Background: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is defined by a pervasive pattern of instability. According to prior findings and clinical theories, self-esteem instability and affective instability are key features of BPD. Previous e-diary studies showed that instability in self-esteem is heightened and that it is highly intertwined with affective instability in BPD in comparison to healthy controls (HC). The present study sought to extend these findings by adding symptomatologically remitted BPD patients (BPD-REM), i.e. former patients with BPD who met four or fewer BPD criteria within the past year, as a comparison group.
Methods: To examine differences regarding self-esteem instability and affective instability, we used e-diaries for repeatedly collecting data on self-esteem, valence, and tense arousal 12 times a day for four consecutive days while participants underwent their daily life activities. Determining three different state-of-the-art instability indices and applying multilevel analyses, we compared 35 BPD-REM participants with previously reported 60 acute BPD patients (BPD-ACU) and 60 HC.
Results: Our results revealed that self-esteem instability was significantly lower in the BPD-REM compared to the BPD-ACU group, irrespective of the instability index. ... mehr