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.
- borderline personality disorder