Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: oops! I edited my typos...

Posted by Elizabeth on March 28, 1999, at 2:57:30

In reply to oops! I edited my typos..., posted by Mark on March 24, 1999, at 0:23:43

>As a psychiatry resident, I would add
>that borderline character organization
>probably develops because at some period
>in one's life it served an adaptive,
>coping purpose to manage through difficult
>experiences. In this way, the personality
>structure has it's benefits/advantages
>(otherwise it likely wouldn't exist!) and
>it's disadvantages as well (most of which
>many of you have already detailed).
>So my guess is that the adaptive qualities
>of this character organization are what
>promote the "borderlines are more
>intelligent" side of the current debate
>and the disadvantageous/maladaptive
>qualities of the character structure
>promote the other side of the argument.
>In the end, I think we should be just as
>carefully ascribe set qualities to those
>labeled borderline as we do in labeling
>those with certain qualities borderline.

Hi Mark. It's good to see you posting (though hard to imagine that you have time to mess around on the internet!). It's also good to see that you're aware of the degree of caution that has to be applied in making a diagnosis of personality disorder. Where are you doing your residency, and what year are you in?

I think I mentioned that I've met borderlines at Harvard and MIT who were certainly very smart (although sometimes their emotional difficulties got in the way of their academic functioning). I have no doubt that in a different setting I would meet borderlines who are not so smart - it's an incredibly common disorder in all walks of life (probably overdiagnosed, but still common). I don't think intelligence has anything to do with it. No doubt there are sociopaths, narcissists, hysterics, paranoids, etc. who are geniuses, and there are also those who, well, aren't. One doesn't have to be a genius to develop an adaptive hehavior pattern that later ends up being maladaptive, which I guess is what personality disorders are assumed to be.

The original claim was that all borderlines have uniformly high (130+ I believe?) IQs, which seems more absurd than a general remark about "intelligence" would. I find the level of apparent defensiveness surrounding this claim rather baffling.

I think a more interesting question would be whether borderlines are especially *creative*. Obviously this is even harder to define in a clear way than "intelligence," and maybe that is the only thing that makes it harder to answer. I've often heard the words "creative" and "imaginative" used to describe persons prone to dissociation (as many borderlines are), and indeed, sometimes dissociation may seem like an exceptional feat of fantasy. What do you think?

(Something I have never been able to understand: what is a "personality organization" and how is it different from a personality disorder? I'm assuming there is a difference, since the descriptions I've read/heard of BPO are much broader than those of BPD.)




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