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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is probably currently overdiagnosed by mental health professionals. It was once a psychiatric disorder that was the province of primarily medical psychiatrists whose treatment focus was enacted through the lens of psychoanalytic inquiry and theory. As with other diagnoses over the past 20 years, BPD (borderline personality disorder) has gradually become a badge of social respectability if not prestige especially among the young. What was once an obscure and arguably difficult diagnosis to make with any certainty has now become a buzz word and elevated to the level of social chatter. Since BPD (borderline personality disorder) is no longer only within the province of psychiatrists, other mental health professionals have joined the fray offering alternative cognitive treatments including CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), which are intentionally designed to be far from any psychoanalytic focus, and instead designed to be cognitive and behavioral systems for the elaboration of interpersonal coping strategies, much as TA (transactional analysis) had been in the 1970's, but with more of an Eastern and meditative influence, and of course, with different vocabulary.

While the accuracy of the diagnosis of BPD (borderline personality disorder) might be in doubt, it is usually the case that anyone who carries that diagnosis suffers from the effects of destructive interpersonal relationships that repeat themselves both within the family and outside of it. These pathological relationships are characterized by an emotional reactivity that does not allow for delay or deliberation and that typically escalates into mutually destructive interactions. In addition, BPD (borderline personality disorder) is also typically accompanied by other disorders such as drug addiction and alcoholism. The long-term effects of such repetitive pathological interaction in the context of drug and alcohol abuse is a profound loss in self-esteem and an exaggerated inability to believe in the future or in the notion that delay in emotional response could lead to anything but disaster.

A 12-step residential treatment community for BPD (borderline personality disorder) must be of an appropriate length of time, minimally three or four months, and sometimes longer. The patient will finally learn that catastrophe will not follow delay, that delay is good, and that he/she can rely on the positive predictability of constancy and love from a good-enough, but not perfect, environment. In this kind of environment, the patient learns that she too is good enough, though imperfect. He/she will learn to reduce the severity of his/her self-criticism and his/her criticism of others. Respecting and learning from others, as well as being respected in turn and teaching others will be a significant contribution toward his/her lasting spiritual change.

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