Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Poor Social Functioning Often Remains After Borderline Symptoms Remit

A long-term collaborative study of borderline personality disorder (BPD) finds that over a 10-year period, 85 percent of BPD patients receiving treatment go into remission and that relapse rates are low, but these patients continue to be plagued by impaired social functioning. This finding suggests that therapies to treat BPD are effective in a substantial portion of cases, especially in their ability to address acute symptoms such as self-harm and emotional dysregulation. "What this shows is that over time, patients are more quietly dysfunctional than they were likely to have been when originally treated," said John Gunderson, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, lead author of the study. “A minority of patients go on to a reasonably good functional level with a job and a family life, and then another minority remain both functionally and symptomatically ill. But the largest group of patients are not symptomatic but don't have friends or stable relationships.”

To read more about this study and other developments in the treatment and understanding of BPD, see Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/19/19.1.full and http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/9/8.1.full.

(Image: Low Chin Han/Shutterstock.com)


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