Jan. 20, 2022

The truth about "quiet BPD": sunshine on the outside, razor blades on the inside (ft. Dr. Anita Federici)

The truth about "quiet BPD": sunshine on the outside, razor blades on the inside (ft. Dr. Anita Federici)

According to Dr. Anita Federici, new research shows that 40%-50% of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder don’t have BPD at all. The potential reasoning behind misdiagnosis? A fundamental misunderstanding of and lack of awareness around the concept of “emotional overcontrol.” On today’s episode, we dive into these new findings. Researcher, clinical psychologist, personality, and eating disorder specialist Dr. Federici has over 20 years of experience in her field. Not only that, she owns a practice in Ontario, which offers a fully adherent Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program, as well as a Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT) program for those who struggle with emotional overcontrol.

💡 Questions answered and topics discussed in this episode:


■ The difference between emotional undercontrol (UC) vs. overcontrol (OC) and how these concepts are changing the way BPD is viewed, diagnosed and treated 

■ Anita’s experience meeting and working with Dr. Marsha Linehan, the creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

■ New neuroscientific research (from the last 5-6 years) regarding the "BPD brain"

■ How identity diffusion relates to emotion dysregulation

■ Dr. Thomas Lynch and his incredible contributions to BPD research: the connection between “Quiet BPD,” emotional overcontrol, and masking behaviors

■ How to determine if your temperament sways more towards overcontrol or undercontrol

■ How society teaches us to suppress big emotions (and reinforces/rewards more “socially acceptable” perfectionistic behavior)

■ How new treatment modality Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT) has drastically changed assessment procedures and treatment recommendations

■ How clinging TOO tightly to diagnostic labels can keep us stuck (and why it’s important to think dialectically about diagnoses)

■ Is there a “cure” for BPD? (Painting a realistic - and optimistic - picture of recovery)

■ Why people suffering with complex trauma tend to seek chaos (coping the boredom & chronic feelings of emptiness in BPD and EUPD)

■ Exploring the concept of “emotional leakage” in overcontrolled individuals

■ How to make sure a DBT program or provider is “fully adherent” and what those treatment programs look like

■ BPD stigma and misunderstandings that exists in the mental health community


📝Recommended resources:

https://behavioraltech.org/ (Marsha Linehan’s Behavioral Tech Website)

https://www.youtube.com/c/DBTRU (Official YouTube page for the DBT clinic at Rutgers University directed by Shireen Rizvi)


Connect with Anita on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dranitafederici/

Disclaimer: information contained in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for treatment or consultation with a licensed mental health professional. 


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