New York Times on BPD

October 25, 2010

Here’s NYT’s coverage on Borderline Personality Disorder, written in 2009. You can read the entire article here:

Moods can change quickly and unpredictably, behaviors can be impulsive (including abuse of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, overspending or disordered eating), and relationships with others are often unstable. Many patients injure themselves and threaten or attempt suicide to relieve their emotional pain.

People with the disorder are said to have a thin emotional skin and often behave like 2-year-olds, throwing tantrums when some innocent word, gesture, facial expression or action by others sets off an emotional storm they cannot control. The attacks can be brutal, pushing away those they care most about. Then, when the storm subsides, they typically revert to being “sweet and wonderful,” as one family member put it.

Nothing new on the topic, but a good overview of BPD and dialectical behavior therapy (the most effective treatment to date). It’s important to note that BPD is a serious disease. This is not just a case of a moody person. BPD causes intense emotional pain for the sufferer. Imagine how intense the internal pain must be if a person needs to cut his/her wrist in order to relieve it.

As the above quote mentions, BPs often shut people out or lash out at them in order to avoid this pain. In effect, they are spreading their emotional pain onto others. In this way, BPD is contagious. This is why a BP needs to be treated immediately. BPD does not work itself out. A BP needs the help of a specialist to heal properly.

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