Borderline personality disorder and dissociation are strongly related. DSM-IV-TR criteria of BPD, for instance, include isolated dissociative symptoms (APA, 1994). Two thirds of BPD may be diagnosed of a dissociative disorder (Korzekwa, Dell and Pain, 2009). Both diagnoses have been related with high rates of childhood trauma. The close relationship between trauma, dissociation and borderline features can be understood from the perspective of the theory of structural dissociation of the personality (Van der Hart, Nijenhuis & Steele, 2006/2008) which transcends the traditional approach of describing "comorbidity". In this article we will review the empirical data which support the relation between early traumatizing and attachment disruption situations, and both borderline and dissociative symptoms. Borderline personality disorder will be explained in terms of structural dissociation of the personality.
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