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Author Topic: Why is it "Borderline"? Isn't there a better name?  (Read 12836 times)

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« on: December 14, 2007, 05:53:07 PM »

Borderline Personality Disorder.  This is a question about the name of the condition that I'm surprised not to have found answered here yet.  Sorry if it has been.

What exactly are they on the borderline of?

Is it schizophrenia?  Is it depression? 

Ok, one side of the border must be 'normal' (whatever normal is!)  But what's on the other side?

Sorry if this is so obvious, but to call it Borderline Personality Disorder there must be another side of the border, I'd just like to know what's on it.

Thanks if you can help.


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Posts: 406

« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 06:14:07 PM »

When the term "Borderline Personality Disorder" was coined, clinicians generally believed that patients in whom it had been diagnosed were on the borderline between neurosis and psychosis.  That diagnostic phraseology has since been discarded, but the name stuck.
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2007, 06:19:59 PM »

Some professionals now would like to rename it "Emotional Regulation Dysfunction"...or

something like that... but I think the original theory is pretty good too.

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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2007, 07:36:05 PM »

Emotional Regulation Dysfuntion is a better name because it gives some idea what the condition actually is.

Wikipedia defines neurosis as a "catch all" term for any mental imbalance that causes distress, but, unlike a psychosis or some personality disorders, does not prevent or affect rational thought.  And Psychosis is defined as is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality."

All of these terms are helpful showing what BPD sufferers are actually living with.  Thankyou, Dramacat & Wisernow, for your input.  I'm still interested in other definitions of the condition.  Why was that diagnostic phraseology discarded?  Not precise enough?  Not specific enough? 

I agree the original theory is pretty good now I know what sufferers were thought to be on the borderline of.  But without that information it was too vague for me.  It's just a shame it still needs so many long words to fully describe it.

A better name for the condition would be one that's just one word, not a phrase that's likely to be shortened to initials.  But that's probably asking a bit much!
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2007, 04:43:22 PM »

I believe the term "borderline" is well suited as it refers to the person crossing back and forth, in and out of psychosis. That explains why they can appear perfectly normal a lot of the time. True with my exSO.

But when I first heard the term, and when most people think about how the word borderline is used in our language, they think that it is almost something. What is discussed on here is anything but almost a personality disorder.
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 12:55:55 PM »

My T has stated that when BPDw is raging, it is a psychotic state.  I've certainly seen her psychotic.
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2007, 04:19:25 PM »

Sounds like semantics. If acting totally irrational and disassociative is what psychosis is then mine is psychotic.

But, as Bill Clinton once said, it would depend on what your definition of "is" is.
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2007, 05:27:16 PM »

Dissociation is not considered to be psychosis in scientific articles.

*but it certainly looks like it when you are raged at*  <:-)

So yes its a semantics thing.

and the term borderline is outdated.

Emotionaly Unstable PD as in the universal ICD-10

sounds much better

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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 12:07:16 AM »

Psychosis means to lose touch with reality... and BPDs do that on a rather regular basis. They don't always take it to the level that psychosis does, but they CAN.

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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 07:25:16 AM »

eggshell, I'm with you on this.  Yes, there is a difference between dissociation and psychosis, and I don't think anyone here argued otherwise.  That being said, I have definitely witnessed psychotic rages from BPDs.
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