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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article on dysphoria as a psychopathological organizer in borderline patients examines the borderline personality disorder (BPD) from a contemporary psychopathological perspective, focusing on the dimension of lived experience rather than on the description of psychiatric symptoms. It presents dysphoria as a process which structures the borderline patient’s experience in multiple, psychopathological pathways moving from basic lived experience to symptomatic disturbances (and vice versa), through here-and-now lived experience. It describes the psychopathological features characterizing the BPD basic lived experience (background dysphoria and negative interpersonal disposition) as well as the temporary affect related to situational triggers saturating the BPD here-and-now lived experience (situational dysphoria). It also discusses two specific pathways of situational dysphoria, one organizing and another disorganizing, each ending up in different, acute phenomena. A final paragraph of this article is dedicated to the role of shame in borderline psychopathology.

Keywords: dysphoria, borderline personality disorder, BPD, lived experience, background dysphoria, negative interpersonal disposition, situational dysphoria, shame

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