A Discussion of the Problems Related With Identifying And
Diagnosing Borderline Personality Disorder
Numerous personality disorders have been medically identified over the years, some are genetic while others are acquired. Yet, a lot of these disorders remain uncharacterized and can only be classified according to the pattern of abnormal behaviors the patients exhibit. Therefore, in an attempt to develop a definite meaning to what a Personality Disorder is, the American Psychology Association (APA, 2000), using the DSM-IV-TR classification system, describes Personality Disorder as an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates ...view middle of the document...
In her book: Trauma and Recovery, she theorizes that when PTSD manifest in a manner that heavily affects the elements of identity and relationship patterns of an individual, it gets called Borderline Personality Disorder (Herman, 2005).
Persons with Borderline Personality Disorder often shift between idealizing and demonizing others and if left untreated, can undermine relationships with family, co-workers and friends. Relationships with other people are often intense but very unstable and stormy, with frequent shift in feelings and difficulties in maintaining intimate, close connections. The individual also has trust issues and may get manipulative. But perhaps the most imperative and outstanding manifestation of Borderline Personality Disorder is the development of unpredictable and impulsive behaviors that range from addictions with spending drugs, alcohol and shoplifting to physically damaging actions like suicidal gestures.
Surprisingly, Borderline Personality Disorder is a fairly common disorder with estimates being laid as high as 10-14% of the general population in the USA (Meyerson, 2009). The major cause of this disorder has been repeatedly cited to be genetic although sexual correlation has recently been established. Statistics show that the cases of Borderline Personality Disorder in women are 2-3 times the number of cases in their male counterparts. This finding is linked with the premenstrual tension and depressions that women undergo (Meyerson, 2009). This coupled with the greater incestuous experiences that women go through during their childhood are deemed to be major predisposing factors.
Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorders
Persons with Borderline Personality Disorder can sometimes be bright and intelligent, appearing warm and competent (Phend, 2009). This is however maintained until their defense is crumbled by stressful occasions such as the death of a parent or a break up of a romantic relationship (Hoffman, 2007). Diagnosis is therefore based on clinical assessment by a qualified mental health professional which often involves self-reported experiences by the patient in addition to the Doctors observations.
In an attempt to make a precise diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and clearly distinguish it from other personality disorders, Gunderson and his colleague, Jonathan Kolb (2009) constructed a clinical interview called Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines, Revised (DIB-R) to assess borderline characteristics in patients. This interview considers symptoms that fall under four major categories namely Affect, Cognition, Impulse action patterns, and Interpersonal relationships. Using these categories, the DIB-R has been able to identify four behavioural patterns that are peculiar to Borderline Personality Disorder and these are listed as: being very demanding and need to feel entitlement; fear of being abandoned, annihilated or engulfed; regression when treated and possibility of arousing...