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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) remains one of the more controversial of the psychological diagnostic labels. The large majority of individuals diagnosed with BPD are women and a number of authors suggest the diagnosis is sexist and reflects a male-dominated outlook on personality functioning (Herman, 1997; Zanarini, 1997). Other authors point out that there are a significantly large percentage of those diagnosed with BPD who have a history of childhood sexual abuse (Van der Kolk et al., 2006; Courtois et al., 2009). These authors suggest that BPD may be better conceptualized as a complex form of posttraumatic stress disorder (Herman, 1999; Courtois et al., 2009).

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is BPD a pejorative diagnosis? Is it sexist? Or is it a constellation of characteristic symptoms that accurately reflects a distinct personality type?

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