Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex psychological disorder characterized by pervasive difficulties with interpersonal relationships, emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, recurrent suicide attempts, and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; American Psychological Association, 2000). It is estimated that up to 5% of individuals in the general population, and 40% of individuals in inpatient psychiatric populations have BPD. In addition, BPD has a large human cost; approximately 84% of individuals with BPD engage in NSSI, and 75% attempt suicide at least once. Thus, individuals with BPD represent a suffering community in high need of effective and interventions.
Prominent theories of BPD propose that emotion dyregulation is the core of the disorder, and that the behaviours associated with BPD (NSSI, impulsivity) are thus conceptualized as either natural outcomes of emotion dysregulation or function to regulate the dysregulated state. In the BEP Lab we are committed do clarifying the different features associated with emotion dysregulation in order to help isolate the factors that maintain BPD and, ultimately, develop and improve treatments designed to treat the disorder.