“Understanding “Splitting” as a Psychological Term” Comments, Page 1

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14 Comments (3 Discussion Threads) on “Understanding “Splitting” as a Psychological Term”

  1. There are so many misconceptions about the nature of borderline personalities, especially their strengths and weaknesses. And, there’s a tendency to ascribe negative connotations to all individuals who possess what would rightfully be described as a borderline level of personality organization despite the fact that these personalities vary quite greatly both in their ability to function adaptively (in many cases with remarkable creativity) and in the degree to which they exhibit behavior patterns that are problematic for both themselves and others. Some individuals with borderline characteristics are not only quite functional but are some of the most intriguing and talented people you’ll ever encounter. I plan to do some posting on how the whole borderline conceptualization fits into a cohesive understanding of personality and character in some future posts as well as in a soon to be released book.

    1. I am the scapegoat daughter of a narcisstic mother who conjures up stories to make every generation hate me. The latest is I beat her every day after school (in the seventies when I was a Jesus freak I guess???), and now she is frail and old I am coming back to beat her. She gets everyone to feel sorry for her and plays such a drama Queen. Every time I come out of years of no contact there is more abuse and surprises for me. Can’t even say goodbye to mother, she is leaving with a lasting contagious poison of hatred for me (and my kids). This is her crowning achievement after a lifetime of abuse to me, splitting me from family after she’s gone. Probly her best performance!!

  2. Hi George.

    Interesting article! Looking forward to the next series.

    On the subject of Borderline Personalities I’d say they just tend to ruin normal day to day functioning. And also ruin those family events and vacations just like clockwork. Everyone who knows them expects the outbursts! I also agree that they can be functioal in unique ways as well. I think things are easier for them to maneuver in and around. Its interpersonal relationships with people that are the difficult task for them.

  3. What I found to be telling about your article is how the term “splitting” has evolved to people who need to have it their way. My parents used to tell me that all the time. Of course today, the truth of why I was the way I was is out in the open. It wasn’t about getting my way. It was difficult to compromise my ideals of right and wrong. The conflicting messages my parents gave me were confusing. As we grow, we develop productive ways of coping without the need to compromise our core principles. Today, my “splitting” is gone, so I know from personal experience it is possible to live as a complete being. It’s just a matter of having the will to do so.

    Great site. Looking forward to reading more.

    1. Dr Simon, what are some of the therapy methods used to treat “splitting”? I looked online for such information, but haven’t found anything. Thanks!

    2. In response to your question, Kay, a special form of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) makes use of the borderline’s natural tendency to “split” or think in dialectical terms and achieve less dialectical thinking. Several studies have shown it to be an effective treatment.

  4. Whether one refers to it erroneously as “splitting” or not, I would be interested to hear more on your views of Divide-and-Conquer, and how to deal with it one’s family. Thank you very much!

  5. Vinca asks a great question. The divide and conquer strategy is commonly used in families. It works as a strategy when the primary alliances that should exist don’t. For example, in a nuclear family, the primary alliance is supposed to be between two healthy, responsible, mutually-respecting adults. Children who grow up in such families may try the divide and conquer strategy with their parents, but if their alliance of their parents is strong and their parents’ awareness is high, the strategy probably won’t work and they’ll have to either try something else or modify their behavior. Whenever the divide and conquer strategy is working, it means that a necessary alliance has either broken down, is frail, or has never been there in the first place. Rather than focusing attention on the actors in the divide and conquer scheme, best to give attention to the alliance needing repair.

  6. Dear Dr. Simon, Boy would I love to talk with you! :-) I have been diagnosed with BPD. I understand the concept of splitting according to the definition and examples and how they reflect how I view others as all good or all bad. I am aware of this now through STEPPS classes. But I also experience a little different type of ‘self-splitting’ that I think you may have touched on. ‘We’ would love to about this with someone. We are two personalities living in the same body. We are aware of each other and co-exist simultaneously most of the time but only one can be in charge at the same time. There is not a complete loss of memory by the other when one personality ‘takes over’ but details can become rather vague or forgotten. My fiance has witnessed physical signs in me that indicate the switch is coming. I become distant, I appear and sound a little ‘zoned out’ or distant, my speaking tone goes flat, the way I speak changes, my demeanor and facial expressions change. This is how I experience splitting. Are you familiar with this this? Have you actually seen this before?
    Best wishes and Thanks for the article! The Borderline Blonde :-)

    1. Dear Dr. Simon, I have change my mind already on something I said earlier. We can work together at times and have boundaries on each other. When boundaries get reached they can work together for a period of time. Just long enough to get sick of each other again. Im not always soo split. :-) I would love more info on this or to hear more from you on this. I am newly diagnosed and trying to figure out what’s going on with me. Thanks. The Borderline Blonde

  7. Dear. Dr. Simon, My adult daughter might have issues with a splitting personality. After an argument with me she refused to speak to me for a month then my younger daughter defended me, so my older daughter said to her sister you’re never on my side. 3 months & refuses to talk to her sister. Also saying that she’s being bullied by me & younger daughter. She removed me from facebook, took away her maiden name on fb. Now talks to me but refuses to speak to her sister ever. When I said we’re a family you have to talk to each other, let it go, she got angry & hung up on me & refuses to talk to me now. She said you dropped me once now your doing again, I can’t take it. She does not even allow us to facetime or talk to her young children. Very upsetting.

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