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How do people with borderline personality disorder think?


Sometimes, a single thought can completely take over a person's mind, becoming the most important thing in their life. These powerful ideas can lead individuals to act destructively, and common problems like anorexia and hypochondria often stem from them. 

The idea of "overvalued ideas" was first introduced in 1982 by the German psychiatrist Karl Wernicke. He looked at the work of French doctors who studied "fixed ideas." Wernicke was the first to separate obsessive and delusional ideas from overvalued ones. 

An overvalued idea is a strong feeling or belief that is very important to a person. They treasure it and try hard to prove and promote their idea in any way they can. Obsessive thoughts, on the other hand, are one-sided judgments that control a person because of their intense emotions. 

People with obsessive thoughts often see the world as black and white; there’s only what supports their main idea and what goes against it. Experts think that overvalued ideas come from a person's conviction that they need to have them. It's like a specific plan or scenario for how the person's life should be. They set limits for themselves and are scared to look beyond them. 

The main difference between an overvalued idea and a delusion is that overvalued ideas make sense at first. Obsessive thoughts are not usually wrong or silly. Delusional ideas become more complicated over time, and the person's behavior becomes more foolish. 

Overvalued ideas are seen as a borderline mental disorder and aren't a symptom of any specific condition. They happen because of personality traits and how someone was brought up. They're most common in people with certain personality traits, but they can also arise from other conditions, such as schizophrenia. 

Some psychiatrists think that overvalued ideas are like a barrier between delusions and obsessive thoughts. They're hard to get rid of, but they're usually about things that could happen in real life.

Four main traits can help you know if someone has overvalued ideas:

  1. They think their idea is more important than anything else, even if something more pressing is happening externally. 
  2. The idea makes them feel a lot of emotions. 
  3. The idea comes from their own experiences or their understanding of a situation. 
  4. They may change their mind, unlike people with delusions, who never do.

Overvalued ideas can look normal in some situations. For example, a scientist might be so focused on their idea that they forget about everything else, even their family. They don't try to get rid of the idea but want others to see it as important. 

There are two types of overvalued ideas: ones based on thinking and ones based on emotions and images. Overvalued ideas come from a mix of different things and a person's own qualities.
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