William Hammett, Independent Ghostwriter

Nonfiction ~ Psychology


Note: The following excerpt has been used with the permission of a former client and/or the publisher. Please note that I can adjust my prose style for a particular genre, and the following is not intended to represent my full range of styles or the number of genres I consider. For nonfiction, the level of complexity can be adjusted depending on client preference.



Only since the mid-1990s has the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder begun to gain traction in the mental health community. Previously, this diagnosis was considered a "wastebasket" or "textbook" diagnosis that did not conform to actual symptoms presented by psychiatric patients. Even today, many therapists and psychologists who have never treated a Borderline Personality believe the disorder is only a vague descriptor of symptoms they believe clinicians mislabel as BPD. This is a travesty, for the disorder has been listed for years by the DSM-IV, the bible of psychiatric diagnosis. Millions of people suffer from the disorder, with relatives of those afflicted living a nightmare since the symptoms of BPD tend to destroy families.

Living with a Borderline can cause severe stress and illness among spouses and children of those with the disorder. Symptoms include domestic violence, control and manipulation of others, low self-esteem and lack of ego structure, fear of abandonment, binge eating and spending, rampant paranoia, self-mutilation, a denial of basic reality experienced by other family members, and the constant precipitation of chaos to get unhealthy forms of attention. In custody issues involving Borderlines, Parental Alienation Syndrome – PAS – usually takes place because of the Borderline's need to control all situations, often leaving the healthy parent powerless to protect children from the Borderline's pathology.

Even with competent treatment, therapists report only a 15%-20% success rate in treating Borderline Personality Disorder. A majority of patients quit therapy or attempt to manipulate the therapist, assuming they seek help at all. (Many psychiatrists and clinical psychologists refuse to treat Borderlines because of the above manipulation.) Most cases of BPD therefore surface as a result of marital therapy since the majority of Borderlines can effectively hold a job (they are called high-functioning Borderlines) and see no need for treatment. Common therapy includes of SSRI drugs in conjunction with DBT, or Dialectal Behavior Therapy, the latter representing a form of traditional cognitive therapy.

Eighty-five percent of all people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder are females, most having been sexually molested during early childhood. This is far from the only cause of the disorder, however. Research has revealed a definite genetic component to the disorder. Given this genetic pre-disposition and the dysfunctional atmosphere that children of Borderlines experience as they grow up, the risk factor for developing BPD is quite high among children of Borderlines.

©2002
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