Pin it What is a Controversial Topic?
What Does It Really Mean? A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder could, theoretically, mean that the psychiatrist made a serious attempt at evaluating defense mechanisms and ego integrity; or at least a matching of symptoms to DSM criteria.
It's theoretically possible, yes. Let's assume there's a difference between a diagnosis and a heuristic. A diagnosis is based on pathology, or at least on a set of predetermined criteria. I diagnosis must be both reliable-- multiple doctors would find the same diagnosis when given the same information, and valid-- the diagnosis actually is the thing you say it is.
Many psychiatrists devalue diagnoses into heuristics, that is, they have intuitive "rules of thumb" that are extensions of their own cognitive biases.
This isn't automatically good or bad; the heuristic is only as helpful as the bias. For example, if the last ten people who you saw that smoked crack also had syphilis, on the 11th you might apply the heuristic, "where there's crack, so there be syphilis, better get a blood test.
The diagnosis of a personality disorder is supposed to be valid, it's supposed to mean something. However, in general they are diagnosed very unrigorously, if such a thing can be imagined of psychiatrists.
A good example is borderline. If a psychiatrist calls it borderline, it may or may not be, actually, borderline personality, a la Kernberg. So if a patient happens to know she was diagnosed with borderline which she rarely will-- it's kept secret or encoded as "bipolar" it doesn't mean she can look it up on the internet for more information, because that's not what the psychiatrist meant by the diagnosis.
In that case, the word suddenly means something completely different than it ordinarily does: But white people know exactly what it means in that context.
Those "things" however, are uncoupled from the "official" diagnosis. The heuristic may have a lot, or absolutely no, relationship to the diagnosis. In other words, the term "borderline" is immensely reliable among psychiatrists, but not at all between psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists, who think it means something else.
What psychiatrists should have done is invented their own special word for the heuristic of "borderline. So, as a public service, I'll tell you what psychiatrists mean when they say borderline.
Once again, I'm saying that this is how the diagnosis is used by many psychiatrists. If you email me and say that I'm a jerk for not understanding the term, then you need to go buy yourself a helmet. First, borderline is a heuristic of countertransference: Second, borderline is meant as a synonym for any of the following: Third, it is generally reserved for the following four types: Very attractive female, who comes for problems the psychiatrist considers ordinary: It is diagnosed here most often by female psychiatrists, and carries the connotation: The implications are lack of self-control, and reliance on external supports.
Thin female with a lot of anger. By example, the woman who comes for treatment of "depression" but describes most life events in terms of attacks, sleights, harm, etc-- i. If you are a patient, my point in telling you this iss not "why did they diagnose me with borderline? But her anger makes the psychiatrist uncomfortable, so it gets labeled as borderline.Hence, today the definition given by JB Watson is accepted in its modified form as “Psychology is the study or science of behaviour of the organism and its mental processes”.
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