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Dr. Carla Goddard

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BPD and Child Abuse are they related
by Dr. Carla Goddard   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2008

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Personalities form in each individual as they go through childhood. The events of childhood are like the sculptors hands on the clay - molding and shaping each individual. Studies have proven time and time again that the environmental factors do in fact play a role in how a child matures into an adult.



Personalities form in each individual as they go through childhood. The events of childhood are like the sculptors hands on the clay - molding and shaping each individual. Studies have proven time and time again that the environmental factors do in fact play a role in how a child matures into an adult. Inherited characteristics also play a role in shaping each individual. With this in mind, does childhood abuse have a direct correlation to developing borderline personality disorder?

The exact cause of borderline personality disorder is not known. Research does indicate that any sort of child abuse, whether it is physical, mental, sexually or neglect seems to be consistently in the background of those diagnosed with the disorder.

What exactly is borderline personality disorder?

It is defined as a serious emotional disturbance that is characterized by unsatisfactory and unstable personal relations, intense anger, impulsive actions, feelings of emptiness, and real or imagined fears of abandonment according to the National Institute of Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov). BPD for short is characterized by these intense mood swings that change almost hourly.# they can include bouts of self inflicted injury as people with BPD often battle low self esteem. BPD frequently is identified when sufferers almost frantically work at being socially accepted and included in events. Many individuals will show reckless behavior such as impulsive eating, shopping, and alcohol or drug abuse. BPD suffers tend to see things in a very black and white world with no room for gray. Due to the fact that many symptoms are confused with other disorders, it is truly impossible to get a clear look at the symptoms of BPD.

The pattern of social relationships is often skewed even with immediate family causing confusion among family members as one day they admire and almost worship the family member and the next they despise them with a passion. Fear of abandonment plays a major factor in sufferers of BPD. Having family members even leave on business trips can cause a rage to ensue or a deep depression. It is known that social relationship patterns are learned through childhood. A child learns the role of love in a relationship from a parent. When that love is not there the child becomes skewed in his/her perception of what love is. Thus the cycle of abuse in one of its forms continues.

It has been researched that child abuse in its many forms can be directly linked to other mental disorders such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder. Every type of child abuse has an emotional content and consequence. It can affect every aspect of a child through adulthood, from simple relationship difficulties to flashbacks and nightmares for instance. It has been studies that the behavioral effects of child abuse lead to alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, suicide attempts and continuing the cycle of abuse with spouse and/or children.

Both environmental and genetic factors have been linked to predisposing a patient to BPD. Forty to seventy percent of all BPD patients report having some sort of sexual child abuse. # It is believed that a combination of childhood abuse in some form along with a genetic predisposition are the leading risk factors for developing BPD. The genetic factors have been narrowed down but are inconclusive as many patients do not show the genetic branding.

Does childhood abuse cause borderline personality disorder? The answer to that question is still unknown. Most in the medical profession will not argue the fact, however, that child abuse is most definitely a risk factor when it comes to BPD.

Web Site: Ashira


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Reviewed by Reginald Johnson
After reading hundreds of books about the lives of famous and infamous people with this predisposition; I discovered they all have one thing in common: they were abused physically, emotionally, and sexually ... when they were children.

Thank you for this insightful article. Hopefully, it will make those that are in denial; look closely at their environments and spare innocent children a lifetime of dysfunctional behaviour.

Regards ...

Reginald V. Johnson
Reviewed by Susan MacAllen
Thanks for a great article. . .you touch upon the idea that parenting bears at least some responsibility for mental illness. . .not a popular stance in today's society, but a necessary one.

The article was well-researched, technically sound, and clear enough for a lay person. Enjoyable, informative read.
Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK
Big Credit For Being On Sunrise Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center...

TRASK
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