A case of multiple personality is presented. The primary personality met DSM-III criteria for borderline personality disorder, and displayed several “lower level” borderline defenses as well. The secondary personalities showed other borderline characteristics. Seen as a whole, the patient manifested a more complete spectrum of borderline features than did any of the personalities viewed individually. It is postulated that some patients with multiple personality may be a subset of borderlines, in whom the splitting of self and object representations is so severe that the disparate representations are partitioned and manifested in different “personalities.” The importance of preoedipal, as opposed to oedipal, psychopathology suggests that multiple personality may be more properly considered a borderline condition than an hysterical condition.
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