Complexes

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In addition to the sheer chronicity of stress, another key to understanding victimization as a stressful event is that when victimization includes a threat to the fundamental integrity of the person—what Wheaton (1997) called a threat to key elements of personal identity, including one's sense of self-worth, power, and control over one's life (S. Taylor & Brown, 1991)—it will most likely have a negative impact on an individual. This idea is clearly acknowledged by the requirement of an anchor criterion for diagnosis of PTSD that involves the experience of, witness to, or confrontation with an "event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others" (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p.

The traits associated with BPD are such that relationship problems of women with the disorder could be related to personality problems rather than to the violence of their partners. Likewise, the idea of "the intolerance of being abandoned" that has been used to characterize this disorder (Millon, 1981, p. 352) also can cloud understanding of victims' ambivalence in leaving violent partners for fear of retribution rather VICTIMIZATION MANIFESTATIONS 33 than their clinging to avoid separation. These mistaken attributions make a discussion of BPD in the context of victimization particularly sensitive.

These mistaken attributions make a discussion of BPD in the context of victimization particularly sensitive. Nonetheless, a review of the literature on clinical conditions experienced by women with victimization cannot omit BPD. Many symptoms and traits overlap between PTSD and BPD (van der Kolk, van der Hart, & Marmar, 1996). , 2003; Shea, Zlotnick, & Weisberg, 1999; Swartz, Blazer, George, & Winfield, 1990). , 1998). There are two hypotheses currently in the literature about the reasons for this overlap.

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