A Journey towards Integration
What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Characteristics of BPD include unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotion, as well as patterns of impulsive behaviours. Individuals with BPD first experience these symptoms beginning in early adulthood, and the symptoms tend to continue for years.
Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms
People with BPD experience their symptoms almost daily for years.
Understanding the development of BPD
The biosocial theory of BPD development (Linehan, 1993) states that some individuals are born more emotionally sensitive and vulnerable than others. As a consequence, these individuals have: (a) heightened emotional sensitivity, (b) inability to regulate intense emotional responses, and (c) slow return to emotional baseline. In addition, when these individuals grow up in an environment that is intolerant and essentially invalidating of their emotional responsiveness they learn that their emotions are “bad” and that they should hide their emotions. The combination of biological emotional dysregulation and an invalidating environment leaves these individuals unable to develop “effective” behavioural responses to cope during emotionally challenging events. Consequently, these individuals do not learn how to understand, label, regulate, or tolerate emotional responses and instead learn to fluctuate between emotional inhibition and extreme emotional lability. These individuals also fail to learn how to solve the problems contributing to these extreme emotional reactions.
For more information on BPD and links to resources, visit BPD Resources.