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Darth Vader has Borderline Personality


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  #1  
June 12th, 2010, 11:30 AM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
His enemies and underlings are painfully aware that Darth Vader is highly irritable and prone to bursts of anger. But until now, we don't think anybody knew that the Dark Lord of the Sith may have suffered from borderline personality disorder.
According to a popular blog over at CNN, French researchers have concluded that Mr. Vader (aka Anakin Skywalker) has, at various times, exhibited six of the nine criteria for borderline personality disorder. To be diagnosed with BPD, you need only showcase five of the behaviors.
Just what are these traits? Well, there are the unstable moods that Vader suffers. One minute he's happy because he sliced Obi-Wan Kenobi in half. The next, he's all huffy that his subordinates let the Millennium Falcon escape. And when Vader ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
There are also his unstable relationships to consider. Over the course of the "Star Wars" movies, Vader has tried to kill his son, Luke Skywalker, multiple times. However, he also saved Luke's life from his boss, the impossible-to-please Emperor Palpatine. The researchers write that Palpatine had a "dark and destabilizing influence" on Vader and likely contributed to his borderline personality.
And the issues don't stop there. Vader blew up his daughter's planet, and froze his future son-in-law, Han Solo, in carbonite. And Vader's mother? Oy vey, don't even get him started with the abandonment issues.
A related piece from LiveScience explains that the Darth Vader example may help teach students of psychology. A well-known fictional character is easy for people to understand and diagnose. And Vader is nothing if not well-known. He's perpetually in the public eye. Heck, the guy even endorses shoes.
Could anything have saved this troubled half-man, half-machine? Researchers feel that "psychotherapy would have helped" Vader and may have stopped him from turning to the dark side. "Using the dark side of the Force could be considered similar to drug use: It feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn't do it," says Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at Toulouse University Hospital in France.
Of course, all this is rather ridiculous, as The Los Angeles Times points out. Borderline personality disorder is a very serious problem for many people, mostly young women. Still, we suppose that Darth's diagnosis raises awareness of the condition. About time Vader did some good.
I actually read this about a week ago on CNN but it's making me giggle to see this making TOP NEWS on Yahoo today

The original CNN article

Quote:
The manipulations of Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" saga, have long been ascribed to the Dark Side of the Force. Now, psychiatrists suggests that the actions of the Jedi Knight could be used in teaching about a real-life mental illness.
A letter to the editor in the journal Psychiatry Research explores just what is wrong with Vader. French researchers posit that Vader exhibits six out of the nine criteria for borderline personality disorder. Unstable moods, interpersonal relationships, and behaviors are all characteristics of this condition, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. It affects 2 percent of adults, mostly young women.
The young Anakin Skywalker was separated from his mother at an early age, and his father was absent, factors that could have contributed to borderline personality disorder. His "infantile illusions of omnipotence" and "dysfunctional experiences of self and others" are also indicative of this condition from an early age.
The researchers argue that Vader experienced two "dissociative episodes," one when he exterminated the Tusken people after his mother's death, and the other when he killed all of the Jedi younglings. He often showed impulsive behavior and had difficulty controlling his anger. He also may have showcased a disturbance in identity by turning to the dark side and changing his name.
Darth Vader may thus be used to educate the public about borderline personality disorder and help combat stigma associated with mental illness.
But Emory psychiatrist Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth.com's mental health expert, has a different take. In the original three movies - which are the last three chronologically - Vader appears to be under the control of an evil emperor, making his character difficult to ascribe to a psychiatric disorder.
Will this be helpful or ultimately harmful for Personality Disorders and specifically people with Borderline Personality? Does it help to "raise awareness" or is it mocking?
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  #2  
June 12th, 2010, 11:51 AM
foxfire_ga79
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I think it will help raise awareness because everyone knows who Vadar is and as they read the list of symptoms they'll be like "Oh THAT'S a borderline personality trait?!" I think it helps people visualize, because not everybody knows somebody with BPD.
And of course it's light hearted, made me smile.
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  #3  
June 12th, 2010, 11:58 AM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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To be honest, I"m not sure I agree with the diagnosis at ALL! So I'm really confused now as to how people will see Borderline Personality. It gets alot of "flack" among even the mental health community, and it has become in some ways a barb or jab to say about a patient when they are being manipulative or difficult.
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  #4  
June 12th, 2010, 12:03 PM
*Dayna*'s Avatar Aussie Mama
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I was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder when I was 19. It's true! I dont' know why people don't believe it or whatever, because it is a real diagnosis.
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  #5  
June 12th, 2010, 12:07 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh and if you've never heard of it before-- here are the criteria. One of the major reasons Borderline PD is making the news, is because in the Diagnostic Manual in the past, self-injury was only found under this diagnosis. So often people who self injured were slapped with a BPD diagnosis. BPD diagnosis often mean that patients get turned down for insurance coverage for mental health treatment, because BPD is one of the hardest to treat and is incredibly pervasive

