A recent article in National Geographic got me thinking about what traits are inborn and which personality characteristics are learned from our environment.
In the article, wild foxes were bred over several generations to be as human-friendly as dogs.
Are humans like foxes? With the right combination of genes over a period of generation are we capable of drastic changes in our behavior and nature? Is it genetics that cause some to struggle with addiction or engage in self-harming behavior? Continue reading “Is Your Emotional Sensitivity Nature or Nurture?” »
What makes some people able to manage life’s daily stresses and burdens with equanimity, while others experience an emotional rollercoaster when they hit even the slightest bump in the road? Are they simply built differently? Is it a result of a better childhood? Traumatic experiences? Our DNA?
People diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often experience some of the greatest struggles with everyday obstacles. They frequently describe themselves as having problems controlling emotions, being moody, getting angry quickly and feeling like relationships are out of control. Superficial cutting, over or under eating, drinking excessively, substance abuse, using physical violence and interpersonal struggles with friends and family members are common high risk behaviors. Negative emotions and problem behaviors seem ever present, whether they want them or not.
In her book Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., explains her bio-social theory for understanding where these problematic emotions and behaviors originate. Linehan’s theory suggests that BPD is primarily a dysfunction in how our bodies regulate emotions. In other words, some people are hard-wired to be more sensitive to emotional stimuli than others. Those who are diagnosed with BPD tend to be highly sensitive and reactive to emotional events.
Continue reading “Extreme Emotion, Problem Behaviors and BPD: Dialectical Behavior Therapy’s Bio-Social Theory” »