• Ditte Kirstine Søndergaard Pedersen
  • Marie Bjerg Andersen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe mental disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability on several domains such as self-image, interpersonal relationships, emotions, impulsivity and a tendency to self-destructive behavior. Community studies reveal that BPD affects 1-2 % of the general population and 10-20 % of the clinical population. Preliminary for this empirical study, a systematic review revealed that no previous studies have been conducted regarding the lived experience of having a diagnosis of BPD in individuals between the age of 18-25 years. Objective: On this basis, the aim of this study was to explore the lived experience of having a diagnosis of BPD among emerging adults. Method: Online semi-structured interviews were carried out with six women between the age of 20-25 years with a diagnosis of BPD. The interviews were transcribed and systematically analyzed utilizing interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Findings: The analysis revealed five main themes: 1) The Development of Psychopathology, 2) Coping Strategies, 3) Attachment and Relations, 4) Identity and 5) Stigmatization. Conclusion: This qualitative study suggested that the lived experience of emerging adults with BPD were centered by an experience of being in a stabilizing process. However, the participants still highlighted difficulties on several domains such as intense emotions marked by dysfunctional affect regulation and impulsivity, negative self-image, dichotomous thinking, fear of losing close relations and hypervigilance towards social cues. Furthermore, the present findings revealed that the participants defined their identity based on their borderline disorder, to varying degrees. Moreover, the participants highlighted different experiences with stigmatization as well as a fear of others using their diagnosis against them. The findings from this study showed similar dimensions to previous studies in the field as well as new perspectives on certain dimensions. Further Implications: The findings of this qualitative empirical study may be relevant in the clinician’s diagnosing and treat- ment of this specific group of women with a diagnosis of BPD in the age of 20-25 years. For a more nuanced understanding of the experience of living with BPD, this study suggests future research on other populations such as men and inpatients. In addition, suggestions are given on how highlighted themes in this study may be further investigated.
LanguageDanish
Publication date28 May 2021
Number of pages108
ID: 412996647