What is a Borderline Personality Disorder?

People suffering from borderline personality disorder feel a great void and are intolerant to being alone. In their interpersonal relationships they shift back and forth between idealization and devaluation of other people, and suffer a turbulent time.

Some of the characteristics of the personality disorder called Borderline are: a deep sense of void, sudden outbursts of anger, impulse control problems, suicide gestures, suicide attempts, bitter conflicts in their relationship as a couple, tendency to go back and forth between idealizing and totally devaluating the same person.

Borderline personality disorders is regarded as an Axis II personality disorders, but the likelihood of an Axis I disorder being present is in the region of 85%, and the likelihood of another Axis II disorder being present is 75%.

A series of biological and psychological factors play a role in the aetiology of the illness. The genetic factor is one of the factors in the forefront. Amongst psychological factors the role of a mother who has difficulty empathising, is considered important.

The illness shows phases of recovery and phases of a flare-up. The possibility of a total recovery does exist but is dependent on luck.

In the treatment, priority is given to psychotherapy. This needs to be supported by pharmacological treatment (drug treatment)