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Author Topic: What is the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder?  (Read 26808 times)
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« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2010, 10:23:09 AM »


Has there been any research into whether BPD has a higher tendency to also exist in children of sufferers? I ask this because I know that often BPD affects people with childhoods traumas and parents who were emotionally distant, and I'm wondering whether this could be learned behaviour? I know that, from my wife's description of her childhood, the current movie we're all in just feels like history repeating. How do we stop this cycle?

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« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2010, 03:10:28 PM »

I would refer you to the article about the causes of bpd, because that is essentially what you are asking about, I think.

In a previous study, Trull and research colleagues examined data from 5,496 twins in the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia to assess the extent of genetic influence on the manifestation of BPD features. The research team found that 42 percent of variation in BPD features was attributable to genetic influences and 58 percent was attributable to environmental influences, and this was consistent across the three countries. In addition, Trull and colleagues found that there was no significant difference in heritability rates between men and women, and that young adults displayed more BPD features then older adults.

Currently, the most generally accepted theory is that bpd results from a combination of genetic predisposition plus being raised in an invalidating environment.   I am warming up to that theory, myself, because that particular wording allows for the possibility that in the case of the hyper-sensitive and cognitively-impaired individual, their environment is perceived as invalidating by that individual even though their environment is objectively normal or average.

At the same time, it is true that infants and children naturally pattern their behaviors on their primary caregiver's behaviors through every-day exposure, the same way they pick up the language used in their family.  So if children are subjected on a daily basis to frightening, abusive, unpredictable behaviors or to rejecting and negligent behaviors on the part of their mother or primary caregiver, that becomes familiar, everyday life and the child's "normal".  Picking up and mimicking bpd behaviors is called acquiring "fleas."  

However, if the older child has the ability to take personal responsibility for his or her behaviors and not always blame others for causing problems, if the child cares that his or her negative behaviors hurt other people and wants to improve his or her negative, counter-productive behaviors, then the child very likely does not have bpd and can learn to modify and improve unwanted behaviors with therapy.  In my opinion, in addition to therapy, the less exposure the child has to the mentally ill primary caregiver, the better.


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« Reply #62 on: March 08, 2010, 08:36:40 AM »

The incidence of BPD in families with a BPD parent is higher than in the general population.

This article from Columbia University explains it pretty well. http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a108.htm
Children of mothers with BPD show a significantly higher prevalence of ‘disorganized’ attachment than children of mothers without BPD.

Hope that helps.


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« Reply #63 on: March 17, 2010, 09:27:39 AM »

The incidence of BPD in families with a BPD parent is higher than in the general population.

This article from Columbia University explains it pretty well. http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a108.htm
Children of mothers with BPD show a significantly higher prevalence of ‘disorganized’ attachment than children of mothers without BPD.

Skip, thanks for the link.

When I started fully understanding BPD and I was able to unprofessionally diagnose my wife with confidence, I realized that all the horrible stories of neglect and abuse by her mother pointed to BPD in her as well. In fact, her mother is the more "classic" case of BPD whereas I believe my W has some mix of disorders.

Then, turning to her sister, the stories of explosive anger outbursts, her rude and inconsiderate mannerisms, her isolating her husband and family, all started making sense.

The odds are very high that MIL, W, and SIL are all borderlines of varying severity, but I have been very careful in the past of posting it because I did not want to appear as somebody who wants to find a BP under every rock! But when the evidence is there...

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« Reply #64 on: February 24, 2011, 08:14:49 AM »

I know quite alot about my exBPD's background.d didnt visit her at college once in the 3 year's she was there and she had very little emotional support from her family from what i can tell. She has no connection or contact with any of her mothers family and the family she does have contact with all seem to have some history of abuse or mental illness according to her.

I honestly do not believe anybody has ever properly shown her love or cared about her. She's always had to look after herself and i don't believe she trusts anybody. Every time i got really close to her she just pushed me away, Sometimes it felt like she really wanted to be close to me but just couldn't do it or didn't know how sad

I truely hope that one day she can get there with someone and break free from her loneliness. She deserves it more than most after the life she has had.

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« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2012, 06:13:45 PM »

I have a grand nephew who I feel at age 6 is exhibiting some signs of BPD----according to my therapist.  My mother, although undiagnosed and so consequently unacknowledged by the family, has BPD.  My question is----is BPD genetic and/or learned behavior?   If BPD is genetic behavior, then I am wondering whether I should share this info with my nephew (parent of my grand nephew) as well as my other grand nephew whose wife is expecting in March.  My sister could/would never acknowledge my mother's BPD as she was the daughter who was on the pedestal while I was the mostly "evil" split, usually out of sight of my sister.  Sharing this info with my nephew would perhaps, be like dropping a bomb in my family and perhaps, create a schism between my sister and me which is healing because I have learned to avoid discussing Mom in any negative way with her because she has always taken Mom's side against me and made excuses for her behavior.  My mother is now 95years old and wheelchair bound with dementia.  I am afraid that not passing this info on to my nephew is negligent on my part because I know the terrible effects of BPD on my life and would not want that to continue within my family.   Please share any and all ideas you have on this! Thanks so much!

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« Reply #66 on: February 09, 2012, 09:54:36 AM »

it is my opinion, based on research, personal experience, and talking to pdocs and t's that people are born biologically predisposed to developing bpd.  the struggles of everyday life, combined w/hormonal changes, tragedy, invalidation...these hypersensitive people may experience as traumatic.  early intervention  is the key.  learning how to validate, be in control, have/hold healthy boundaries, allow natural conseqences, teaching/modeling high level coping skills, therapy, etc...may halt/curb the full development of the disorder.

it is common for adolescents and children to be diagnosed w/add/adhd, odd, depression, etc prior to being dx w/bpd (or less official dx prior to the age of 18 ie:  emerging bpd, traits of bpd).


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« Reply #67 on: March 12, 2012, 04:02:40 PM »

My exBDPbf has children who have endured a life of upset with their father's cheating ways, and they don't seem to react to it at all.   

For the last six months, he has made my life a living hell, and the children (who I thought I was close to) have not once spoken to me or offered any kind of acknowledgement of the situation to me.

After we separated, their father was taken to a mental health unit and he had told everyone that he tried to kill himself (he didn't) - I drove to comfort them and when I arrived at the house they were happy as larry making their dinner and watching Eastenders, laughing and joking.

Before I left, I began to see enormous similarities in their behaviour to their dads, ie, isolated, self-absorbed, sociable and yet no deep interest in others, no empathy.

I am really worried that my own child will end up like this too.

Is there any evidence of it being genetic?

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« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2012, 03:18:20 PM »

Does BPD run in a family? ie genetic or nurtured. I believe the my uBFDso siblings may all have similar issues.  I have not seen or experienced any signposts for myself but have heard of the males having alcohol induced rages and know the females lack of long term relationships lying, and hypercritical.  Anyway I do not see it in my children but wanted to hear if anyone can comment.
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« Reply #69 on: May 01, 2012, 05:22:24 PM »

I actually read up on this some time ago as I was struck by the similarities between my ex and her mother. There have been peer reviewed studies (here is one such example) that point to the fact that there is a genetic basis for a proportion of BPD traits - however my understanding is that this has still not be localised or refined (as in the data shows a strong correlation but they haven't pinpointed the specific genes that predispose someone to BPD).

The study linked suggested a 40/60 split between genetics and environment respectively and from memory those are similar stats that I read elsewhere (trying to hunt down the articles I read but it was a long while back so I'll have to keep digging).

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