The Psychology Colloquial Series, NUMS Department of Psychology organized its 3rd Seminar on the topic ‘Borderline Personality Traits and Emotional Coping in Young Population’ on 3rd of November, 2022. The guest speaker for the occasion was nationally and internationally acclaimed Professor Dr. Fareed Minhas (Head of the Psychiatry Department, BBSH, Retd & Consultant, Tree House, Rawalpindi). The event was open to the public and approximately 30 people were in attendance. Professor Dr. Shazia Khalid (Head, NUMS Department of Psychology) welcomed the august guest speaker and extended gratitude to Professor Dr. Azam Chaudhary (Dean, SSH), Dr. Arif Mahmud, directors and students who graced the occasion with their presence.

Professor Dr. Fareed Minhas began the talk by introducing the three main interest groups ‘Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD),’ ‘Cognitive Dysfunctions,’ and ‘Childhood Traumas’ on which he has been working for the past few years. Keeping in view the event’s topic, Professor Dr. Fareed Minhas apprised the audience that Borderline Personality Traits are present since childhood and that parenting plays a monumental role in the development of these traits. He elaborated that this disorder lies on the borderline of psychosis and neurosis and also overlap with mood disorders. The learned guest speaker, while explaining the characteristics of BPD, pointed out that such individuals have less emotional skin, have excessive fear of abandonment, experience unstable relationships, have identity disturbance, and absolutely no impulse control. They are curious about gossips, crave attention, and suffer from recurrent suicidal thoughts. In response to the queries of the audience on the biological role in the development of the traits and disorder, Professor Dr. Fareed Minhas shared that though the neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’ may be implicated in the manifestation of borderline personality problems, childhood experiences play an even more important role. The guest speaker also shared the research evidence related to the antecedents of this disorder. He delineated that childhood traumas such as childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse may dispose a child to a series of cognitive dysfunctions and thereby lack of impulse control and emotional dysregulation becomes the marked features. He also pointed out that the earlier the age of abuse, more is the likelihood of the damage and that the disorder may exacerbate due to chronic stress. After highlighting the features and causes of borderline personality problems, Professor Dr. Fareed Minhas discussed about the intervention strategies, which can be employed to support the patients. He advised that as psychologists we must be careful in the selection of our words. He stressed upon letting the concerned individuals in acknowledging their feelings, giving them space, and being transparent with them. He pointed out that evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy have proved to be helpful in the management of Borderline Personality Traits. Lastly, Professor Dr. Fareed Minhas reiterated that mindful parenting can prevent the development of BPD.  Later, the talk was followed by question answer session. At the end of the event, Professor Dr. Shazia Khalid thanked the worthy guest speaker immensely for making time for the talk and shared the potential collaborative opportunities for advancing work on emotional coping and well-being.