Narratively Shaped Emotions: The Case of Borderline Personality Disorder

Anna Bortolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, I provide a phenomenological exploration of the role played by narrativity in shaping affective experience. I start by surveying and identifying different ways in which linguistic and narrative expression contribute to structure and regulate emotions, and I then expand on these insights by taking into consideration the phenomenology of borderline personality disorder. Disruptions of narrative abilities have been shown to be central to the illness, and I argue that these disruptions are at the origin of a number of alterations of affective experience. In particular, I suggest that due to the narrative “fragmentation” characteristic of the disorder, the emotions experienced by borderline patients can be less differentiated and have a predominantly bodily and unregulated character.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-230
Number of pages19
JournalThe Journal of Medicine and Philosophy
Issue number2
Early online date19 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • borderline personality disorder
  • emotions
  • narratives
  • phenomenology


Dive into the research topics of 'Narratively Shaped Emotions: The Case of Borderline Personality Disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this