‘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