Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Helpful Online Exchange About BPD, Gender Identity Confusion,and Confusion on Sexual Orientation

On my Facebook page about BPD, I had a helpful exchange with someone back on March 16, 2011, on the subjects of Borderline Personality Disorder, gender identity confusion, and confusion on sexual orientation. That specific exchange is over here. Of course, it is important to bear in mind that someone confused over gender identity is not necessarily undecided on sexual orientation, and someone undecided on sexual orientation is not necessarily confused about gender identity. Moreover, someone can have BPD and not be confused in either area.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

'Non-Bizarre' Delusions

Among the diagnostic criteria for BPD, one is the presence of "transient stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms." I am going to clarify that "delusions," in this context, refers almost exclusively to what psychologists term "non-bizarre delusions," as opposed to "bizarre delusions." This, of course, raises the question, "What is a 'non-bizarre delusion,' as opposed to a 'bizarre delusion'?"

A delusion is a paranoid, frightful belief one holds in the absence of evidence and even in defiance of all evidence.

A "bizarre delusion" is an implausible delusion that defies all laws of science. If I insisted to you that dove feathers were sprouting from my face, when you could clearly see that that wasn't happening, that would be an example of my holding a "bizarre delusion."
By contrast, a "non-bizarre delusion" is a delusion that is not necessarily implausible -- and which actually comports with the laws of physics and science -- but still lacks evidence. For instance, if I said that everyone ogled me and wanted to rape me, that would not defy the laws of physics; that's not impossible. But if you observe that, in fact, people interact with me all the time without ogling me, then you may be observing my having a non-bizarre delusion.