Borderline Personality Disorder

The Narcissist versus the Borderline

A kind member of ATSTP posted Dr. Theodore Millon’s profiles of the Narcissistic Personality and the Borderline Personality. Here they are for you:

Confident/Narcissistic Personality

Functional (F) and Structural (S) Domains

(F) Expressively Haughty (e.g., acts in an arrogant, supercilious, pompous, and disdainful manner, flouting conventional rules of shared social living, viewing them as naive or inapplicable to self; reveals a careless disregard for personal integrity and a self-important indifference to the rights of others). 

(F) Interpersonally Exploitive (e.g., feels entitled, is unempathic and expects special favors without assuming reciprocal responsibilities; shamelessly takes others for granted and uses them to enhance self and indulge desires).

(F) Expansive Cognitive Style (e.g., has an undisciplined imagination and exhibits a preoccupation with immature and self-glorifying fantasies of success, beauty or love; is minimally constrained by objective reality, takes liberties with facts and often lies to redeem self-illusions).

(S) Admirable Self-Image (e.g., believes self to be meritorious, special, if not unique, deserving of great admiration, and acting in a grandiose or self-assured manner, often without commensurate achievements; has a sense of high self-worth, despite being seen by others as egotistic, inconsiderate, and arrogant).

(S) Contrived Object-Relations (e.g., internalized representations are composed far more than usual of illusory and changing memories of past relationships; unacceptable drives and conflicts are readily refashioned as the need arises, as are others often simulated and pretentious).

(F) Rationalization Regulatory Mechanism (e.g., is self-deceptive and facile in devising plausible reasons to justify self-centered and socially inconsiderate behaviors; offers alibis to place oneself in the best possible light, despite evident shortcomings or failures).

(S) Spurious Morphologic Organization (e.g., morphologic structures underlying coping and defensive strategies tend to be flimsy and transparent, appear more substantial and dynamically orchestrated than they are in fact, regulating impulses only marginally, channeling needs with minimal restraint, and creating an inner world in which conflicts are dismissed, failures are quickly redeemed, and self-pride is effortlessly reasserted).

(S) Insouciant Mood-Temperament (e.g., manifests a general air of nonchalance, imperturbability, and feigned tranquility; appears coolly unimpressionable or buoyantly optimistic, except when narcissistic confidence is shaken, at which time either rage, shame, or emptiness is briefly displayed).

Capricious/Borderline Personality

Functional (F) and Structural (S) Domains


(F) Expressively Spasmodic (e.g., displays a desultory energy level with sudden, unexpected and impulsive outbursts; abrupt, endogenous shifts in drive state and inhibitory controls; not only places activation and emotional equilibrium in constant jeopardy, but engages in recurrent suicidal or self-mutilating behaviors). 

(F) Interpersonally Paradoxical (e.g., although needing attention and affection, is unpredictably contrary, manipulative and volatile, frequently eliciting rejection rather than support; frantically reacts to fears of abandonment and isolation, but often in angry, mercurial, and self-damaging ways).

(F) Fluctuating Cognitive Style (e.g., experiences rapidly changing, fluctuating and antithetical perceptions or thoughts concerning passing events, as well as contrasting emotions and conflicting thoughts toward self and others, notably love, rage, and guilt; vacillating and contradictory reactions are evoked in others by virtue of one’s behaviors, creating, in turn, conflicting and confusing social feedback).

(S) Uncertain Self-Image (e.g., experiences the confusions of an immature, nebulous or wavering sense of identity, often with underlying feelings of emptiness; seeks to redeem precipitate actions and changing self-presentations with expressions of contrition and self-punitive behaviors).

(S) Incompatible Object-Relations ( e.g., internalized representations comprise rudimentary and extemporaneously devised, but repetitively aborted learnings, resulting in conflicting memories, discordant attitudes, contradictory needs, antithetical emotions, erratic impulses, and clashing strategies for conflict reduction).

(F) Regression Regulatory Mechanism (e.g., retreats under stress to developmentally earlier levels of anxiety tolerance, impulse control and social adaptation; among adolescents, is unable to cope with adult demands and conflicts, as evident in immature, if not increasingly infantile behaviors).

(S) Split Morphologic Organization (e.g., inner structures exist in a sharply segmented and conflictful configuration in which a marked lack of consistency and congruency is seen among elements, levels of consciousness often shift and result in rapid movements across boundaries that usually separate contrasting percepts, memories, and affects, all of which leads to periodic schisms in what limited psychic order and cohesion may otherwise be present, often resulting in transient, stress-related psychotic episodes).

(S) Labile Mood-Temperament (e.g., fails to accord unstable mood level with external reality; has either marked shifts from normality to depression to excitement, or has periods of dejection and apathy, interspersed with episodes of inappropriate and intense anger, as well as brief spells of anxiety or euphoria).




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