Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a common, severe, and costly disorder involving emotional lability, impulsivity, identity problems, interpersonal instability, and self-harming behavior. A major challenge in the practice and research of BPD involves variability in conceptualizations of the construct. Specifying the symptoms of diagnostic constructs and articulating the network of associations among diagnoses are central to building a workable system of clinical science and practice. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, delineates and organizes psychopathology constructs for most of applied mental health care. Because much about psychopathology remains poorly understood, the official representation of diagnoses in the DSM can belie significant variability of opinion in the scientific literature and clinical theory. In the case of ...

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