Borderline personality as a self-other representational disturbance.
ABSTRACT A great deal has been written about the nature of borderline personality. We maintain that borderline psychopathology emanates from particular disturbances in mental representations-impairment in the ability to maintain and use benign and integrated internal images of self and others-and that these troubled ways of thinking drive the troubled interpersonal relations, affective instability, and impulsivity associated with borderline. Aspects of borderline self-other representational disturbances are present across a wide theoretical spectrum, and a number of research methodologies already exist to assess the phenomena. We conclude that borderline attributes exist on continua, and summarize important features as: (1) unstable mental images of self and others, often marked by self-loathing and attributions of malevolence to others; (2) interactions with others organized around a fundamental need for care that is felt to be necessary for basic functioning; (3) fear of others based on expectations of being mistreated and disappointed and/or terror of having one's identity subsumed by another person; (4) difficulty considering multiple and/or conflicting perspectives, with a tendency toward concrete, all-or-none, or black-and-white, thinking and distortion of reality; and (5) sadomasochistic interpersonal interactions in which a person alternatively inflicts suffering on others and suffers at the hands of others.
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ABSTRACT: Violence between people is a complex social phenomenon involving both social and individual psychological variables. Prevention of violence includes attention to risk factors for violence; but also the provision of interventions for those who have been violent to others. This article explores the evidence that failures of the mentalising process are a risk factor for acts of violence, especially in mental health service users; and describes the implementation of potential therapeutic programmes that seek to improve mentalising in individuals who pose a risk of serious violence to others.Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 01/2013; 19:67-76. DOI:10.1192/apt.bp.110.008243
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ABSTRACT: Previous research has suggested that patients meeting criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD) display altered self-related information processing. However, experimental studies on dysfunctional self-referential information processing in BPD are rare. In this study, BPD patients (N = 30) and healthy control participants (N = 30) judged positive, neutral, and negative words in terms of emotional valence. Referential processing was manipulated by a preceding self-referential pronoun, an other-referential pronoun, or no referential context. Subsequently, patients and participants completed a free recall and recognition task. BPD patients judged positive and neutral words as more negative than healthy control participants when the words had self-reference or no reference. In BPD patients, these biases were significantly correlated with self-reported attributional style, particularly for negative events, but unrelated to measures of depressive mood. However, BPD patients did not differ from healthy control participants in a subsequent free recall task and a recognition task. Our findings point to a negative evaluation bias for positive, self-referential information in BPD. This bias did not affect the storage of information in memory, but may be related to self-attributions of negative events in everyday life in BPD.PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(1):e0117083. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117083 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The term "identity" has a much longer tradition in Western philosophy than in psychology. However, the philosophical discourse addresses very different meanings of the term, which should be distinguished to avoid misunderstandings, but also to sharpen the key meanings of the term in psychological contexts. These crucial points in the philosophical concepts of identity in the sense of singularity, individuality, or self-sameness may structure the ongoing discussion on identity in psychiatric diagnoses (as in DSM-5, ), in psychology, psychoanalysis, but also neuroscience and neurophilosophy . The concept of identity is subjected to a systematic philosophical analysis following some milestones in its history to provide a background for recent discussions on identity in psychiatry and psychology. The article focuses first on the philosophical core distinction s of identity in the different meanings to be addressed, second, briefly on some of the diverse psychological histories of the concept in the second half of the 20th century. Finally some reflections are presented on borderline personality disorder, considered as a mental disorder with a disturbance or diffusion of identity as core feature, and briefly on a newly developed instrument assessing identity development and identity diffusion in adolescence, the AIDA that is also presented in the special issue of this journal . As a conclusion, different points of view concerning identity are summarized in respect to treatment planning, and different levels of description of identity in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and social science and personality psychology are outlined.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 07/2013; 7(1):29. DOI:10.1186/1753-2000-7-29