On The borderline? Borderline personality disorder and deliberate self harm in literature

Date

2008

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

01550306

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

University of Queensland

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Abstract

This paper examines Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in two texts - Kristen Waterfield Duisberg's The Good Patient and Susana Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted. It argues that fiction that examines the types of behaviours associated with BPD depathologises BPD through its focus on experience, meaning and reasons rather than symptom. The label of BPD can be pejorative and as such individuals who have this diagnosis or meet the criteria for it run the risk of having many assumptions made about their acts of DSH. From the perspective of the functions, meanings and significations of acts of DSH, this paper suggests that learning to listen to these highly individual networks of meanings through the non-damaging medium of literature can be a valuable tool for clinicians.

Description

Keywords

borderline personality disorder, self harm, literature, novel, medical humanities

Citation

Brown, B.J., Crawford, P., Baker, C. abd Lipsedge, M. (2008) On The borderline? Borderline personality disorder and deliberate self harm in literature. Social Alternatives, 27 (4), pp. 22-27.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Mary Seacole Research Centre