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What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Learn about borderline personality disorder from psychiatrist Ankur Saraiya in this Howcast video.


Borderline personality disorder is one of ten personality disorders, and it's probably the most well known amongst the psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. And that's because individuals with borderline personality disorder due tend to engage in very intense relationships. Including their treatment relationships. Part of the reasons for this are they don't have a strong sense of identity, and they tend to have a fear of abandonment. They also have a very hard time of conceptualizing positive and negative traits at the same time. And all of these things lead to problems in their relationships. And especially the fear of abandonment leads individuals with borderline personality disorder to engage in behaviors to try and avoid these kinds of abandonment's. And sometimes these will be self injurious behaviors, or suicide attempts. And in other contexts individuals with borderline personality disorders will also cut themselves. And the cutting is not necessarily related to thoughts of suicide but actually more related to the fact that they don't have a close connection to their sense of identity. And their not very closely connected to their own bodies, so they'll tend to cut themselves to feel the pain, to see the blood, and to form a connection, and to know their actually existing in their bodies. It can be very confusing to people who don't have that same internal experience. But often it's useful for people with borderline personality disorders to understand that their not the only ones that feel this way. There are group of people who have this internal life, where they have these impulses and these fears, and the inability to experience good and bad at the same time. And that it's a consistent group of symptoms that we do see manifest in different individuals. The treatment for borderline personality disorder can be controversial, but certainly focuses on psychotherapy. To help them a: manage their impulsive behaviors, and certainly their self injurious behaviors. And b: to help them learn about their fears and their internal experiences, to help them manage their relationships better. And that's a basic overview of borderline personality disorder.

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