Diagnosis And Treatment Of Borderline Personality Disorders

1295 words - 5 pages

The diagnostic process for personality disorders currently covers a broad scope of various tests and symptoms, causing a source of frustration for psychiatrists (Aldhous). The symptoms and side effects of several personality disorders can tend to blur together, making diagnosis challenging (Aldhous). Most psychiatric patients are diagnosed with several personality disorders at once, with twenty percent of people with personality disorders simply diagnosed with a “personality disorder not otherwise specified” (Aldhous). Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, commonly referred to as the DSM, psychiatrists attempt with great difficulty to categorize their patients into a specific disorder, only to diagnose them with several (Aldhous). In order to make the diagnostic process smoother, it has been suggested throughout the psychiatric community to make some drastic changes to the newest edition of the DSM (Aldhous). This volume would get rid of four existing disorders altogether, and diagnosis of the remaining would be changed (Aldhous). Patients would be scored in two personality areas, self and interpersonal (Aldhous). If they scored poorly, they would then be tested for the five major “pathological personality traits,” two of which are antagonism and impulsivity, and, dependent on the degree of their score, would be neatly sorted into a disorder (Aldhous). This process is similar to the one used by psychologists to classify normal personalities, testing patients for the “traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism” (Aldhous). While the reform of the existing process is certainly necessary, some psychiatrists argue the new system would be too complex (Aldhous). One thing, however, is clear: something needs to be done to the current diagnostic process in order to better understand personality disorders.
Though several personality disorders are highly complex and a challenge to treat, there are effective treatments available (“Treating Borderline” 1). The various treatments are broken down by method, the first of which being cognitive behavioral therapy, which attempts to alter the conscious thoughts and behavioral patterns of patients (Daniel); (“Treating Borderline” 2). Cognitive behavior therapy itself is broken down into two therapies, dialectical behavioral therapy and schema-focused therapy (“Treating Borderline” 2). Dialectical behavioral therapy, developed by Dr. Linehan, is centered on the basis that personality disorders are formed when hypersensitive patients are in situations which lack the emotional support they require, therefore leading to their “inability to regulate emotions” (“Treating Borderline” 2). Thus, the treatment serves to help the patient gain control over their emotion and behavior (“Treating Borderline” 2). The treatment itself consists of group and individual sessions and typically lasts approximately one year (“Treating Borderline” 2). During the...

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