Monday, September 15, 2008

Do You Have a "Borderline Personality Disorder"?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD), DSM-IV Personality Disorders 301.83, is a psychiatric diagnosis, a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (published by the American Psychiatric Association) that describes a long-term disturbance of personality function characterized by depth and variability of moods. It is one of four related diagnoses classified as cluster B ("dramatic-erratic") personality disorders typified by disturbances in impulse control and emotional dysregulation, the others being narcissistic, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorders.

Disturbances suffered by those with borderline personality disorder are wide-ranging. The general profile of the disorder typically includes a pervasive instability in mood; extreme "black and white" thinking, or "splitting"; chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior; as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation.

These disturbances have a pervasive negative impact on many or all of the psychosocial facets of life. This includes the inability to maintain relationships in work, home, and social settings. Common comorbid conditions are Axis I disorders such as substance abuse, depression and other mood disorders. Attempted suicide and completed suicide are possible outcomes without proper care and effective therapy.Onset of symptoms typically occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, which persist for about a decade; while this period can be trying on the patient, their support system and their therapists, the majority of cases lessen in severity over time.

As with other mental disorders, the causes of BPD are complex and unknown. One finding in the search for causation in the disorder is a history of childhood trauma (possibly child sexual abuse), although other researchers have suggested diverse possible causes, such as a genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors, environmental factors or brain abnormalities. Neurobiological research has highlighted some abnormalities in serotonin metabolism. The incidence of BPD has been calculated as 1 to 3 percent of the American adult population.Alternatively, it has been calculated as 2 percent of the population composed mostly of young women and accounts for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Source: wikipedia

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