A case of ?Borderline Personality Disorder-pl help!!!

  1. Hello Everyone!

    This is my first posting in this site.

    I just came across about a very interesting but unfortunate case. I would like to know your viewpoint on this case:

    A girl, Shanah, of 16 yrs, who killed her mother for no evident reason. Only thing that's known to the family is that, she was pretty much attached to her mom. And there was no fights, arguments or any such sort of provocations. After the incident, which happened at 12.30 am in the night, she comes to her brother's room and tells him that Mom is not getting up.

    The only previous history is of five separate incidents of shouting and shivering when Shanah was 11 yrs old.She was attended ny a General Practitioner then. She was not taken to a psychiatrist at that point.But she was all right after that, for all these years.

    Now what I would like to ask you all is -

    1) If it was a case of Borderline personality disorder(assuming), is it possible for her to commit this murder and forget it?

    2) Is it possible that she had this problem and was managing to lead a perfectly normal life (I meant, the family who lives with her says she was absolutely normal)

    As you can guess she is in police custody now and the investigation is going on. And one thing is she is not able to explain how she did the murder and is changing the statements.

    Why i posted this case here is because i know many of you must have come across such cases previously and are really experienced in the field of psychiatry.
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    About sans

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 6


  3. by   normj
    1) Nothing about your post points to Borderline Personality Disorder ... read the DSM-IV criteria for this disorder to learn more ...

    2) See above #1 ... if she is leading a "pefectly normal life" then she cannot have BPD per the criteria delineated in the DSM-IV ...

    Not to be dismissive, but I think you may be misunderstanding BPD ... check http://www.bpdcentral.com/resources/basics/main.shtml for a decent intro ...
  4. by   finness
    I am assuming that you think the girl may be bpd as she had a very close relationship with her mother? That does not sound like enough info to indicate that she has BPD. Was there any evidence of relationship "slitting"?
  5. by   lsyorke
    Was she on any medications??
  6. by   finness
    also, someone with BPD would more then likely have a history of fights and interpersonal conflict. to me, there is NO evidence suggesting that she has BPD.
  7. by   Spazzy Nurse
    Are you thinking of dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder)? It seems like you are by the way that you explain things (like "is it possible for her to commit this murder and forget it").
  8. by   lucianne
    That thought crossed my mind too, Spazzy Nurse, but people with BPD can be dissociative too and with DID there is usually pretty horrific childhood abuse. Now it's possible that there was abuse going on and the family was able to cover it up or were oblivious to it. The OP said the girl was very attached to her mom, so I would wonder if it was "attached" as in a healthy relationship, "attached" as in a relationship with poor boundaries, or "attached" as in mom didn't dare let the girl out of her sight any more than absolutely necessary for fear someone would find out what went on at home.

    I think it is possible for just about anyone to dissociate if they witness or commit a horrific act.
  9. by   sans
    thanks for the reviews.

    i'm not exactly from the medical side so didn't understand the dissociatin u mentioned. when they explained "attached" it looked like being more affectionate to mom than dad and siblings. and about the abuse part now we have some reason to believe so... whatever all i can tell u is- its a pretty complicated case.we are trying to figure out if they are avoiding a legal issue by stating that she is mentally unstable!
  10. by   lucianne
    Perhaps I should have asked this before: What exactly is your involvement in this case? I assumed it was something you read about in a newspaper or something and were just curious about. If you have an official or personal involvement, you should be seeking information from a mental health professional who has all the known facts about the case, not posing the question on an anonymous discussion board where anyone with any level of expertise (or none at all) can answer. And to go back to your first post, I'd have to say that very few of us have come across a case of a child murdering a parent at all and I doubt anyone has experienced more than one.

    That said, dissociation is where someone "splits off" certain mental contents from their consciousness. They may appear to be functioning normally, but literally aren't "all there." Dissociative states can include sleepwalking (consciousness is absent), acting bizarrely (judegment and impulse control are absent), amnesia (memory is absent), and dissociative identity disorder (eg "Sybil" and "Eve"). People with borderline personality disorder can have dissociative episodes.

    While you aren't in the health profession, if you have some involvement and this isn't just something you've read about in a paper, you need to be careful to protect the confidentiality of this child. You may not have the professional duty to do so, but it would be the ethical thing to do. If you feel that you have betrayed information that is not available to the public, you might want to contact one of the moderators and ask to have this thread deleted (or may be able to do it yourself, I'm not sure. On some boards if the original poster deletes the beginning post, then the whole thread is deleted; on others it isn't). Even if her name isn't the one you've given, there are still enough details that someone could conceivably identify the case you're talking about. It might be a very slim chance, but the internet makes the world a smaller place.