Nancy Nyquist Potter

in Mapping the Edges and the In-between

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780198530213
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754388 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry


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I first became interested in borderline personality disorder (BPD) when I worked as a certified Crisis Counselor for 5 years in a large metropolitan city. After having decided to change my degree plan from clinical psychology to philosophy, I wanted to be sure that I stayed grounded in ordinary life problems; philosophy has a reputation for being esoteric, abstract, and largely irrelevant. This was in the mid-1980s, when the BPD diagnosis was fairly new, and I was sometimes warned not to be engaged with a particular crisis client because ‘she was a borderline.’ I was dismayed and puzzled by the derision and dismissal some of my colleagues were expressing, but I determined to understand what lay beneath it. Thus, I launched my passion about the diagnosis, the people who are diagnosed with it, and those who work with these patients.

This introduction will serve to orient the reader to this diagnosis, my methodology, and the aims of this book. I'll begin by situating BPD within the field of psychiatry.

Chapter.  5537 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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