In her magnum opus, 7 Things, she discusses a recently ended relationship and highlights seven areas of dissatisfaction with her ex-partner.
From this description, I notice that her ex-beau fulfils the diagnostic criteria for ‘borderline personality disorder’ or BPD.
To quote Ms Cyrus’s concerns:
You’re vain, your games, you’re insecure
You love me, you like her
You make me laugh, you make me cry
I don’t know which side to buy
Your friends they’re jerks
And when you act like them, just know it hurts
I wanna be with the one I know
And the 7th thing I hate the most that you do
You make me love you
According to the DSM, five of nine listed features are needed for a diagnosis.
It seems this person would qualify by fulfilling the criteria for: frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment; a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation; identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self; impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging; and affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood.
A similar diagnosis could be made using the World Health Organisation’s ICD-10 system where he or she would qualify for ’emotionally unstable personality disorder: borderline type’.
It’s probably worth noting that ‘borderline personality disorder’ is one of the more contested of the psychiatric disorders – with debates focusing on whether the diagnosis just pathologises people who are very hard to get along with.
Despite these difficulties, Ms Cyrus notes that there are seven things she likes about her ex-partner, which include “Your hair, your eyes, your old Levi’s”.
From her recent break-up I suspect these didn’t fully compensate for the pattern of relationship instability, although if she did wish to continue, both members of the couple could see a psychologist or therapist specialising in relationship difficulties.
However, research has shown that 75% of people diagnosed with BPD no longer qualify for the diagnosis after six years and so it could be worth waiting, or perhaps even thinking about dating someone slightly older to reduce the chances of repeating the same relationship pattern.
That’s very kind of you to offer Miley, but I’m waiting for Shakira.