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IIC 126: Borderline "Personalities": Your Questions Answered by Dr. Greg Bottaro


In this episode, my guest Dr. Greg Bottaro of the CatholicPsych Institute shares with us the most important thing he wants us to remember about borderline personality dynamics, the things that Catholics and non-Catholics most often misunderstand about borderline presentations, and his takeaways about borderline “personalities.” We then open the floor to these questions from our live audience: 1) How do you stay in relationship with someone who is threatening to harm themselves, you, or other family members? 2) Are anger and anxiety typical coping mechanisms for those with borderline characteristics? 3) I think I may have borderline personality with a strong strain of self-hatred. What is the role of concupiscence and wounds in borderline personality? 4) How would a Catholic parent with a spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder characteristics navigate teaching or picking up the pieces with young children who witness severe emotional dysregulation on a regular basis without undermining the spouse or triangulating? 5) Someone brought to my awareness that they see BPD characteristics in me. How do I approach true authentic healing so that I don’t wound others, while not falling into the trap of getting a formal diagnosis to justify my actions or over-spiritualizing, trying to pray it away or just go to confession? 6) How do I help my young adult son who is married to someone I suspect has BPD characteristics who is now cutting off communication with us and who is not taking care of himself and who has said he is in turmoil when his wife, my daughter-in-law, who seems controlling and needing lots of “space”?

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