Why Are People with Borderline Personality Seen as Devils?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe psychiatric condition, which is characterized by the rapid change of psychological conditions, depression and panic attacks, aggression, and other dysfunctions of this kind. Unfortunately, people with this kind of disorder are often treated as socially unacceptable individuals, so other people try to avoid them. Excessively religious people believe borderline personality disorder attacks to be the manifestation of the presence of the devil.
The term “borderline” was introduced in 1938 by the New York psychoanalyst Adolf Stern. He used this term to categorize the described condition as the one located between neurosis and psychosis (Millon, 2004). There can be a lot of symptoms of BPD, but extreme behaviors generally characterize all of them.
Individuals with this kind of disorder can look strange and even threatening during their attacks. In addition, these attacks start suddenly, and during them, a person cannot control himself or herself. All these factors give some people reasons to call these attacks the manifestation of the devil’s presence. This concept is also supported by different movies which depict people haunted by the devil because people with BPD can mouth obscenities, become aggressive, cry, and try to hurt other people. This image is often depicted in horror movies and is attributed to the people haunted by the devil. This is a misinterpretation. In reality, borderline personality disorder has nothing to do with the devil’s presence. This disorder is a resulted of an unstable psychic state and inability of an individual to deal with his or her emotions.
The reasons which cause BPD are not fully defined yet. Specialists name three main causes of the disorder. They usually include inherited personal characteristics, traumatic events in early childhood, biochemical dysfunction (Friedel, 2004). People with BPD have serious problems with controlling themselves. They need help and assistance in order to be able to deal with their issues, and different religious prejudices and comparing their attacks with the devil’s obsession creates additional problems for them.
Nehls N (August 1999). “Borderline personality disorder: the voice of patients”. Res Nurs Health 22 (4).
Millon, Theodore (2004). Personality Disorders in Modern Life. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Friedel, O. R. (2004). Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD, Da Capo Press.