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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Borderline Personality Disorder Continuum

Like all mental health disorders, those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder exhibit symptoms of varying severity depending on their capacity for relationships. Those closest to a psychotic disorder are openly angry, having given up their desire for relationships. Less severe are those that vacillate between moving toward and away from others. The next group lack a secure "sense of self" or sense of who they are, and mold their behavior according to what others expect; while the least disturbed group continually seek a symbiotic relationship with a mothering figure, having lacked a "good-enough" parenting figure early in life. This continuum of pathology reflects the deficient ability to tolerate intimacy, a contining modulation of closeness by moving toward and away from others.

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Psychiatric Diagnostic Misunderstanding and Popular Culture

For some illogical reason, perhaps as a reaction to poor clinical practice or popular movies, some mental health disorders have become viewed as benefit rather than illness. Among these is Borderline Personality Disorder, a serious psychological illness describing severe, fixed weakness of the basic ego capacities governing thinking, behavior, affect, and more, deriving from faulty developmental experiences, principally the lack of a "good-enough" parenting during the early years when basic ego capacities form. A theoretical concept, "Elements of a Borderline Psychotic Psychostructural Organization," which is far more common than BPD, is a continuum of weaknesses of one or more ego capacities and far less severe. It is often mis-diagnosed for BPD particularly when substance abuse is present. Sadly, inadequate child development knowledge is the rule for both the general public and many clinicians.

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