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Dr. Demarte Diagnosed Jodi Arias With Borderline Personality Disorder

During the afternoon session. Dr. Janeen DeMarte returned to the stand to continue to discuss her findings relating to murder defendant Jodi Arias. She disagreed with Dr. Richard Samuels diagnosis of PTSD, stating that Arias  did not display the symptoms consistent with that diagnosis.  Instead, after reviewing the information she received on Arias, conducting numerous tests and interviewing Arias for nearly 12 hours, she diagnosed her with having Borderline Personality Disorder. Not surprised? Many people have suggested that as a textbook diagnosis for her behavior.

DeMarte explained her reasons for reaching the diagnosis by first reviewing the diagnostic criteria for borderline personality order and citing examples relating to Arias, and it was quite effective:

1) Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

  • She cited Arias moving to Mesa after the breakup with Travis Alexander
  • Intrusive behavior, spying to Travis - she discussed these points with Travis Alexander's brother Steven.
  • Crossing boundaries, fear of abandonment
2)  Unstable and intense personal relationships
  • Arias went from one boyfriend to the next, she idealized them in her journals. She was "devout" in her love for Travis even he was unfaithful to her. People with the disorder tend to idealize or devalue people. She displayed this behavior with Travis and other boyfriends.
  • Her journal entries were almost adolescent, immature and almost saccharin.
3)  Identity disturbance 
  • This involves our self identity and who we are. Arias joined the Mormon Church very quickly, she dyed/changed her hair when she was with Darryl Brewer to be more consistent with his ex-wife's look. She lived in a tent with Matt McCartney at one time yet tried to portray herself as more professional when she was with Travis . "Chameleon-like" quality due to lack of self identity.
4)   Impulsivity - DeMarte did not find this trait in Jodi Arias.

5)  Suicidal ideation 
  • DeMarte noted that Arias had consistently discussed her desire to "not be alive" in diaries and journals going back to 1995.
6)  Affective instability
  • This is described as a "roller coaster of emotions" and people sometimes mistakenly think a person is bipolar.
  • DeMarte found evidence in records from all Arias's ex boyfriends describing her as having quick shifting emotions.
  • DeMarte noted this behavior herself in reading Arias's journal entries, where emotions would go from angry to sad to happy in the same day.
7)  Feeling of emptiness
  • Jodi Arias told DeMarte she had felt this way since childhood (emptiness)
8)  Inappropriate and intense anger
  • DeMarte referred to a February 14, 2007 e-mail from Jodi to Travis. I'm paraphrasing, but Arias wrote " anger is very destructive. I've kicked down doors and it hurts people and it hurts me. Sometimes I forget who I am...." There was much more to that e-mail, it was long and I hope to find it online so I can post it. I'd never seen it before. Juan Martinez noted the e-mail was sent by Arias at 16:58 on 2/14/07 - Valentine's Day, the same day Travis supposedly sent Arias the "Travis Alexander's" tshirt, underwear and Spidey's. Doesn't sound like the words of someone who just got a Valentine's Day package to me.
9)  Transient stress related paranoid ideation - Not applicable to Jodi Arias.

So a person must have 5 of these to meet the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. Arias has 7 of 9. I liked the way DeMarte presented the information. She's only been on the stand a few hours, but we can already tell that she's talked to other people than Samuels and LaViolette. Instead of relying exclusively on Arias or information and journals provided by Arias, she talked to other people. The testing she did was scored scientifically.

She gave Arias an IQ test, another test was a 500 question test that was scored by a computer and then re scored for accuracy. She seems credible, and the only weakness I can see the defense pouncing on is her age and/or her being relatively new in her profession when compared side-by-side with the defense experts. But she seems quite knowledgeable and accomplished in her own. I like the tests she conducted and the manner in which they were scored. It seems like a much more scientific evaluation, mixed in with an appropriate amount of outside input from key people including Travis's brother and Arias's parents.

When she began to discuss borderline personality disorder, she mentioned that one of the first things that struck her about Jodi Arias was the immaturity. Specifically,she cited that Arias smiled in her mugshot - as if she were posing for a high school yearbook picture when she had been arrested for murder. She also said that Arias parents said Jodi was "happy as hell" that they were visiting her in jail. She found this behavior to be immature and odd.  Court is taking the afternoon break right now.  