At this point, Marsha Linehan who began doing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, often takes a minimum of 2 years of intensive daily treatment to see movement with patients with BPD. I saw "some" movement in managing self-injury in patients in 30 days, but the actual BPD symptoms were obviously still present

So that basically meant that anyone that injured often faced a misdiagnosis and a lack of treatment options which is incredibly unfortunate. It also means that patients with BPD also go without treatment

I like this article, I often print it out for patients
Quote:
DSM-IV criteria
The DSM-IV gives these nine criteria; a diagnosis requires that the subject present with at least five of these. In I Hate You -- Don't Leave Me! Jerold Kriesman and Hal Straus refer to BPD as "emotional hemophilia; [a borderline] lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate his spurts of feeling. Stimulate a passion, and the borderline emotionally bleeds to death."

Traits involving emotions:
Quite frequently people with BPD have a very hard time controlling their emotions. They may feel ruled by them. One researcher (Marsha Linehan) said, "People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement."

1. Shifts in mood lasting only a few hours.

2. Anger that is inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable.

Traits involving behavior:
3. Self-destructive acts, such as self-mutilation or suicidal threats and gestures that happen more than once

4. Two potentially self-damaging impulsive behaviors. These could include alcohol and other drug abuse, compulsive spending, gambling, eating disorders, shoplifting, reckless driving, compulsive sexual behavior.

Traits involving identity
5. Marked, persistent identity disturbance shown by uncertainty in at least two areas. These areas can include self-image, sexual orientation, career choice or other long-term goals, friendships, values. People with BPD may not feel like they know who they are, or what they think, or what their opinions are, or what religion they should be. Instead, they may try to be what they think other people want them to be. Someone with BPD said, "I have a hard time figuring out my personality. I tend to be whomever I'm with."

6. Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom. Someone with BPD said, "I remember describing the feeling of having a deep hole in my stomach. An emptiness that I didn't know how to fill. My therapist told me that was from almost a "lack of a life". The more things you get into your life, the more relationships you get involved in, all of that fills that hole. As a borderline, I had no life. There were times when I couldn't stay in the same room with other people. It almost felt like what I think a panic attack would feel like."

Traits involving relationships
7. Unstable, chaotic intense relationships characterized by splitting (see below).

8. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

* Splitting: the self and others are viewed as "all good" or "all bad." Someone with BPD said, "One day I would think my doctor was the best and I loved her, but if she challenged me in any way I hated her. There was no middle ground as in like. In my world, people were either the best or the worst. I couldn't understand the concept of middle ground."
* Alternating clinging and distancing behaviors (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me). Sometimes you want to be close to someone. But when you get close it feels TOO close and you feel like you have to get some space. This happens often.
* Great difficulty trusting people and themselves. Early trust may have been shattered by people who were close to you.
* Sensitivity to criticism or rejection.
* Feeling of "needing" someone else to survive
* Heavy need for affection and reassurance
* Some people with BPD may have an unusually high degree of interpersonal sensitivity, insight and empathy

9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

This means feeling "out of it," or not being able to remember what you said or did. This mostly happens in times of severe stress.

