Borderline personality disorder, a psychological diagnosis, best explains why young people experience freedom as they do. This claim may shock the reader. Borderline personality disorder is a severe mental illness. How can it be used to explain how a group of apparently normal people experience freedom? The answer, to put it briefly, is that I use the term “borderline personality disorder” much as Christopher Lasch (1979) used the term “narcissism” in The Culture of Narcissism, his indictment of the self-obsessed culture of the 1970s. “Borderline” is a cultural not just a psychological diagnosis. Since this distinction is not obvious, I will explain it along the way.
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