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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: What is the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder?  (Read 35617 times)
gypsy_darkeyes


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« on: February 03, 2006, 03:17:48 AM »

This was a very big concern of mine because I have two young sons with my BPD ex husband.  I think it's the age old question of "nature vs. nurture".  And I think right now because they are so young (2 and 1), even if they are prone to BPD in terms of genetics, there is a possibility that with the right form of parenting, they could lead somewhat normal lives.  I noticed that my mother in law always catered to my husband's BPD nature (maybe even if she wasn't quite aware of it).  When he threw a fit, everyone would cave in to his needs.  She did this more so when he was a child.  She started to do that with my oldest son when he started the whole terrible two temper tantrum thing.  I think impulse control is learned behavior.  In my opinion most BPD's lack this.  So I think it's a mixture of genetics, environment and "learned behavior".. 
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Abigail
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2006, 01:20:18 PM »

I believe it is a mixture of genetics and trauma or abuse.  Other risk factors that have been noted are being adopted, early parental loss (or inadequate infant bonding),head injuries and untreated ADHD.  ( 50% of those with "untreated" ADHD develop the borderline disorder and also, 50% of borderlines also have ADHD)

Our doctor, who specializes in treating those with the borderline disorder, has also treated a high number of Amish with the disorder.  This seems to indicate that there is a genetic disposition to the disorder since the Amish do not intermarry with outsiders. And therefore, any genetic disorders would be passed on more frequently among themselves.

 

BPD doesn't always develop in someone who has the predisposition.  Being raised in a mentally healthy environment without abuse and good self esteem have been recommended (and treating any mental disorders of the parents) to greatly reduce the chance of developing BPD.

My husband was diagnosed with BPD and ADHD a year and a half ago.  Our 24 year old daughter and 14 year old son show no signs of having the disorder.  They are however, both being treated for ADD.  My husband was adopted so I don't know anything about his biological family background.

One comment I would like to add to something gypsy darkeyes said.  Although I do agree that in many instances impulse control is a learned behavior, for someone with ADHD the impulse problems are not something that can be controlled (outside of medication greatly reducing or eliminating the impulsiveness).  Many children who are ADHD are blamed for something that they can not control.  There are even several psychiatrists and psychologists that I know of who have ADHD and are also knowledgeable and experienced in treating ADHD who can attest to this both from knowledge and personal experience.

 

Abigail
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StressedinCleveland
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BPD can be cured --but you may not like the result


« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2006, 05:48:20 PM »

Borderline psychopathology in the first-degree relatives of borderline and axis II comparison probands.

The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of each of the nine DSM criteria for borderline personality disorder and the prevalence of the disorder itself in the first-degree relatives of borderline probands and Axis II comparison subjects. Four hundred and forty-five inpatients were interviewed about familial borderline psychopathology using the Revised Family History Questionnaire--a semistructured interview of demonstrated reliability. Of these 445 subjects, 341 met both DIB-R and DSM-III-R criteria for BPD and 104 met DSM-III-R criteria for another type of personality disorder (and neither criteria set for BPD). The psychopathology of 1,580 first-degree relatives of borderline probands and 472 relatives of Axis II comparison subjects was assessed. Both DSM-III-R and DSM-IV BPD were found to be more common among the relatives of borderline than Axis II comparison probands. However, five of the criteria for BPD (inappropriate anger, affective instability, paranoia/dissociation, general impulsivity, and intense, unstable relationships) and all four sectors of borderline psychopathology (affect, cognition, impulsivity, and interpersonal relationships) were found to be both more common and discriminating than the BPD diagnosis itself. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the subsyndromal phenomenology of BPD may be more common than the borderline diagnosis itself.





Zanarini MC, Frankenburg FR, Yong L, Raviola G, Bradford Reich D, Hennen J, Hudson JI, Gunderson JG.

J Personal Disord. 2004 Oct;18(5):439-47. Related Articles, Links  

The Laboratory for the Study for Adult Development, McLean Hospital, and the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA 02478, USA. zanarini@mclean.harvard.edu


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lost_ethel
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2006, 08:20:35 PM »

Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the subsyndromal phenomenology of BPD may be more common than the borderline diagnosis itself.

