Personality disorders are psychological disorders, which can affect a person's life. Having a personality disorder can have a negative affect on one's every aspect of life. It can affect the individual's work, home life, and social interactions with others. Personality disorders can range from mild to severe. Of all the personality disorders, one of the most common disorders yet most evasive is the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). .
Kreisman and Straus (1989), estimated that as many as 10 million American may be afflicted with BPD. Since their study dates back to 1989, it can be assumed that the number is higher today. One of the problems with properly diagnosing BPD is that fact that it seems to coexist with other mental illnesses such as hysteria, manic-depressive disorder, schizophrenia, hypochondriasis, multiple personality disorder, sociopathy, alcoholism, eating disorders, phobias, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Thus BPD is one of the hardest to diagnose, define, or explain.
The term borderline syndrome first appeared in the 1930's, but the condition was not clearly defined until the 1970's. As more people began to seek help for the various calamities in their life problems, the confines of the disorder began to take shape. By 1980, BPD was included in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III)(Kreisman and Straus).
The newer DSM-IV lists eight criteria for BPD, five of the criteria must be present for a diagnosis. The first criterion refers to the constant search for self in the on going and intense personal relationships formed with others. The relationships are unstable due to the intolerance of separation and/or fear of intimacy. The individual forms a dependency by clinging, and idealizing the unsuspecting victim. The relationship usually collapses when the other individual frustrates those needs by leaving. "The internal feelings are translated into intense, shifting, manipulative couplings" (Kreisman and Straus p.