Social Cognition in Borderline Personality Disorder - Deepstash
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What Is BPD?

What Is BPD?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most serious clinical entities in existence. Under the umbrella of the label ‘serious syndromes’, there are only two more disorders: bipolarity and psychosis.

Sufferers of BPD experience extraordinary difficulties when it comes to interpersonal relationships. They often feel abandoned by those around them. Consequently, a lack of interpersonal stability is the norm rather than the exception. They tend to oscillate between two extremes, either praising or denigrating the people around them.

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An approach to borderline personality disorder (BPD)

This clinical entity is characterized by a typical way of behaving that begins in adolescence and continues throughout adulthood.

Sufferers of BPD have difficulty managing the way they relate to others, as well as the way they perceive themselves. Their behaviors are often driven by impulsiveness and they experience great difficulties regulating their emotions.

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Characteristics for Diagnosis of BPD

According to the American Psychiatric Association, sufferers must also exhibit five or more of the following symptoms:

  • They intensely avoid feeling alone/abandoned
  • They relate in an unstable way to others
  • Their identities are poorly constructed; lack of stability in their own image and in the Self
  • Extremely impulsive
  • They threaten to harm themselves and inflict self-harm
  • They’re emotionally unstable
  • They feel permanently ’empty
  • Tend to lack control over their anger; they find it difficult to exercise their will over their emotions
  • They may present paranoid ideas and dissociative symptoms

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Origins

The origin of BPD is currently unknown. It’s believed that childhood trauma could play a relevant role. In fact, for authors like Stern, this disorder lies somewhere between neurosis and psychosis.

If the sufferer was faced with a context in which their thoughts and feelings were given little credibility and validation when they were young, this becomes a risk factor for the development of BPD. 

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Social Cognition

Social cognition is the way we think of others. It alludes to how we process the information that comes from our social universe. Cognition can be understood from the perspective of a set of abilities. These involve the ability to assign mental states both to others and to ourselves, in relation to thoughts, feelings, and intentions in the form of actions.

Social cognition relates to the way in which people operate with information gathered from their interpersonal relationships. It alludes to how they perceive and interpret it and how they react.

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Alterations of social cognition in BPD

People with this disorder are extraordinarily sensitive to messages from others. This is related to social cognition in two ways:

  • In cognitive terms, they present alterations in their ability to mentalize. The ability to reflect on what others may be thinking and what their intentions are.
  • Experience affective difficulties with their empathic capacity. Difficulties to experience the emotion that another person is feeling.

It’s extremely difficult for them to express themselves and to understand the emotions that characterizes the human being.

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