DeMarte's diagnosis seems much more appropriate for Jodi Arias than anything else I've heard over the course of this trial. When Juan Martinez tried to get her to make a connection relating to something in one of Dr. Samuels test results, she told him she was unable to - she would need time to review more information before giving an answer to his question. I liked that she doesn't appear over eager to please either side, rather she seems to be objective. A breath of fresh air!


  1. Talk about "identity disturbance" as one of the criteria for Borderline... Nancy Grace had Jodi's very sweet childhood friend on the line, & she was showing early photos of the 2 of them growing up. In the photos, Jodi's friend is very blonde & stands out in the pics. Funny how Jodi may have tried to morph yet again, into this "image" or take on her friend's physical attributes. Scary. Reminds me of 2 Bette Davis movies: A STOLEN LIFE & DEAD RINGER.

    1. Women of all ages color their hair all the time, I don't see this as anything unusual. They also color their hair to please their man.

    2. Anon @ 7:17 am: While I agree women color their hair for various reasons (I myself, have a monthly date w/ Miss Clairol, just to keep the grays at bay), when looking at criteria for one of the 4 subcategories of Cluster B personality disorder (including antisocial, borderline, histrionic & narcissistic) these aspects- while seemingly innocuous- present a clearer picture of pathology, when combined w/ all other criteria. The average person coloring her hair, does not mean she is "borderline" any more than a person who's been robbed taking precautions not to be burgled again suffers from "paranoid personality" disorder. It's when enduring patterns of perception & exhibiting behaviors are inflexible & maladaptive; causing significant functional impairment or subjective stress, that a disorder is diagnosed. A person may present multiple overlapping criteria from other disorders, creating a more complex picture, but unless she meets other supporting criteria, those are just aspects of personality & not a personality disorder.

  2. I am glad to hear a diagnosis that finally rings true. I was just watching the Defense cross-examine De Marte. She evidently did not administer the test for PTSD; hope this doesn't come back to bite her. Although she didn't say why (not), I'm guessing she may have thought Jodi was already way too familiar with the test and how to respond to it. Another interesting thing is when the the Defense is asking about Travis (but just saying the word "abuser"), it sounds like everything she says could so easily be about Jodi instead!I'm sure Martinez will use that to his advantage when he redirects.

    1. Juan went through the entire test with her. He covered each Scale and all the symptom criteria in each scale. DeMarte explained symptom by symptom why she did not have each symptom and she even gave examples to illustrate why they did not apply.

  3. Did anyone notice Jennifer Willmont putting words into Demarte's mouth twice in the very beginning of the rebuttal? About education and experience.

    1. Yes! DeMarte is very astute and a sharp cookie. I thought that JW's attempts bombed. Trying to copy Juan's cross of ALV was not effective, IMO.

    2. Jimmy and NancyB,
      Willmott is continuing same style of cross examination of DeMarte this AM...trying to highlight her lack of years in practice, lack of published articles etc. I guess that's all they CAN do!

    3. Yes, more desperation. ; )


  4. Does she have the yrs experience that ALV and Samuels have, no. I don't think she's even been on the earth as long but the key is she did medically proven tests, without bias, took the results at face value and didn't try to maneuver a result. The tests are not something that she created, she followed the DSM and knew her stuff, very impressive.

    For every symptom that she believed Jodi had, she would give good solid reasons from the journals, Jodi or others. Dr D and JM basically did the PTSD test live in front of the jury. Stating that 3 of the 4 categories that prove PTSD were not valid. They ignored the first aspect which is that a trauma existed, the same one that Samuels, during his testing thought included 2 ninjas or was it intruders? She later stated that Jodi does not have Battered Woman's Syndrome as per what she said in regards to the PTSD. There are many similar symptoms for both.

    Should be fun to see Wilmott and Dr D get it on tomorrow/today.

  5. It's refreshing to have someone on the stand that makes sense. She is young, has less experience, but it's what you do with your experience that makes the difference. ALV and Samuels lost their objectivity with their "experience" along with the ability to stay current in the appropriate testing and evaluation methods! Finally, someone who can answer "yes" or "no" to questions simply needing it.

