Understand borderline personality disorder through Back from the Edge, an acclaimed documentary exploring this controversial mental illness. Experts find borderline personality disorder so hotly debatable that they can’t even agree on a name: it’s called differently across three diagnostic manuals and there are campaigns to call it emotional deregulation disorder in the upcoming DSM5.
Borderline personality disorder was initially observed by Adolf Stern during the 1930s. Psychiatric disorders were still being separated into only two categories back then: psychosis and neurosis. Stern noticed a group of patients who showed symptoms of both categories yet didn’t fit completely into either. Their transient paranoia seemed to mimic symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, yet they grasped reality enough to stay within the realms of neurosis. Stern studied these patients and concluded that they were consistently on the border between psychosis and neurosis. He called them “borderline.”
Sufferers are widely stigmatized today— even by those who diagnose and treat it. It’s a label so heavily tainted that psychiatrists sometimes refuse to treat borderline patients and society often stereotypes them as manipulative, unpredictable and theatrical. But are they?
Back from the Edge follows three people who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and offers a unique glimpse into their world- who are they, what makes each of them “borderline,” how did this disorder impact their lives and the lives of those around them, and how does being labeled change the way they are perceived?
Several experts in the mental health field are also featured, including the late Dr Wayne Fenton, Dr John Gunderson of Harvard Medical School and the creator of Dialectal Behavior Therapy, borderline personality disorder-guru, Dr Marsha Linehan.
Back from the Edge combines personal experience and expert testimony to demystify borderline personality disorder.