Borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder
People living with borderline personality present with an extreme emotional instability.
Swinging from one emotional state to another also very quickly. They are characterized by a distorted self-image.
From a deep sense of inadequacy, sense of futility and fears of abandonment. They are recognizable for being people with high impulsiveness and a sense of urgency.
They are individuals who don’t have a great tolerance to frustrations. In other words they are easily overwhelmed by emotions.
In particular from the negative ones, which live very intensely. These can lead them to act without considering the consequences of their actions (outbursts of anger, verbal or physical aggression, substance abuse, etc…)
On a cognitive level, the symptomatology is characterized by the sudden switches between opposite polarities on their perception of themselves and the others. From a positive and lovable self-image, to perceiveing him/herself as null and unworthy.
In these state transitions the perception of the others undergoes complementary changes. They’re perceived at first through the lenses of idealization, as reliable and capable of providing cures. But It takes little to become persecutors, unreliable and to be devalued.
The term “borderline personality” was born to decribe these individuals like they were on the boundary between a thought anchored to reality and a psychotic thought. A border between neurosis and psychosis.
Notably, during severe stress it is possible that they show transient psychotic symptoms.
On a behavioral level, borderline personality shows extremely impulsive behavior. Suicide attempts and self destructive behaviours, along with drug abuse are often an hallmark of this disorder.
The hard hoof of the person who suffers from this disorder is in interpersonal relationships.
Relationships are always very unstable. Characterized by intense fears of abandonment.
To avoid loosing the relationship, the individual often uses manipulations, mostly uncounsciounsly.
Within the relationship, the unstable sense of oneself manifests itself in moments of anger and violent quarrels.
Opposed to moments of intense dependency and a sense of self-devaluation. As a self-fulfilling prophecy, individuals with that are functioning so, tend to push the partner away.
The causes of the disorder are to be found mainly in historical vulnerabilities, that is, in the family history and in the attachment history.
Many studies have indicated that those who are diagnosed with BPD had often suffered child abuse or other traumatic event during their early life.
Borderline personalities usually hare diagnosed with a disorganized attachment. This attachment pattern originates from a relationship with the primary caregiver (almost always the maternal figure) characterized by unpredictability of care, frightening attitudes towards the child or franks physical or emotional abuse, including emotional or physical neglect.
What are the symptoms of a borderline personality disorder?
- Instability of interpersonal relationships, self-esteem and mood adjustment
- Marked impulsiveness on the behavioral level (abuse of drugs, alcohol, self destructive gestures and behaviors at high risk)
- Intense fears of abandonment and inadequate anger reactions in the face of separations, even if limited in time
- Frequent oscillations between idealization and devaluation of oneself and the other
- Emotional instability and disregulation of emotions, with rapid passages from eutimia to anger, anxiety or dysphoria
- Chronic and pervasive feelings of emptiness, poor tolerance to frustration and boredom, which is why they are often looking for something to do
Borderline personality Therapy
- EMDR therapy focuses on repairing the attachement in the individuals and improving rapidly the sympromatology by activating and reprocessing in a deep, integrated way, all the traumatic and stressful events of childhood and adolescence that causes the disorder along with its manifestations.
- Dialectic-behavioral, devised by Marsha Linehan specifically for this pathological area. Includes individual and group setting. The main aims are the acquisition of more adaptive socio-relational skills, the conquest of a greater degree of tolerance to stress and the regulation of emotions. Dialectic techniques, physical exercises and meditation techniques are used.
- Schema Therapy, developed by Jeffrey Young for personality disorders. Founded on the concept of early maladaptive schemas, coping and modes. The schemas are the origin of the pathological traits of the personality structure, the coping are the ways in which the person faces the activation of the schema. The modes represent the schemas and their active copings at a given time. It is believed that the borderline personality shows dissociated schemas. Lacking the possibility of using more functional and less emotional adjustment in a coherent self-experience.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, devised by Aron Beck, interprets the origins of the disorder in the biased beliefs of the subject on him/herself and on the other. The belief that the person sees themselves in need of help and dependent on others clashes with that on the world as a dangerous and adverse place. This traps the subject in a vicious circle mechanism. There are therefore oscillations between dependence and autonomy, vulnerability and intense anger, idealization and devaluation of the other. This reflects on relationships producing the typical instability.