Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often described as a mood disorder, notably because of the high frequency of depression and anxiety among people who have that diagnosis.

There has long been a related question raised by neuroscientists and non- experts alike: why is that some people can experience a similar adverse event and not exhibit the same degree and duration of emotional distress? That is, why are some people seemingly more resistant to violence, trauma, natural disasters and abuse than others?

The consensus among scientists supports the idea that the underlying factors are largely genetic in nature. Genes determine both the exact structure and function of the human brain. Variations in either of these play a large part in how and why people are negatively affected by adverse events and why some people are able to ‘bounce back” while others are not.

There is a very enlightening article on this topic in the New York Times that explores the role of genetics in the development of emotional dysregulation as well as recovery from that. The fact that BPD is literally defined as the inability to regulate one’s emotions makes his a “must read” for people with that and related disorders.

Spoiler alert: there are a number of reliable and readily available things that people can do to improve their resiliance despite their genetic makeup.

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