Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Anti-DSM…

I might get in trouble from some people for this post as if highlighting the positive traits of borderlines, or any psychiatric disorder, is somehow a justification for the negative aspects, but screw them because it’s not. Every person has redeemable qualities and so much of psychiatric literature is focused on the negative that I feel the need to balance things out a bit. This list pertains to traits associated with BPD (borderline personality disorder) since that was what my last post was about, but I will do this for other disorders as well.

A list of positive traits in BPD:

  1. Energetic
  2. Entertaining
  3. Adaptable
  4. Passionate
  5. Empathetic (There was a recent study, Flury et.al., suggesting this might not be true, however the study looked at how BPD persons perceived non-BPD persons and vice-versa. It did not compare how BPD and non-BPD persons view the same subject. Another study, Frank and Hoffman, showed evidence for greater non-verbal sensitivity among BPD persons.)
  6. Imaginative, creative
  7. Purposeful
  8. Good listeners
  9. Attention to detail
  10. Experienced
  11. Confident
  12. Able to tolerate pain
  13. Varied interests
  14. Productive
  15. Brave
  16. Intelligent
  17. Survivors
  18. Kind, thoughtful
  19. Compromising


Judith M. Flury, William Ickes, and William Schweinle. The borderline empathy effect: Do high BPD individuals have greater empathic ability? Or are they just more difficult to “read”? Journal of Research in Personality Volume 42, Issue 2, April 2008, Pages 312-332.

Hallie Frank and Norman Hoffman. Borderline empathy: An empirical investigation. Comprehensive Psychiatry. Volume 27, Issue 4, July-August 1986, Pages 387-395.

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