Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Article Title

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Mental Disorder or the Medicalization of Social Undesirability?


This article challenges the status of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as a mental disorder in the DSM by examining the seemingly normative nature, symptomology, and epidemiology of the disorder, as well as by questioning its clinical validity in terms of diagnoses, symptoms and treatment. It discusses the implications of allowing normative assumptions to influence the medical science, and calls attention to the ‘moral’ nature of BPD and its associated symptoms. Empirical evidence is used to explore the clinical validity of BPD regarding treatment methods and success rates, as well as to examine the gender and age norms that appear to underline the epidemiology of the disorder. This article concludes that the parameters of BPD and its symptoms are indeed questionable and require further scrutiny by both philosophical and medical professionals, and that the idea of its removal from the DSM should be maintained as a consideration depending upon further analysis.

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