Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 290-298

Emotion dysregulation and early trauma in borderline personality disorder: An exploratory study

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Medicine Unit, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
J Alafia
Ph.D Scholar, Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_512_18

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Background: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) research is in its nascent stage in India though studies have estimated its prevalence in psychiatric conditions. Trauma experiences and emotion regulation difficulties are well documented in BPD in the international literature. Thus, it is imperative to examine the role of trauma experiences and their relation to emotion dysregulation in BPD in the Indian context. Materials and Methods: This study used both self-report and semistructured interview data from 34 adults with BPD who presented for outpatient or inpatient psychiatric treatment and compared them with a gender-matched control group. The tools used were the International Personality Disorder Examination, Kessler-10, Early Trauma Inventory Self Report-Short Form, modified-Positive And Negative Affect Scale, Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). Results: The BPD group reported higher negative affect, increased use of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies and a deficit of adaptive strategies, after depression scores were controlled for. General abuse, physical punishment, and emotional abuse were significantly higher in the BPD group. The high occurrence of childhood emotional abuse and negative affect in BPD patients emerged as a major correlate accounting for 68.4% of the variance in DERS scores. Conclusions: Although we obtained results similar to the western literature on BPD pathology, sociocultural factors such as family and economic conditions, cultural differences in symptom expression of BPD, and treatment forms used in India warrant further research.

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