Borderline Personality Disorder – Disorder Example

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"Borderline Personality Disorder" is an outstanding example of a paper on the disorder.   Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder that interrupts with moods of a person and how they interact with other people. It is a disorder common in women, which result from environmental factors. However, BPD can also result from genetic factors. The disorder is associated with traumatic events that occurred in childhood. These include loss of loved ones, neglect by parents, physical and emotional abuse or sexual abuse (Krawitz & Jackson, 2007:98).   The following is a case of Joan, a girl diagnosed with BPD at the age of 19. Joan experienced a difficult childhood; when she was 6 years old, her mum and dad died in a road accident and a couple took her in and adopted her.

The loss of her parents really affected her, and as time passed by Joan became stressed, irritable and her performance in school dwindled. She became antisocial and to make things worse, her new dad began to abuse her emotionally. He would shout at her when she cried and even threatened to throw her out. In her teenage life, Joan was still antisocial.

She cried even with a slight provocation. She was angry and sullen most of the times and yelled at classmates, parents and teachers. Her friendships with other students lasted for a short time, and she became impulsive. When her adoptive parents talked to her, she confessed that she felt alone, bored and that no one seemed to understand her. Her guardians figured that it was just an adolescent crisis and they brushed off the idea of seeking help. In her late teens, things had become worse.

Her anger became uncontrollable, and her mood swings became unpredictable. She fought with schoolmates, parents and even teachers on a daily basis. Her emotional instability had become serious. At times, Joan felt extremely terrified for no reason. She hated cars and feared crossing roads even if the roads were less busy, for fear of dying in an accident like her late parents. One day her guardians noticed that Joan had swollen lips; her face had scratches and had scars on her neck and arms.

When her guardians demanded to know, she confessed that she did harm herself since she felt lonely, and that was the only way she felt better. Her parents decided to seek medical help. The parents sought the services of a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist met with Joan a few times, spent time and talked to her. As Joan shared with the psychiatrist, for the first time she felt that someone understood her. As she explained the symptoms to the psychiatrist, she began to feel that finally there was a solution to her problems. After a few meetings, the psychiatrist diagnosed Joan with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Her symptoms met the diagnostic criteria for BPD. Her parents were amazed at how they did not understand her all this time. The psychiatrist explained to them all about BPD, how they were supposed to handle her and the available remedies. Joan started medication in combination with psychotherapy, and at 20, she had improved tremendously. In college, her few friendships were stable, and her academic work was exceptional. Joan is now 26 years old, working and in a stable relationship.

She has made a few friends and is happy. Even though she experiences anger and emotional distress at times, she has learnt to cope and manage the symptoms. She still receives medications and behavioural therapy to ensure stability all through. In conclusion, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder that interrupts with moods of a person and how they interact with other people (Krawitz & Jackson 2007:6).   The Borderline Personality Disorder case of Joan has managed to discuss BPD from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. It has also discussed the symptoms such as impulsive behaviour, irritability, stress, intense anger, emotional instability, self-harming and unpredictable mood swings.

The case explains how to seek help, diagnosis and treatment with options such as taking medications, psychotherapy and behavioural therapy. It has finally pointed that coping skill can help largely in managing symptoms. Borderline Personality Disorder is associated with both environmental factors and genetic factors (Krawitz & Jackson 2007:7)  


Krawitz, R., & Jackson, W. (2007). Borderline personality disorder. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
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