    1. Anonymous (4/17 at 6:10AM),
      Amen, I agree. Years of experience doesn't always equal a superior doctor. One of the most powerful things I think DeMarte pointed out was the excessive number of hours the other experts spent w/ the defendant and how that changes the clinical setting to a therapeutic one.

  6. Just because a medical professional finally states what many wanted to hear, they believe her. But if the expert witness says something that disagrees with what some audience members believe, they choose to discredit their work. We now have three professional opinions, and medical professionals disagree all the time, it is very common. The two defense professionals both have 25 to 30 years of experience. This lady has been in practice for what, 2 years? Oh yea, "I've been practicing since 2004". OK. Besides that, she comes off as cold, condescending, blunt, unfriendly, and egotistical, and the jury is going to notice the extreme differences, especially how her demeanor completely changes when the defense starts their questions. The look in her eyes was scary, actually.

    1. Willmott, your jealousy is showing! LOL!

    2. Anon @ 7:58 - You are funny!

      Anon @ 7:33 - I don't think that the jury questions support your view! Their questions strongly indicated that they have major doubt about the validity of both of the defense's forensic experts' testimony. That should cause great worry to someone who supports your views and the believability of those experts.

    3. One thing that I really love is that on this blog, people are allowed to express a contrary point of view (their personal opinion) that is very different than that of most of us who participate on this site and they are not blocked. The primary pro Jodi site is so blinkered that they won't allow any dissenting posts no matter how calmly stated. They claim that all of us are " haters".

      I do not agree with the opinions of anonymous (7:33 am) in any way what so ever. But I do appreciate that he/she is allowed to post and allowed their opinion, however much it does not jive with the rest of us here.

    4. Anonymous (4/17/13 at 8:31AM),
      Thank you for your comments.The only postings that I've deleted are ones that contained some derogatory references or inappropriate language. Couldn't believe a few of them, just awful angry messages! But I would not delete a comment just because I don't agree with the person! Freedom of speech, right? Thanks for your post.

    5. Anonymous (4/17/13 at 7:33AM),
      Thank you for your comments, although I don't personally just believe this expert's testimony because it's what I want to hear. I find her credible because she seems to be the only one that took a third person/objective look at this case. She spent time talking to people other than Jodi Arias rather than relying 100% on her word. She did diagnostic testing and explained why she came up w/diagnosis. Her attitude seemed much more clinical and professional in nature and she seemingly did not establish a relationship with the individual she was assessing. Those are the reasons why I believe this witness. Dr. Samuels brought reports into a courtroom that had "typographical" errors, it appeared he rescored the PTSD test 3 times. This makes it appear that he altered the results until they fit the diagnosis the defense needed. LaViolette did not seem objective in this case. DeMarte pointed out that when you choose to interpret somebody else's written words, you are making them subjective and should be objective. I know ALV & Samuels both have decades of experience in their fields but they seemed to be treating Arias vs. giving clinical interviews.

    6. Anon @ 8:31 - I'm in total agreement with you. Agreeing to disagree is no big deal. Your comment highlights one of the reasons that I love this blog. A few more reasons are My Forte's stellar writing style and high level re cap skills along with intelligent people that post great comments.

      DeMarte is the epitome of what I'd expect from a forensic clinical expert. she exudes professionalism and accuracy. However, I do not agree with her Dx. of BPD. What I wouldn't give to see the computer print out of the scoring of the 10 Scales! She mentioned yesterday that 7 out of the 10 scales were ELEVATED! That is HUGE and not at all common. I am convinced that she is ASPD-Pyschopath. BPD doesn't account for her lack of remorse, no discernible conscience, lack of impulsivity, and the substantial amount of aggression.

      I think this is a great article by Dr. K Randle on Diagnosing Jodi.

    7. I completely agree with you NancyB. I thought that Dr. Randle was spot on in regards to JA. I wish she was one of the witnesses on this trial. And I also feel that My Forte has the best writing style of any of these trial blogs that I have seen.

