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Borderline Personality Disorder: Affective Instability Essay

4059 words - 17 pages

Running head: Borderline Personality

Borderline Personality Disorder: Affective Instability
Keith Milstead
Walden University
PSYC-8721-002 Advanced Psychopathology


This paper will look at the symptomology, etiology, risk of development, cultural prevalence and co-morbidity of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In addition, this paper will differentiate BPD from like disorders. Biological factors, psychological factors and social/environmental factors will be examined as to how these factors associate in the development of this disorder. The most current treatment approaches for BPD will be addressed.

Borderline Personality Disorder: An Affective ...view middle of the document...

Paris (2004) pointed out that BPD has early onset but tends to abate as one ages. The DSM-IV-TR (2000) reports that BPD is seen predominantly in females.
The most current treatment approaches for BPD will be addressed. Speranza and Corcos (2005) indicated that wide-ranging mental health services and multiple therapeutic approaches are needed to treat this disorder. Cognitive and dynamic psychosocial therapy has proved effective in treating BPD and there is documentation that psychopharmacological approaches have been effective in treating this disorder as well. (Paris, 2004). Other approaches will be reviewed as to their benefits in treating BPD.

Disorder Description

BPD is an Axis II disorder and is the most frequent personality disorder diagnosis made in both inpatient and outpatient settings (Trull, 1991). According to Russell, Moskowitz, Zuroff, Sookman and Paris (2007), BPD is defined as instability of affect, impulsivity and problems within interpersonal relationships (p. 578). The DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) indicated that BPD requires five or more of the following criterion: 1.) anxious attempts to avoid abandonment, whether it is real or imagined; 2.) a repetive behavior consisting of unstable and intense, idealized and devalued interpersonal relationships; 3.) identity disturbance; 4.) impulsivity in at least two behaviors that are possibly damaging to the individual (e.g., impulsive gambling, use of illicit substances, unprotected sexual activity); 5.) recurrent suicidal ideation or behavior as well as engaging in self injurious behavior; 6.) instability of affect due to intense mood swings; 7.) a chronic lack of feeling; 8.) a general inability to control one’s anger; and 9.) feelings of paranoia or dissociation (p. 710).
Lis et al. (2007) reported that borderline personality disorder affects 1% to 2% of the general population (p. 162). In addition, BPD is associated with high rates of suicidal ideation and nearly 10% commit suide by the time they reach adulthood (p. 162). Nee and Farman (2007) reported that individuals with BPD also have great difficulty in development of acceptance skills of both themselves and others.

Skodol and Bender (2003) reported that there are possible biological, environmental and sociological reasons for the development of BPD. The authors indicated that there is a genetic predisposition to BPD related traits such as stress vulnerability, anxiety and depression (p. 357). Males have been shown to have lower levels of autonomic arousal, lesser serotonin responsivity and decreased frontal activity in the brain than in females which would bring about poor socialization, less behavioral inhibition and poorer verbal problem solving skills (p. 357). Because of these differences, girls would would experience higher degrees of fear, have greater consciences, incur episodes of guilt and depression and thus have an affective factor to any impulse control issues thus appearing to...

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