The current study investigated the short-term effects of mindful and ruminative forms of self-focused attention on a behavioral measure of distress tolerance in individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who had completed an angry mood induction.
Participants included 40 individuals who met criteria for BPD and were currently involved in mental health treatment. Each completed an individual 1-hr session. Following an angry mood induction, each participant was randomly assigned to engage in ruminative or mindful self-focus for several minutes.
All participants then completed the computerized Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT-C), a behavioral measure of willingness to tolerate distress in the service of goal-directed behavior.
The mindfulness group persisted significantly longer than the rumination group on the distress tolerance task and reported significantly lower levels of anger following the self-focus period.
Results are consistent with previous studies in suggesting that distinct forms of self-focused attention have distinct outcomes and that, for people with BPD, mindful self-observation is an adaptive alternative to rumination when feeling angry.
- On the wisdom of counting to ten: Personal and social dangers of anger expression, by Carol Tavris, PhD (mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com)
- Canadian doctor’s scathing report on multiple-personality disorder says it should never have been included in DSM-V (mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com)