Psychobabble ala Carte

  1. Could someone please tell me what exactly is meant by the terms "passive-aggressive" and "borderline personality"?

    I just got off the phone with someone who called another person's behavior "passive-aggressive" because they missed an appointment because the person had a car problem, for pete's sake! And anyone who is disliked by this same person, for whatever reason, has a "borderline personality."


    Oh, really? :stone


    Maybe I should've posted this in the Pet Peeves thread, but it does really torque me when people who know nothing about psych diagnoses start throwing these terms around for no other good reason than they don't like the person they're talking about. It's almost as if a derogatory amateur psych diagnosis is the New Age Insult.

    IMHO, that behavior tells me a lot more about the person doing the name-calling.

    Any words of enlightenment from any real psych nurses would be appreciated.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    an old quote...a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

    you cannot not dx anyone without sufficient data and that refers to psychiatrists as well
    certainly not someone with on the job training

    people have different ways of feeding their egos...usually best to ignore them before they start dx you
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    I had occasion to recently define borderline personality to a pt who stated she had been dx'd as such - I told her it was a learned tendency to get her (often-unhealthy) needs met in unhealthy ways.

    There's probably a better textbook definition, but that one works for me.
  5. by   Mystery5
    LOL. I think this person may be slightly, er, 'anal retentive' :chuckle

    Passive Aggressive, as you probably well know, is someone who expresses their hostility by inaction...

    Borderline Personality? Uh, I plead the 5th... They probably use that term to describe me, thankfully behind my back!!!
  6. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Mystery5
    LOL. I think this person may be slightly, er, 'anal retentive' :chuckle

    Passive Aggressive, as you probably well know, is someone who expresses their hostility by inaction...

    Borderline Personality? Uh, I plead the 5th... They probably use that term to describe me, thankfully behind my back!!!
    LOL Mystery5, that's funny, since I was planning on pleading the 5th on the passive aggressive question for exactly the same reason!
  7. by   GrnHonu99
    I totally agree, i have have my BA in Psych and it really irks me to hear people say "oh hes a schitzo" or "she's definetly bi-polar" becuase they think someone is crazy or whatever. Its such an insult to people who actually have that disease...
  8. by   mercyteapot
    Not only that, but anyone who uses language like "she's bipolar" or "he's ADD" (I hear this one A LOT) doesn't have a clue what they're talking about. These terms are not adjectives, yet they routinely are used as such.
  9. by   JennLynn2006
    Borderline personality is a personality that BORDERS between an anxiety disorder and a psychotic disorder. They are manipulative, prone to cutting themselves, and are attention-seeking. They are also very labile (moody).
    I just finished my psych clinical class and rotation.
  10. by   JennLynn2006
    I want to add... that no one has the right to sit and criticize people for diagnosing people with ANY type of disorder, whether physical or mental. I can guarantee that just about everyone thinks they know of some disorder that they know EVERYTHING about, or just think they can identify any issue someone is having at some time.
    I agree it is wrong to label someone with a mental disorder without proper evaluation and observation by a licensed psychiatrist, but don't be hypocritical!
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from JennLynn2006
    I want to add... that no one has the right to sit and criticize people for diagnosing people with ANY type of disorder, whether physical or mental. I can guarantee that just about everyone thinks they know of some disorder that they know EVERYTHING about, or just think they can identify any issue someone is having at some time.
    I agree it is wrong to label someone with a mental disorder without proper evaluation and observation by a licensed psychiatrist, but don't be hypocritical!
    OK, maybe it's because I just got off work and I'm brain-dead, but I sincerely don't understand what you mean by this post. It looks like you're saying that I don't have the right to criticize people who insult other people by using psych diagnoses by virtue of the fact that the name-caller truly believes they're correct in their "diagnosis."

    (Whew. What a sentence.)
    Is that correct?
  12. by   Mystery5
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    OK, maybe it's because I just got off work and I'm brain-dead, but I sincerely don't understand what you mean by this post. It looks like you're saying that I don't have the right to criticize people who insult other people by using psych diagnoses by virtue of the fact that the name-caller truly believes they're correct in their "diagnosis."

    (Whew. What a sentence.)
    Is that correct?
    It's okay, angie, I didn't quite follow the line of reasoning here either. Looks like the poster is having some ambivilant feelings, possibly brought about by mixed messages she received in her childhood. I hope these vacilating emotions aren't the signs of a deeper problem, related to damage done to her inner child in it's formative stages of development...
  13. by   mercyteapot
    Frankly, it sounded to me a little like she was trying to find an adult way of saying "it takes one to know one". I have no idea what she would base such a statement on, given that she doesn't know any of us, but that's sure what it sounded like to me.
  14. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Mystery5
    It's okay, angie, I didn't quite follow the line of reasoning here either. Looks like the poster is having some ambivilant feelings, possibly brought about by mixed messages she received in her childhood. I hope these vacilating emotions aren't the signs of a deeper problem, related to damage done to her inner child in it's formative stages of development...
    :chuckle *snort*

    Stop that! You tryin' to get me in trouble or something?

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