Letters to the Editor
Borderline What?
Psychiatric News
Volume 47 Number 6 page 30a-30a

Kudos to APA President John Oldham, M.D., for his outstanding update on borderline personality disorder in the December 18, 2011, issue. We’ve come a long way since March 23, 1977, when Karl Menninger, M.D., in a letter to me, proclaimed: “I am particularly annoyed by the expressions ‘borderline person,’ ‘borderline syndrome,’ ‘borderline symptom,’ ‘borderline’ anything. What is it bordering? Or, rather, what are the two countries which it lies between and what is ‘it’? Is ‘it’ an area? Is it a phantom? Is it anything at all? It seems to be a kind of word to describe various symptoms or syndromes which do not quite suit some doctors’ impressions of the way mental illness ought to look.”  inline-graphic-1.gif

Abraham L. Halpern, M.D.,
Mamaroneck, N.Y.

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