  7. Although bpd is very hard for even a trained professional to see, understand and diagnose as your seeing in the jodi arias trial with all her manipulation s and chameleon like behavior befuddling the court and most people watching her superior acting skills, it's very obvious to those who have either been attacked by one , or who has one in the family etc......once you have been in there company for any length of time you will most likely never forget the odd sensation these people give off, raising a red flag.

    1. Sojurn, my heart goes out to you, it's a living nightmare. Thankfully, I have personally only known one, who was my boss at the beginning of my career, a long time ago. I had NO real idea what I was dealing with at that time but it turned my life upside down. It took me 6 months to educate myself and then I immediately found another job so I would never have to deal with that level of gas lighting and manipulation etc on a daily basis. To have a family member with this Dx. is a full time job in itself, I'd imagine. (((hug)))

    2. Totally agree with you Sojurn. I just recently came across this situation, and it reminded me of my potential future. But I found that most people are unwilling to accept a BPD diagnosis because they want Arias lynched. Because BPD is basically an untreatable disease I'm not really sure if an insanity defense would really be feasible, however leniancy for her biological defects seems humane. But I also have growing opinions about life in prison, jail in general, and particularly the State using the death penalty for any crime.

    3. Actually, I have found that society in general, outside this case, has difficulty understanding what BPD is or accepting it. And people are also extremely unintelligent and lazy and would rather lynch or enable a borderline individual. It's almost like they are so scared of the truth that this person has this untreatable disease they continually project cognitive dissonance. I don't know how many times people have told me that I'm not a doctor, and no doctor has diagnosed BPD. People have no sense of understand of this disease. It's untreatable, and they don't understand that. They call it evil. They want to burn the witch at the stake. No joke. This society is a bunch of criminal lynchers when it comes to BPD.

  8. helping exaggerate evidence
    based on no real expertise with BPD
    in order to convict
    Jodi with a flawed diagnosis

    and this is a breath of fresh air?

  9. I typed up the email from Jodi:

    I was at a loss for words and perhaps a little bit intimidated, not necessarily because of how angry you were, but because I wasn’t sure how you would react to me trying to comfort you. I compare it to my own experiences, and I know that sometimes < I don’t want to hear it, I just want to yell and scream and vent (yes, I do on very rare occasions), and go through the motions until the situation plays itself out. Other times, I need comforting and to be told that everything is ok. I wasn’t sure exactly what you were needing, so I just listened, and as the conversation evolved, my heart filled with compassion for you.
    However, you already know the Secret. I don’t need to remind you. But you are so powerful, and you can turn this situation around at anytime. I found out, much to my regret, that my anger is very destructive. I’ve never beaten up anybody over it, but I’ve kicked holes in walls, kicked down doors, smashed windows, broken things. It hurts people and it hurts me. It lowers my vibration and attracts unwanted lower-vibrational situations and people into my life. So I strive every day to “be the bigger person” and be a living example and Choose the Right and see everything through a filter of love. But it doesn’t always work that way! I mess up. Sometimes I forget who I am. But I will never stop striving to be Christ-like as much as I possibly can.

  10. Okay I see this as a friendly space so I feel safe to speak..I have been very research built since this trial..while I hold no degree in any medical standing ..I do imagine having clear indicative skills with people as I am an artist a poet and a sales associate in the field of design..while this alone seems like less...I have mastered certain feelers for behavior and Jodi fascinates me on different levels...I watch experts grapple with different diagnosis s and I see such jaded views and I see a lot of manipulating and a lot of confusion ..apparently due to the circus atmosphere...I knew a male exactly like Jodi in almost every way,,and maybe looking back when it was happening to me..I didn't and couldn't see it coming...I believe Jodi ..I know Jodi is using this same game I can spot it a mile away..not even knowing the medical or clinical terms..but I know..the moves she makes the manipulations..the sexual blackmail so close it's guy taped us in sexual play without my knowledge from under the bed with a tape recorder and threatened to play it for my father if I would not comply with our relationship ..which was also over but lingering physically..I was late in finding all the invasions of privacy it was only by chance I caught him..before facebook or social media..he instead would read my phone book while I slept after being together roommate came home and witnessed him calling all males in it and threatening them bodily harm morning he was beside me fast asleep like nothing happened..I slowly found out the rage against family and friends later months..people lost my number...we're scared and I only knew this because my brother got a call from him because he had a different last name...considered him someone I was cheating on him with...we weren't together...he would follow me on dates stay in my room while I was out sneak in all day and fill my answering roommate let him in while I was on dates without my permission...he'd go thru my journals and make notes by my poetry..highlight things and profess weird love ..I felt violated..he would steal things and put them in my room from people like ties and put them under my mattress and then out if the blue show my roommate and swear I'd stolen them and I needed help ..honest why would I do he snuck into my house during the day when we were all at work...he did various things he would always get me fired or evicted if I would pull away and date ...he made friends with my friends called my family every day..said he loved me ..called old boyfriends and questioned one told me for a long time I lost friends cause they believed them...he put me in jail for a speeding ticket that he knew I had let go to warrant I was 25and dumb..but when I tried to leave he sent the cops to my new job that I loved first day and had me taken in so no new apt or job for me...but he would send me love letters...and visit me...he is what she is ...a chameleon..I never thought to go to I know I should have..I finally got away from his radar ..but he has a much bigger story from here...anyway I see right thru's uncanny and it's strange but they have no soul..they aren't abused they abuse ...Jodi is just playing her best cards...

