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Treatment or Re-Victimizing the Victims

Authors: Juliana Panova


Severe symptoms, such as dissociation, depersonalization, self-mutilation, suicidal ideations and gestures, are the main reasons for a person to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and admitted to an inpatient Psychiatric Hospital. However, these symptoms are also indicators of a severe traumatic history as indicated by the extensive research on the topic. Unfortunately patients with such clinical presentation often are treated repeatedly only for their symptomatic behavior, while the main cause for their suffering, the trauma itself, is usually left unaddressed therapeutically. All of the highly structured, replicable, and manualized treatments lack the recognition of the uniqueness of the person and fail to respect his/her rights to experience and react in an idiosyncratic manner. Thus the communicative and adaptive meaning of such symptomatic behavior is missed. Only its pathological side is recognized and subjected to correction and stigmatization, and the message that the person is damaged goods that needs fixing is conveyed once again. However, this time the message would be even more convincing for the victim, because it is sent by mental health providers, who have the credibility to make such a judgment. The result is a revolving door of very expensive hospitalizations for only a temporary and patchy fix. In this way the patients, once victims of abuse and hardship are left invalidated and thus their re-victimization is perpetuated in their search for understanding and help. Keywordsborderline personality disorder (BPD), complex PTSD, integrative treatment of trauma, re-victimization of trauma victims.

Keywords: borderline personality disorder (BPD), complex PTSD, integrative treatment of trauma, re-victimization of trauma victims

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