Borderline Personality Disorder: Background information when reading The Blind

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The Blind

A Chilling Psychological Suspense

by A.F. Brady

The Blind by A.F. Brady X
The Blind by A.F. Brady
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2018, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kate Braithwaite
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About this Book

Borderline Personality Disorder

This article relates to The Blind

Print Review

In her debut novel, The Blind, A.F. Brady, a licensed psychotherapist, has created a memorable narrator, Sam James, who suffers from borderline personality disorder.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the handbook used to describe and diagnose mental disorders, lists ten forms of personality disorder that are further defined into clusters. Borderline personality disorder falls into cluster B, the dramatic, emotional and erratic cluster. The four disorders in this cluster share problems such as impulse control and emotional regulation. They are:

  1. Borderline Personality Disorder
  2. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  3. Histrionic Personality Disorder
  4. Antisocial Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder affects approximately two percent of adults. People with this disorder experience intense mood swings, behave impulsively and often put themselves at risk, either through self-harm or dangerous behavior including drug abuse and risky sexual liaisons.

A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is made when an individual meets five out of nine criteria including fear of abandonment, patterns of unstable relationships, self-damaging impulsivity, unstable self-image, suicidal or self-harming behavior, instability including reactive moods and anxiety, inappropriate anger, paranoia, and feelings of emptiness.

Treatment options include therapy sessions, particularly with an emphasis on dialectical (the logical discussion of ideas and opinions) behavior therapy that teaches skills in the management of emotions and avoiding self-destructive behavior. Where medication is prescribed, it is usually to treat other conditions that may run hand in hand with a BPD diagnosis, for example, depression or anxiety. Self-care is also an important aspect. It is particularly important that individuals with BPD sleep and eat well and manage stress.

In September 2017, Psychology Today asked, "Is Borderline Personality a Woman's Disease?" The article gives the scenario of a driver being pulled over for speeding and erratic driving. The driver is drunk, crying uncontrollably and talking about suicide. If the driver is a man, he will be taken to jail and called a drunk. If the driver is a woman, she is more likely to be hospitalized and perhaps diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The article cites research that suggests that women are three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with BPD.

Article by Kate Braithwaite

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Blind. It originally ran in October 2017 and has been updated for the July 2018 paperback edition.

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