The Temper Tantrums Of Borderline Personality Disorder

temper tantrums of borderline personality disorder

If I say something Danielle does not like, she crosses her arms and says, “You’re not helping me. I don’t want to do this anymore.” “You aren’t listening to me, you just want to follow your own agenda.” “You always blame me, everything is my fault.” She walks out of my office after that. It has taken years of analytic work to get to the point where Danielle recognizes these reactions as temper tantrums and is able to stop, calm herself, and then examine what I have said that triggered her.

Related: How Parents Cause Mental Health Problems In Children

Temper tantrums are common for people with BPD and managing them is an important part of building a sense of self-control and stability. For those who did not have help developing a centered sense of self, working with a psychoanalyst can help create it.

Developing a relationship in which hurt and disappointment play out and then are worked through over time, the patient internalizes the dialogue with the analyst and is finally able to develop an inner dialogue that is consoling and rooted in reality.


Written By Roberta Satow Ph.D. 
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today 
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The Temper Tantrums Of Borderline Personality Disorder
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Roberta Satow Ph.D.

Roberta Satow is a New York-based psychoanalyst, speaker, and author of Doing the Right Thing: Taking Care of Your Elderly Parents Even if They Didn’t Take Care of You, Gender and Social Life, and the novel: Two Sisters of Coyoacán. She is a professor emerita of the department of sociology at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York. Dr. Satow speaks and writes about issues of aging, gender, and mental health. She has been quoted in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, on ABC News and other national media platforms. She gave the keynote addresses at the EAP Symposium on Diversity and Well-being for the National Defence Department of Canada, Ottawa, and the New York City Dept. of Aging White House Conference on Aging. She has also appeared on The Diane Rehm Show, AARP, Prime Time Radio, and several other NPR programs.View Author posts