imgresBorderline personality disorder (BPD) is frequently encountered in a variety of clinical settings.1 On inpatient units, it is estimated that 20% of patients have comorbidity with BPD. In outpatient clinics, 11% of patients meet diagnostic criteria for BPD. Despite these statistics, BPD has neither the same level of public awareness nor the same level of research funding that other major psychiatric diagnoses have.

The American psychoanalyst Adolph Stern was the first to use the term “borderline” in describing a group of patients who had both neurotic and psychotic features.2 He considered these patients to be in the “border line group.” It was not until 1949, however, that the term was applied to children. Margaret Mahler used the term “borderline” to describe a group of children who displayed “low frustration tolerance, poor emotional differentiation from their mothers, and [who were] beset by a series of neurotic-like defenses.”

Since Stern, the amount of research on BPD in adults has grown exponentially. Research on BPD in children and adolescents has not kept pace despite increasingly strong evidence of developmental antecedents for the condition in adult BPD…. –Blaise Aguirre, MD, Psychiatric Times, May 09, 2012