Miscellaneous attributes of people with BPD:

* People with BPD are often bright, witty, funny, life of the party.
* They may have problems with object constancy. When a person leaves (even temporarily), they may have a problem recreating or remembering feelings of love that were present between themselves and the other. Often, BPD patients want to keep something belonging to the loved one around during separations.
* They frequently have difficulty tolerating aloneness, even for short periods of time.
* Their lives may be a chaotic landscape of job losses, interrupted educational pursuits, broken engagements, hospitalizations.
* Many have a background of childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or physical/emotional neglect.
Borderline Personality Disorder

It actually also has how other professionals have reorganized their own views of the criteria for BPD
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  #6  
June 12th, 2010, 12:18 PM
foxfire_ga79
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I have all those symptoms but my docs have decided I only have major depression and generalized anxiety! I was first diagnosed with clinical depression and ADD (yes I know it's not called that anymore!) way back when I was 9. Then through my teen years they thought I was bipolar. Now my current psych-doc changed the dx again about 6 years ago to what it is now. They never make up their mind!

Also, I noticed you said self injury and not self mutilation, is it not proper to say mutilation anymore? Because I was told that hair cutting and tattoes and stuff could still be considered mutilations but not injuries. I don't know, it seems every so often the doctors change what terms they say for things.
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  #7  
June 12th, 2010, 12:24 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Self Mutilation and Self Injury are def interchangeable, but tattoo's and hair cutting are often not considered either by the mental health field. Hair PULLING is it's own diagnosis though, Trichotillomania
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  #8  
June 12th, 2010, 12:30 PM
BigGrin's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So...that's what my mother has, it was like reading a write up of her personality.
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  #9  
June 12th, 2010, 12:33 PM
foxfire_ga79
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I think what the docs meant by the tats and hair cutting is the fact that I did 5 pen ink tats on myself, pierced my ears a bunch of times by myself, and shaved the entire back half of my hair and all these things were done on impulse. (From 12-16 y/o on all those things.) My doc said it could be considered a form self mutilation. And I think I heard someone mention that when Brittany Spears shaved her head it seemed like a self mutilation.
I don't think that was set in stone, just thrown out there that some people could view it that way.
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  #10  
June 12th, 2010, 12:38 PM
Lash's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I think what the docs meant by the tats and hair cutting is the fact that I did 5 pen ink tats on myself, pierced my ears a bunch of times by myself, and shaved the entire back half of my hair and all these things were done on impulse. (From 12-16 y/o on all those things.) My doc said it could be considered a form self mutilation. And I think I heard someone mention that when Brittany Spears shaved her head it seemed like a self mutilation.
I don't think that was set in stone, just thrown out there that some people could view it that way.
AHHh ok when you put it that way, I can see that then. I think the impulsivity prt, especially the pen-ink tats are specific for sure. That makes a bit more sense.

I think when you put the whole package together though, some of that is normal 13 year old behavior to be fair. And tons of teens and young adults from instable families present these behaviors. The signs that are usually the most telling are how people interact socially in relationships.
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  #11  
June 12th, 2010, 12:52 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think there are a lot of people out there who analyze fictional characters so I don't know as I would say its "mocking". I have a book called So Odd a Mixture along the autistic spectrum in Pride and Prejudice and its about how many of the characters in P&P would qualify for a dx of Asperger's Syndrome.

As far as BPD, I really don't know much about it but dh did buy a book(Stop Walking on Eggshells) on it as it describes a lot of his older brothers behaviors. Maybe I'll have to flip through it.
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  #12  
June 12th, 2010, 12:53 PM
foxfire_ga79
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Heh, I'll get into my social junk later. lol
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  #13  
June 14th, 2010, 12:19 PM
(.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.)
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One of my favorite things is Star Wars. I'm kinda sad to see this because it takes away from the concept of how good people can be manipulated in a time of war to do bad things. (I think Star Wars is epic for shadowing human behaviour in war and how good and bad get mixed up.) I do like it's trying to show what mental illness really is. (I wish they would do more analogies like Snow White's Stepmom the queen, how the Beast in Beauty in the Beast is a classic abuser, etc.)

One of my favorite books on this subject is Understanding the Borderline Mother only because it helped me feel validated in my own past with other family. Speaking of which, they use the Grimms fairy tales, especially Alice in Wonderland throughout the book to teach their points. I'm wondering if you've read it Lauren?
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