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“Splitting” In Borderline Personality Disorder: What You Should Know


NARRATOR:You’ve heard of Borderline Personality Disorder but have you heard of splitting? Here are some examples and what it means for those with BPD Splitting is a phenomenon in which a person often with Borderline Personality Disorder is where we see it will either see things as all good or all bad There’s no grey This most often happens with people So where this gets confusing is They may literally view someone as “This is the best Doctor I have ever had he is a LIFESAVER” There is no greater doctor But the First time the doctor disappoints them: “You are the worst Doctor Ever. I’m going to post a bad Yelp! review about you. You are a monster.” So you went from Pedestal to trash heap in a day. KITTLESTON: In a day
D: Versus “You are a great Doctor, however…” There’s no grey. So that tendency to split it can be about people, it can be about situations, in some ways it can even be about themselves. This is the tendency in Borderline Personality Disorder to not be able to view things Holistically. So the best example I can give you is how an infant experiences its mother early in life. or its caregiver if you will- When that baby wants its care giver, -lets call it mom just to make it simple when that baby wants mom and moms not there, thats bad mom. D- Scream scream scream, Mommy comes, mommy feeds baby- Good mommy. And those, that psychoanalytic theorists would argue, those are experienced as two separate people. As the child’s personality and psychology evolves that gets integrated into a whole person. Sometimes mommy is there when she needs to be, Some times shes not. But Mommy is Mommy. An d I love her. *Agree mumbles*
Okay, that’s an integrated whole. The idea of splitting can come from a couple of different places. If indeed a person with Borderline Personality did experience Truama earlier in life, the splitting may have been a defense. Let’s say they were abused by someone- There was a good safe version of that person, and then there was the dangerous, abusive version of that person Its really hard for a child to reconcile all that into one person. That tendency to split can then generalize. For the person with Borderline personality as having a dark mood and a light mood. Same thing. It is hard to integrate. The inability to integrate is where that splitting comes up. Splitting however is really confusing for the people around the individual. How could I have been such a great person this morning and now you think I am the devil and it is lunch time and the answer to that is simple. The are splitting. They almost view you as two different people and I can say to you as a clinician I have had clients that will say that you are the worst therapist in the world I hate you and I am going to quit therapy. And I have to calmly hold them, support them in essence almost like they are the crying baby. And say I understand you are upset. I was late or whatever their reason was to get upset at me. And hopefully we can see if we can integrate back to the not that I am the greatest therapist ever but simply that I am their therapist and we are working together. You dont want them to go back to that ? I dont need them to think I am the greatest.I just need them to see that I am a consistent presence in their life. Not all bad. Not all good. But the therapist. And then Do you tell them, hey, you just had an episode of Splitting? Yeah you can point that out. Wow Say

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