In Brief: The stigma of borderline personality

In Brief

The stigma of borderline personality

Published: January, 2007

It's well known that other people's expectations shape individual behavior. Many psychiatric patients feel rightly that friends, relatives, and colleagues who are aware of their status exude discomfort that exacerbates their problems.

Writing in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, three psychologists consider how this stigma can affect psychotherapists themselves. They focus on a particularly difficult group of patients, those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. By definition, the moods of borderline patients are unstable, and their behavior is volatile, often upsetting or frightening. They are prone to sudden rage, suicidal thoughts, self-injury, and inappropriate attempts at intimacy followed by sudden rejection. Volumes have been published about the challenges of working with them.

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