Tuesday, May 5, 2009

DSM IV Axis II - The Church's Dirty Little Secret Part IV - Borderline Personality Disorder

This posting will be simply an attempt to define this complex disorder. I will start with the official DSM criteria and then try to define it in more laymen's terms in the next post (including examples of how this can play out in relationships at church):

DSM criteria:

* Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

* A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

* Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

* Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

* Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

* Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

* Chronic feelings of emptiness

* Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

* Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Cause: Like most, serious, mental health issues, there appears to be a genetic predisposition (nature), that can be enhanced or "set off" of certain life experiences (nurture)such as abandonment or actual abuse as a child.

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