Borderline and Antisocial Personality Disorders in the Bible

(Pages 11-21)
Hugo André de Lima Martins1, Bianca Bastos Mazullo Martins2, Bruna Bastos Mazullo Martins3, Valdenilson Ribeiro Ribas4 and Alexandro Luiz Bomfim dos Santos5

1Physician, PhD in Neuropsychiatry, UFPE; 2Psychologist, Universidade Católica de Pernambuco (UNICAP); 3Psychologist, Faculdade Pernambucana de Saúde (FPS); 4Psychologist, PhD in Neuropsychiatry, UFPE; 5Psychologist, Specialist in Neuropsychology (UNIFTC)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.12974/2313-1047.2021.08.2

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Abstract: Introduction: A pervasive and inflexible personality characterizes the borderline personality disorder (BPD) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Both belong to cluster B of the personality classification, and the main feature is emotional dysregulation and a high degree of impulsivity.
Objective: To present, outline, and discuss the traits of borderline and antisocial personalities in the biblical characters.
Methods: An extensive search was conducted in the Old and New Testaments to find characters who committed violent acts against themselves and/or against other characters. Right after, we sought traits of borderline and antisocial personality disorders and outlined the psychological profile of the characters.
Results: Six characters committed suicide in the Old Testament. The first was Abimelech, whose history is told in the book of Judges, followed by Samson’s. The next was Saul, as presented in 1 Samuel. Ahithophel’s suicide is reported in 2 Samuel, while Zimri is reported in the 1 Kings, and Judas, the most famous suicide of the New Testament. The following characters presented with a high degree of impulsivity and homicidal acts: Cain and Potiphar’s wife, reported in the book of Genesis, and Absalom and Amnon, described in 2 Samuel (Amnon was a rapist and killer). The last murderer woman described was Jezebel, presented in the book of 1 Kings and 2 Kings.
Conclusion: The bible is a very rich and underexplored source of borderline and antisocial personality disorder descriptions.

Keywords: Borderline personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, Bible.