Copyright © 2020 | Shelley L. Heusser
BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)
Practice No: 0445800 Reg No: 0112860
Borderline Personality Disorder
Extreme experiences of abuse and trauma are also associated with
symptoms of a personality disorder known as Borderline Personality
Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by chronic
patterns of instability in relationships, goals, values, and mood, non-fatal
suicidal behavior and suicidal threats, and other impulsive behaviors that
may be harmful (e.g., substance abuse, unsafe sex).
To this day, the diagnosis of a Borderline Personality Disorder remains
stigmatizing and controversial because it implies that the there is
something wrong with the individual's personality that cannot be altered or
changed. Also, a lot of professionals believe that individuals with these
symptoms are particularly difficult to treat and work with. Unfortunately,
due to these stigmas, many people who have Borderline Personality
Disorder do not get the compassionate care and treatment they need.
Distancing from professionals may contribute to the individual’s feelings of
self-hatred, inadequacy, and rejection. Long-term psychotherapy with a
caring and experienced psychologist can be very effective in lowering
levels of suicidal and impulsive behaviour, and other negative coping
strategies such as alcohol and drug use.
My experience of working in the psychiatric ward of a hospital for over six
years has equipped me with the research, skill, and expertise to treat this
condition in a way that respects the individual’s humanity, integrity, and
right to care and compassion. Rather than using traditional, out-dated
tools, I have cutting-edge effective techniques in my arsenal that are
validated by current research on the neurobiological aspects of
“I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy
everything, including myself.”
People with Borderline Personality Disorder “third degree burns over 90%
of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest
touch or movement.”
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious emotional condition,
typically with a tendency towards unstable and turbulent emotions,
heightened anger, feelings of emptiness, and fears of being left alone.
BPD is characterized by a tendency to act impulsively and without
consideration of the consequences.
Symptoms of BPD
1. Impaired Emotional Control: excessive, poorly regulated emotional
responses, especially anger, that change rapidly.
2. Harmful Impulsivity: impulsive behaviours that are harmful to you or to
others, such as spending sprees, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm,
physically aggressive acts and sexual promiscuity.
3. Impaired Perceptions and Reasoning: suspiciousness, misperceptions,
an unstable self-image, a poor sense of your identity, and difficulty in
thinking under stress.
4. Disrupted Relationships: tumultuous relationships with a person close to
you that vary from extreme fear of abandonment to episodes of excessive
anger and the desire to get away from that person.
BPD has been known to be an extremely complex and debilitating
condition overall. It affects one’s everyday life and disrupts the typical
interactions and functioning of an individual. I have a special interest in
helping people with this condition as they often feel rejected by the health
profession and are unfairly stigmatised by psychologists, doctors, and their
family and friends. This disorder is treatable, and with patience, care, and
understanding, and an unwavering commitment to see you through your
emotional upheaval, I look forward to working with you to heal the traumas
of your past and present.