An Excellent article about Borderline Personality Disorder, of particular use for those who are in a relationship with somebody who suffers from this disorder.
IntroductionBorderline Personality Disorder is a serious condition which is estimated to affect between 1-3% of the general population. Yet, despite being so prevalent, BPD is not commonly known about or understood.People who live in a relationship with a person who suffers from borderline personality disorder often know that something is terribly wrong with the behavior of their family member or loved-one but often do not know what to do about it, or that there is even a name for it.Alternate Names for BPDThere are a number of different names used around the world for Borderline Personality Disorder: * Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) * Emotional Regulation Disorder (ERD) * Emotional Dysregulation Disorder * Emotional Intensity Disorder (EID) * Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) * Emotion-Impulse Regulation Disorder (EIRD) * Impulsive Personality Disorder (IPD)The most commonly used name today is Borderline Personality Disorder – or BPD – as defined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR).The term “Borderline” is a historic term coined to describe people who were diagnosed to be on the borderline between a neurotic and psychotic disorder. It is commonly felt that the “Borderline” label is misleading and stigmatizes the disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) – The DSM CriteriaBorderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) as an Axis II, Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic) Disorder:A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following: 1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5] 2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. 3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. 4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, promiscuous sex, eating disorders, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). [Again, not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5] 5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior. 6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days) 7. Chronic feelings of emptiness. 8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights). 9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.Characteristics & TraitsThe following list is a collection of some of the more commonly observed behaviors and traits of those who suffer from BPD. Click on the links on each one for more information about a particular trait or behavior and some ideas for coping with each.Note that these traits are given as a guideline only and are not intended for diagnosis. People who suffer from BPD are all unique and so each person will display a different subset of traits. Also, note that everyone displays “borderline” behaviors from time to time. Therefore, if a person exhibits one or more of these traits, that does not necessarily qualify them for a diagnosis of BPD. See the DSM Criteria on this page for diagnostic criteria.Abusive Cycle – This is the name for the ongoing rotation between destructive and constructive behavior which is typical of many dysfunctional relationships and families.Alienation – The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual’s relationships with others.”Always” and “Never” Statements – “Always” and “Never” Statements are declarations containing the words “always” or “never”. They are commonly used but rarely true.Anger – People who suffer from personality disorders often feel a sense of unresolved anger and a heightened or exaggerated perception that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused.Baiting – A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from anotherBlaming – The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.Bullying – Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.Catastrophizing – The habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.Chaos Manufacture – Unnecessarily creating