Borderline Personality Disorder: Understanding a Complex Condition
In their work, A Casebook in Abnormal Psychology, Halgin and Whitbourne (1998) investigated the case of Ann, a woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. In order to assess and formulate an effective treatment strategy, it was necessary to understand the context of experiences within Ann’s life. She explained that one of her earliest memories was the belief that she had been an unwanted child. She held the belief that her parents did not divorce in order to make her a ‘legitimate’ child. She explained her childhood environment as a “living hell”. Ann’s mother showed her significant attention and care during the first two years of her life. Ann explained the close relationship with her mother as a method that would protect them both from her father. Both her mother and father constantly argued with each other and Ann attributed herself as the inherent cause of this conflict.
The close relationship that both her mother and she shared was downgraded with the birth of her younger sister when Ann was two years old. As her mother focused the majority of her attention on her sister, Ann felt both lonely and vulnerable. During the following years of Ann’s childhood, she focused her efforts in order to regain the love and affection from her mother that had been lost with the new addition of the family. While her efforts worked occasionally, she would often receive criticism and frustration from her mother. ...Show more