Borderline States

Borderline States
   (from 1909)
   The term "borderline" has found various usages in the recent history of psychiatry. (See Borderline Personality Disorder.) Carl Pelman (1838–1916), a longtime asylum superintendent who in 1908 had just become professor of psychiatry in Bonn, introduced the term as the title of his rather rambling account of Psychic Borderline States (Psychische Grenzzustände: 1909); by it he meant virtually everything in psychiatry outside of mainline psychosis, including sexual deviance, alcoholism, pathological lying, the homeless, and so forth. In 1924, Robert Wälder spoke of "border-line psychosis" as a psychoanalytic concept.
   (See Freudian Interpretations of Psychosis: "border-line" psychosis 1924.)
   In 1938, Adolph Stern (1879–1958) described a certain form of personality disorder (one unresponsive to psychoanalysis) as "borderline personality disorder," a term that underwent several permutations before ending in the personality disorders section of the DSM series. (See Borderline Personality Disorder [1938].) In 1949, Paul Hoch (1902–1964) and Phillip Polatin (1905–1980) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute used "borderline" to describe "pseudoneurotic schizophrenia," a form of schizophrenia without delusions or hallucinations. (See Schizophrenia: Recent Concepts: pseudoneurotic schizophrenia [1949]).

Edward Shorter. 2014.

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