James Hicks, M.D., 50 SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS (Yale University Press)

Dr. James Hicks
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Self-Esteem Problems

What an angel! She is your very best friend ever. You met your new boss just yesterday, but you can tell she is the greatest! It's your second day at a new job, and she brought you coffee and muffins. She's so thoughtful and sensitive! You can tell that she's the sort of person who would never hurt you.

Not like that ass you worked for at your last job. You stayed at work for long hours working on that report, and he never even noticed. He asked you to change one of the charts; he said it was inaccurate. Well, it wasn't your fault! He gave you the data. If he wanted you to double-check his sources, he should have said so. And you told him as much.

You told him that if he had the least bit of decency, he would have stayed up late with you to help you finish. Why did he have to race home? As if his wife couldn't spare him for one evening. He must think that you don't have a life, that you have nothing better to do than work late. Well, you've had plenty of boyfriends. You could have a different one every night if you wanted.

You should have said that. Maybe you'll call him up tonight and give him an earful. But for now, you'll just have one of those muffins.

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Self-Esteem Problems
  • Self-Esteem Is Exceedingly Fragile in Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Emotions and Behavior Are Poorly Regulated in Borderline Personality
  • Borderline Personalities Desperately Distrust and Depend on Others
  • Why Do Borderline Personality Traits Develop?
  • How to Cope with Borderline Personality Traits


This excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks

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