Borderline personality disorder, a DSM IV Axis II diagnosis, is often misunderstood and incorrectly handled by members of the medical community. Those with the diagnosis can be challenging and frustrating, and therefore often have trouble finding a therapist who will work with them. Ivan Spielberg, LCSW, is the Director of Program Development at Treatment Online. He has been treating clients with Borderline Personality Disorder for over 10 years, and he has found that with a few rare exceptions, those clients with the borderline personality cluster have been some of the most rewarding and successful of his career.
As a diagnosis, Borderline Personality Disorder is more commonly found in women, and typically presents after adolescence or in early adulthood. While some sources (like the NIMH linked earlier) cite prevalence as high as 2% of Americans, Mr. Spielberg has found that the diagnosis is often applied too liberally in the field, typically with difficult patients. In reality, a majority of clients who have a borderline diagnosis fit into the category of high-functioning, meaning sometimes they don't even meet the exact criteria for a DSM-IV diagnosis (found here), but instead come very close, and find that the symptoms they do experience are very disruptive of their day to day lives.
The video that we present here is part one of a two part series examing the borderline personality diagnosis and the treatment that can help those afflicted with the disorder move toward a healthier life. In the following clip, Mr. Spielberg discusses the presentation of borderline personality disorder as well as some of the misconceptions that surround it. Tomorrow, look for part two in which Mr. Spielberg discusses different therapeutic strategies.