personality disorders

‘Personality disorders’ are defined by the NHS as “Conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person, in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others. Changes in how a person feels and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and may upset others.”

A diagnosis of a ‘personality disorder’ is an extremely distressing experience and a great deal of controversy surrounds the use of this term and the diagnosis itself. 75% of those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder are women.

For 50 years, Survivors have been demanding a change to the diagnosis of ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’. Despite having no scientific validity, and demonstrably provoking the most discriminatory, judgmental reactions from clinicians in mental health care, it has persisted. The diagnosis produces such ‘testimonial injustice’ that it is incompatible with the core tasks of mental health care – compassion, understanding and help provision. In an increasingly ‘woke’ society, pathologising people based on discriminatory character sketches is a form of structural violence that has to be binned. This is something we can do today.
– Dr Jay Watts, Clinical Psychologist, Jan 2019

Our personality disorders Blogs

People with complex emotional needs and their views of community mental health services

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Emmeline Lagunes Cordoba summarises a co-produced qualitative interview study on service user perspectives of community mental health services for people with complex emotional needs.

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Psychotherapeutic approaches and treatment efficacy for comorbid BPD and PTSD

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Natalie Kashirsky summarises a systematic review on optimising treatment for comorbid BPD (borderline personality disorder) and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

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Youth mental health interventions: umbrella review presents efficacy and acceptability data

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In his debut blog, Nick Meader tackles a huge umbrella review of youth mental health interventions, which presents the efficacy and acceptability of 72 different approaches to help children and young people.

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DBT for BPD: how can benefits be maintained long-term?

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Dafni Katsampa and Francesca Payne summarise a qualitative study from the Republic of Ireland, which explores the long-term benefits of dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

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Borderline personality disorder criteria and suicidality

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Steven Macdonald-Hart summarises a 10-year follow-up study from the US, which measures the relationship between borderline personality disorder and suicide attempts.

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Hidden from the world: Out of area hospital placements for people diagnosed with personality disorder #NoOOA

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Andy Bell summarises a new BIGSPD report on out-of-area placements for people with a personality disorder published today, which confirms that discriminatory treatment of people diagnosed with personality disorders is costly both to the people concerned and their families and to the health and care system.

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Borderline personality traits in adolescents: why are difficulties temporary for some whilst others continue to struggle?

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Kirsten Barnicot summarises a recent systematic review of the factors associated with the course of ‘borderline personality disorder’ symptoms in adolescence.

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Prison and mental illness: the unmet needs associated with reincarceration

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Danny Whiting reviews a recent Canadian prison study which finds that schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and homelessness are some of the factors significantly associated with reincarceration.

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Mentalisation-based treatment for pathological narcissism

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In her debut blog, KCL student Harley McIntosh explores a paper that proposes a developmental model of narcissism centring on impairments in mentalisation. The case study paper then encourages the use of mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) for the treatment of pathological narcissism.

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Brief interventions for people diagnosed with a personality disorder #BIGSPD21

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Kirsten Barnicot helps us get in the mood for the #BIGSPD21 annual conference taking place online today and tomorrow (15-16 June 2021), by blogging a recent literature review on access to psychotherapy for patients with personality disorders, written by Professor Joel Paris who is speaking at the event today.

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