The borderline person may well suffer from a confused sense of identity, perhaps feeling like a different person in different mood states, particularly when they are very angry, which can easily happen. They may also dislike themselves, perhaps as a result of childhood abuse, and so seek to harm themselves. Such self-destructive action may be a form of coping with their inner conflicts.

In relationships, the idealization and demonization of other people, coupled with extreme mood swings can easily lead to a breakdown or the other person leaving. Yet the fear of being alone can then make the borderline person cling on to the relationship and seek to get the other person to stay.

The Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the ten DSM-IV personality disorders.

Talking therapies can be helpful in treating this problem. Medicines may be needed to control mood swings.

See also

Polarization, Ellis' Irrational Beliefs, Coping Mechanisms

 

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