 

I don't understand.  What point are you making?  Looks like about one-third of close relatives turn out to be BPD themselves.  Is that what we need to know?

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mommadee
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2006, 08:42:35 PM »

Wow. I find a minimum of 18 family members with symptoms of BPD or other PD.  It is not that I want to be diagnosing everyone, I just could not believe the abuse that exists within our family and I wanted to take a closer look at the symptoms I have been seeing for years.  

I only included relatives of blood and never counted the married into which would really bring the count up.
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StressedinCleveland
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BPD can be cured --but you may not like the result


« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2006, 12:30:36 PM »

Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the subsyndromal phenomenology of BPD may be more common than the borderline diagnosis itself.  

I don't understand.  What point are you making?  Looks like about one-third of close relatives turn out to be BPD themselves.  Is that what we need to know?

A point of the study which I think is important is that a lot of relatives have features of BPD even if they don't meet the full diagnostic criteria.



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Abigail
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 09:08:46 AM »

A child is six times more likely to develop BPD if a parent has the disorder.

You also need to consider that your children are at risk for developing the disorder if their mother has it.  

There are some things you can do to lessen the risk that they will develop it.  Build up their self-esteem, make sure that you are mentally healthy and treat any mental health problems that they may develop, in particular, ADHD.  Untreated ADHD is one of the risk factors for developing BPD.  

 Abigail

 
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makeitstop
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 10:37:05 PM »

I was wondering about the 6x more likely to develop BPD if the child had a BPD parent.  Knowing that the thinking is that it is 50% genetic and 50% environmental, is that 6x for a child who is genetically predisposed to BPD to develop BPD vs. another child who is predisposed (i.e. not including children not genetically predisposed)?

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Abigail
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 09:08:23 PM »

I'm not sure.  
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Up Out of It
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2008, 05:19:07 PM »

I just found a great article on borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com called "Etiology of BPD by John G. Gunderson, MD".  It helps explain how both genetics and environment contribute to BPD.

It is not easy to develop BPD. I expect that only a small fraction of the people who have the genetic disposition go on to develop it. Parenting is sometimes dysfunctional, but villains are truly rare. We need far more research to understand the contributions of both genes and environment.

the etiology of the borderline personality disorder (BPD) involves both genes and environment. The genetic component, which has been underappreciated, is substantial. It is not, however, the disorder itself which is inherited. Rather, what is inherited are forms of temperament that predispose a child to develop this disorder. The predisposing temperaments (aka phenotypes) for BPD are Affective Instability, Impulsivity, and Needy/Fearful Relationships.

Each of these temperaments predisposes to other disorders as well as BPD; Affective Instability also predisposes to mood disorders, Impulsivity also predisposes to substance / alcohol abuse, bulimia, and conduct disorder, and Needy/Fearful Relationships also predispose to histrionic, dependent, and avoidant personality disorders. The presence of these inherited temperaments helps explain why patients with BPD are often co-morbid with these other disorders.

Early caretaking relationships are significantly shaped by the child. This contrasts with the more widely recognized belief that parental interactions significantly shape the child. Thus, the easily upset, needy/fearful, hyperactive child who possesses the predisposing temperaments for BPD will pose special problems for parents. Such a child will benefit from forms of parenting that may not come natural to their parents.

The easily upset child may need an unusually calm and patient caretaker. In its absence their emotions may be poorly integrated and disturbing to them. The needy/fearful child may require a consistently involved reassuring caretaker. In its absence, their fears of abandonment may become unrealistic. An impulsive child may need parenting marked by predictability and non-punitive limit setting. In its absence, they may not develop self-controls.

Regardless of the early childcare, the child with predisposing temperaments for BPD will be far more easily undone by traumatic events. Most children with trauma grow up without sequelae. Those who suffer enduring consequences from trauma have both a predisposing temperament and -- perhaps due to problematic early caretaking -- will often have failed to disclose and process the event with their caretakers.



www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/notes-gunderson.shtml
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