DOI: https://doi.org/10.36315/2021inpact085May 13, 2021Proceedings Paper

‘I AM NOT A MONSTER': THE LINGUISTIC STIGMA OF BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.

Kaja Widuch

Abstract

"Borderline Personality Disorder is arguably the most distressing disorder amongst the DSM diagnoses for all involved. Although psychiatric labelling can be validating it is often stigmatising. Due to the nature of BPD, people living with the disorder (PBPD) tend to be marginalized and discriminated against. A quick and random review of the World Wide Web (including a selection of popular social media platforms) reveals a common linguistic theme in describing BPD. PBPD are ‘toxic’, ‘difficult’ and ‘manipulative. Other labels, more diagnostically - oriented see PBPD as the ‘PDs’ or ‘the borderlines’. These also carry negative connotations of the inner and outer groups - ‘us’ vs ‘them’. Given the nature of the labels, recovery for PBPD is often dubious. One might think - ‘I am a monster anyway’, a classic example of cognitive dissonance. The language used in clinical practice as well as out of it is a powerful weapon. Some might poetically describe BPD as a lethal cocktail of blended psychopathologies with the ingredients including chronic suicidality, abandonment and intermittent lucidity to name a few. Of note, externalising such pathologies in an adaptive way is almost a fantasy for the therapy team. A more user friendly descr...Continue Reading

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