Oscillations of attachment in borderline personality disorder.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The authors propose that oscillations of attachment in borderline personality disorder stem from a central problem with regulation of interpersonal distance. This problem derives from borderline patients' conflicts between fears of abandonment and domination. When they move closer to others, they fear that they will be dominated; when they move away, they fear that they will be abandoned. Whichever direction they move, they experience negative feedback. This gives rise to recurrent oscillations between attachment to and detachment from others. Because the oscillations are reinforced by the ambivalent reactions of significant others and the involvement of third parties, family therapy is often indicated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Melges, FT; Swartz, MS

Published Date

  • September 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 146 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1115 - 1120

PubMed ID

  • 2764169

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-953X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/ajp.146.9.1115


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States