Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday Thirteen

Lots of folks are talking about personality disorders these days, particularly narcissistic personality disorder. (Many health officials believe #45 may have this. It is, of course, a liberal conspiracy to say that, but in my unprofessional though somewhat informed opinion, he certainly does exhibit signs.)

Another personality disorder that doesn't receive much attention, but which is really a very cruel and life and family threatening issue, is borderline personality disorder (BPD). 

I have a friend who is dealing with this personality disorder within her family at the moment, which is why it is on my mind. I think I also have a relative with it, so I have studied it some.

It is an insidious way of life in which the person with borderline personality disorder lives with a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, moods, and control over impulses.

People with this particular personality disorder are frequently misdiagnosed. Symptoms of this personality disorder are:

1. Wide mood swings.

2. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger.

3. Chronic feelings of emptiness.

4. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures or threats, or self-harming behavior.

5. A pattern of unstable relationships.

6. Persistent unstable self-image or sense of self.

7. Fear of abandonment.

8.Periods of paranoia

9. Loss of contact with reality.

10. Uncertainty about who they are.

11. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

12. A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)

13. Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating

People with this disorder may be triggered by ordinary events that other people shrug off. For example, people with BPD may feel angry and distressed over minor separations—such as vacations, business trips, or sudden changes of plans—from people to whom they feel close. Studies show that people with this disorder may see anger in an emotionally neutral face and have a stronger reaction to words with negative meanings than people who do not have the disorder.

Some of these signs and symptoms may be experienced by people with other mental health problems—and even by people without mental illness—and do not necessarily mean that they have BPD. It is important that a qualified and licensed mental health professional conduct a thorough assessment to determine whether or not a diagnosis of BPD or other mental disorder is warranted, and to help guide treatment options when appropriate.

The causes of BPD are not yet clear, but research suggests that genetic, brain, environmental and social factors are likely to be involved. BPD is about five times more likely to occur if a person has a close family member (first-degree biological relatives) with the disorder. Many people with BPD report experiencing traumatic life events, such as abuse or abandonment during childhood. Others may have been exposed to unstable relationships and hostile conflicts. However, some people with BPD do not have a history of trauma. And, many people with a history of traumatic life events do not have BPD.

Studies show that people with BPD have structural and functional changes in the brain, especially in the areas that control impulses and emotional regulation. However, some people with similar changes in the brain do not have BPD. More research is needed to understand the relationship between brain structure and function and BPD.

Research on BPD is focused on examining biological and environmental risk factors, with special attention on whether early symptoms may emerge at a younger age than previously thought. Scientists are also studying ways to identify the disorder earlier in adolescents.

Treatment for this personality disorder is mixed with regards to effectiveness. BPD is considered to be one of the hardest disorders to treat. Treatments include psychotherapy (or “talk therapy”) is the main treatment for people with BPD, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) (mindfulness), Schema-Focused Therapy (changes point of view), and other talk therapies.

Families of people with BPD may also benefit from therapy. The challenges of dealing with a loved one with BPD on a daily basis can be very stressful, and family members may unknowingly act in ways that worsen their relative's symptoms. Although more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of family therapy in BPD, studies on other mental disorders suggest that including family members can help in a person's treatment.

Some people with BPD experience severe symptoms and require intensive, often inpatient, care. Others may use some outpatient treatments but never need hospitalization or emergency care. Although in rare cases, some people who develop this disorder may improve without any treatment, most people benefit from and improve their quality of life by seeking treatment.

To help a friend or relative you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement—change can be difficult and frightening to people with BPD, but it is possible for them to get better over time. Also, learning about this or other mental disorders can help you understand what your friend or relative is experiencing.

Here are the other personality disorders:

There are three clusters of personality disorders: odd or eccentric disorders; dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders; and anxious or fearful disorders. Specific disorders are as follows:
•Paranoid personality disorder is a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others, such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent.

•Schizoid personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings.

•Schizotypal personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with reduced capacity for close relationships. It is also characterized by distortions of thinking and perception and eccentric behavior.

•Antisocial personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.

•Histrionic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of excessive emotion and attention seeking.

•Narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or actual behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy.

•Avoidant personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.

•Dependent personality disorder is a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of, which leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation.

•Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

•Borderline personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, moods, and control over impulses.



Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 499th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. Trump just claimed to have invented the phrase "priming the pump." They are all hard or impossible to treat because people with personality disorders usually think they are fine. It explained a lot when I first read about them.

  2. It's good to raise awareness. We all need understanding. We're all unique. :)

  3. Dr. Strangelove in a nutshell, me thinks.

  4. #45 certainly has the personality disorder.


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