William & Mary

W&M psychology professor discusses Borderline Personality Disorder

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mental illnesses account for a larger proportion of disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Christopher Conway recently sat down with William & Mary News to discuss one such mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and its effect on people.

“BPD is marked by unstable moods, behavior and relationships,” Conway said. It usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood. It also impacts the way people think and feel about themselves and others.

In the first video, Conway discusses what BPD is and what causes it.

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In the second video, Conway talks about BPD and its correlation with gender.

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It’s estimated that 1.6 percent of the adult U.S. population has BPD, but it may be as high as 5.9 percent, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nearly 75 percent of people diagnosed with BPD in clinical settings are women, but recent epidemiological research relying on samples of people from the community suggests that men may be almost as frequently affected by BPD.

Conway is currently investigating the origins, temporal course, and classification of psychopathology at William & Mary. He focuses on emotional disorders, which, broadly defined, include anxiety, depressive, and certain personality disorders.