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Monthly Archives: July 2010

More Literary BPD!

  The sexually voracious Kirsten Munk (1598-1658), consort of King Christian 4th of Denmark, was terrified that, first, her lover Otto Ludwig would leave her, and then that she would lose her beloved handmaiden Emilia. She was incapable of empathy and showed no love for her children. She threw tantrums when things didn’t go her way and veered […]

Sarah Makes Up a Word

I don’t care much for Sarah Palin, but I love her new word “refudiate.” Jimmy Kimmel compares her to Don King — “She just makes words up!” “Refudiate” is an example of a portmanteau, a blend of two words to make a new one.  Sarah couldn’t decide between “refute” and “repudiate,” so she just combined them! Examples with a […]

Diagnosing at a Distance

Borderline personality disorder is alive and well on the internet these days, what with the shenanigans of Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan. Googling Mel and borderline just now, I found lots of links, including a diagnostic blog entry on the Huffington Post by a psychiatrist and author named Mark Goulston. In Mel’s case, it’s the rage that […]

Enough Already

I love To Kill a Mockingbird. I really do.  But am I the only one who’s heard enough? The 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication has spawned endless radio, TV, online, and magazine stories; in all of them, very, very sincere people say they looooooooooove the book, so, so, so much. They have given it to […]

It’s Bertha’s World. We’re Just Living in It.

I take communion every week to a lady named Bertha. Although she can’t always remember exactly how old she is, she consistently cites 1912 as the year of her birth. So I feel confident that she’s 97 years old, soon to be 98. “You know how old I am, don’t you?” she says every time […]

Pessimism 101

This time of year always reminds me of my mom’s negativity — a quality I now associate with her undiagnosed BPD. Every year, every single year, as the 4th of July approached, my mom would find an opportunity to sigh that “summer is almost over.” During the stressful years I was teaching in a public high school, those […]

Do People with BPD Lack Empathy?

The research is all over the place on this question. Though “lack of empathy” is a usual textbook symptom of BPD, some researchers believe that people with the disorder have a peculiar sensitivity to others’ emotional states. I don’t intend to examine all the research here but to share some reflections on BPD’s paradoxical nature. Here’s […]