  11. Also they have this thing about invasion of's hard to know where they really came from..reinvention I guess..he was a body builder who also was dating at the bar he did security for and I would wait for him at home and he would be getting girls numbers...but I broke it off all the while he would stalk me try to marry me ..go thru my things..take my journals them..follow a job where I worked..but placed in different I would leave early before he could find me..he would fool some of my friends enough to spy on me with they're help..when I went away one Fourth of July with my dad..he broke into my house thinking I was with a man ..on a date..I came home later that nite and my roommate asked me to leave. Because he'd broken into our mail box with my key..and opened credit card apps of hers and p,aced them in my room and said I was going to open an acct in her name and convinced her I did it to a lot of people and have a problem,,,I was devastated and I got angry...just like Travis...I have the same out going personality as Travis...I am him...he is Jodi...I know that anger of being violated and pretending not to do it...the was not apparent at all at first...the things he did..people don't expects this to happen...he was a very muscular man and handsome...but when I refused to be his only he methodically did this...part of me still met with him I am strong so I felt I always had it in control...I was one step ahead enough times..but he still haunts me

  12. To me it's easy to see Jodi has personality disorder..not PTSD.. I have studied her..and do still ..while you doctors argue about diagnosis I can see it thru experience...I can see it...she's very cunning and dis associative and cares only about herself..she planned it I know this..if you knew the things I's a slam dunk..I appreciate all the insight from medical staff I am constantly learning...I see people judging her as if she's abused or even normal like they are..and truth is they are mitt hey mimic all actions..they are over the top dramatic..and secretive..sneaky and feel they are smarter than us...they cannot feel love they own love as possession...they are always lying...prying...on some game,,,they are not impulsive...they plan and they pretend things don't bother them but then they act behind your back..she killed him..mine could have ..he was instead trying to ruin my success as a sales designer and tried to set me up criminally..that thank god only didn't go thru due to a technicality...and all with a smile on his face...and while I was in the shower he broke in my room stole my nightly deposits and returned the checks and credit card slips only to my boss before I even was ready for he was a Good did he know where they were I'll never know..but by the time I reached work they were ready to prosecute..but dropped it but my job was lost again . And he acted like I did it right in front if me like I was crazy and kept the money..he was jealous of my ease with people..with looks...I was a flirt as well...latched in to my friends...I finally had to push away like Travis did because I felt it was unhealthy and I was livid he broke into my home my work ..I'm telling you..there's more he did but I feel lucky..but give Travis a break ..this is something no one expects to be true..that someone loving you..may kill you..thank you..but Jodi's guilty pre med

    1. I'm glad you got away from him. Sounds like he was true poison.

    2. I could actually tell right away. Once you make your first boderline diagnosis the rest come very easy. And the only way to know how to diagnose it is to become a victim of it. So many doctors have no clue about this Untreatable Disease. Society doesn't understand BPD. Would it be surprising to learn that the witches burn at the stake had BPD? Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all. Would you? Because that's what the mob in the Jodi Arias trial reminds me of.


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