Fragmented Selves: Temporality and Identity in Borderline Personality DisorderFuchs T.
Psychiatric Department, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Do you have an account?
- Rent for 48h to view
- Buy Cloud Access for unlimited viewing via different devices
- Synchronizing in the ReadCube Cloud
- Printing and saving restrictions apply
Rental: USD 8.50
Cloud: USD 20.00
The concept of narrative identity implies a continuity of the personal past, present and future. This concept is essentially based on the capacity of persons to integrate contradictory aspects and tendencies into a coherent, overarching sense and view of themselves. In ‘mature’ neurotic disorders, this is only possible at the price of repression of important wishes and possibilities for personal development. Patients with borderline personality disorder lack the capacity to establish a coherent self-concept. Instead, they adopt what could be called a ‘post-modernist’ stance towards their life, switching from one present to the next and being totally identified with their present state of affect. Instead of repression, their means of defence consists in a temporal splitting of the self that excludes past and future as dimensions of object constancy, bonding, commitment, responsibility and guilt. The temporal fragmentation of the self avoids the necessity of tolerating the threatening ambiguity and uncertainty of interpersonal relationships. The price, however, consists in a chronic feeling of inner emptiness caused by the inability to integrate past and future into the present and thus to establish a coherent sense of identity. The paper outlines the concept of narrative identity and explores its disturbances in borderline personality disorder. Finally, the increasing prevalence of these disorders is linked to the development of a mainly externally driven, fragmented character in post-modern society.
© 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel
Nietzsche F: On the Genealogy of Morals (trans W Kaufmann). New York, Vintage Books, 1969.
Nietzsche F: On the Use and Abuse of History for Life (trans A Collins). Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, 1957.
- Frankfurt H: Freedom of the will and the concept of a person. J Philos 1971;68:5–20.
Ricoeur P: Oneself as Another (trans K Blamey). Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1992.
MacIntyre A: After Virtue. Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1981.
Carr D: Time, Narrative, and History. Bloomington, University of Indiana Press, 1986.
Brooks P: Reading for the Plot. Design and Intention in Narrative. New York, Random House, 1984.
- Philipps J: Psychopathology and the narrative self. Philos Psychiatr Psychol 2003;10:313–328.
Nelson HL: Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2001.
Jameson F: Post-Modernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Chapel Hill, Duke University Press, 1991.
Parfit D: Reasons and Persons. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1984.
- Clarkin JF, Posner M: Defining the mechanisms of borderline personality disorder. Psychopathology 2005;38:56–63.
Kimura B: Ecrits de psychopathologie phénoménologique. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1992.
- Pazzagli A, Rossi Monti M: Dysphoria and aloneness in borderline personality disorder. Psychopathology 2000;33:220–226.
- Muscatello CF, Scudellari P: Anger and narcissism: between the void of being and the hunger for having. Psychopathology 2000;33:227–232.
Kernberg OF: Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism. New York, Aronson, 1975.
Kernberg OF, Selzer MA, Koenigsberg HW, Carr AC, Appelbaum A: Psychodynamic Psychotherapy of Borderline Patients. New York, Basic Books, 1989.
Westen D, Cohen RP: The self in borderline personality disorder: a psychodynamic perspective; in Segal ZS, Blatt SJ (eds): The Self in Emotional Distress. Cognitive and Psychodynamic Perspectives. New York, Guilford Press, 1993, pp 334–360.
- Wilkinson-Ryan T, Westen D: Identity disturbance in borderline personality disorder: an empirical investigation. Am J Psychiatry 2000;157:528–541.
- Levy KN, Meehan KB, Weber M, Reynoso, Clarkin JF: Attachment and borderline personality disorder: implications for psychotherapy. Psychopathology 2005;38:64–74.
- Startup M, Heard H, Swales M, Jones B, Williams JMG, Jones RSP: Autobiographical memory and parasuicide in borderline personality disorder. Br J Clin Psychol 2001;40:113–120.
- Jones B, Heard H, Startup M, Swales M, Williams JMG, Jones RSP: Autobiographical memory and dissociation in borderline personality disorder. Psychol Med 1999;29:1397–1404.
- Van Ijzendoorn MH, Schuengel C: The measurement of dissociation in normal and clinical populations: meta-analytic validation of the Dissociative Experience Scale (DES). Clin Psychol Rev 1996;16:365–382.
Williams JMG, Watts FW, MacLeod C, Mathews A: Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders. Chichester, Wiley & Sons, 1988.
- Tronick EZ, Bruschweiler-Stern N, Harrison AM, Lyons-Ruth K, Morgan AC, Nahum JP, Sander LW, Stern DN: Dyadically expanded states of consciousness and the process of therapeutic change. Infant Ment Health J 1998;19:290–299.
Kohut H: The Restoration of the Self. New York, International Universities Press, 1977.
Stern DN: The Interpersonal World of the Infant. A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology. New York, Basic Books, 2000.
- Fuchs T: Melancholia as a desynchronization: towards a psychopathology of interpersonal time. Psychopathology 2001;34:179–186.
- Fonagy P, Leigh T, Steele M, Steele H, Kennedy R, Mattoon G, Target M, Gerber A: The relation of attachment status, psychiatric classification, and response to psychotherapy. J Consult Clin Psychol 1996;64:22–31.
Mead GH: Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1934.
Fonagy P, Bateman AW: Attachment theory and mentalization-oriented model of borderline personality disorder; in Oldham JM, Skodol AE, Bender DS (eds): The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Personality Disorders. Washington, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2005, pp 187–205.
- Fonagy P: Attachment and borderline personality disorder. J Am Psychoanal Assoc 2000;48:1129–1146.
Gergely G, Watson J: The social biofeedback model of parental affect-mirroring. Int J Psychoanal 1996;77:1181–1212.
Riesman D: The Lonely Crowd. A Study of the Changing American Character. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1958.
Lash C: The Culture of Narcissism. New York, Norton, 1979.
Sennett R: The Corrosion of Character. The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. New York, Norton, 1998.
- Fuchs T: The phenomenology of shame, guilt and the body in body dysmorphic disorder and depression. J Phenomenol Psychol 2002;33:223–243.
Article / Publication Details
Copyright / Drug Dosage / DisclaimerCopyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.