The complex interrelation between dissociation and borderline personality disorder: A review of the role of responses to aversive events

Dana Bichescu-Burian


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder associated with extensive psychopathology and treatment utilization. Pathological dissociation belongs to the central features of this disorder. Severe dissociative symptoms and disorders among BPD patients pose serious obstacles against effective treatment. Delivering meaningful treatment strategies requires extension of etiological knowledge. Recent findings in clinical and neurophysiological research point to the significant role that trauma-related dissociation among aetiological factors of BPD. This paper analyses evidence and discuss aetiological relevance concerning the role of adverse antecedents in the occurrence of pathological dissociation and other clinical problems in BPD. After several introductive remarks on the psychopathology and functioning in BPD and on the concept of dissociation, I review findings on the clinical significance of pathological dissociation in BPD. Subsequently, I present evidence regarding the association between adverse events and dissociation in general and the pathogenic role of trauma-related dissociation in BPD. Finally, I present several theoretical models attempting to explain the role of trauma-related dissociation in the aetiology of BPD.

Pathological Dissociation, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Aversive Events, Peritraumatic Dissociation, Clinical and Neurobiological Findings

DANA BICHESCU-BURIAN – University of Ulm, Germany; Knowledge Based Society, Iaşi, Romania;

You may also like...

Skip to content