BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDERS — AN APOLOGY, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

My last post on Borderline Personality Disorders provoked a great number of both positive and negative responses. I chose to not publish the negative responses for a number of reasons. One reason was that many of them were downright abusive, filled with devaluing comments and name calling. The other, and probably the most potent reason, is that some of the comments were embarrassingly true. I not only write my blog to inform, to help, and because I love writing, but to also publicize my novels. In writing about Borderline Personality Disorders I got a little carried away and become overly dramatic and one-sided.

The main reason most of the negative comments were filled with such anger was because the authors of the comments felt that I was stigmatizing their condition and unrealistically simplifying it.

I in fact did characterize BPD as an all or nothing disorder, a black or white way of looking at the world. It IS that way, but what I failed to stress is that a person suffering from this concrete approach to life can change. With therapy or self-examination or productive life experiences, they can learn to see the shades of gray in the human condition. They can better understand another person’s point of view, take responsibility for their part in the problem, and be a force that can resolve the problem.

Most of the negative comments I received were from people who had obviously gained the ability to see life in a more three-dimensional manner. My two-dimensional descriptions would understandably be anger provoking.

I wish to thank all the commenters who expressed their feelings in a way that was helpful and caused me to rethink my approach. Best Wishes.

Art Smukler MD is the author of Skin Dance, a mystery, Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, The Man with a Microphone in his Ear, and the blog, Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist

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