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Am J Psychiatry. 2009 May;166(5):530-9. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08121825.

Borderline personality disorder: ontogeny of a diagnosis.

Author information

1
McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA 02478, USA. psychosocial@mcleanpo.mclean.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this article is to describe the development of the borderline personality disorder diagnosis, highlighting both the obstacles encountered and the associated achievements.

METHOD:

On the basis of a review of the literature, the author provides a chronological account of the borderline construct in psychiatry, summarizing progress in decade-long intervals.

RESULTS:

Borderline personality disorder has moved from being a psychoanalytic colloquialism for untreatable neurotics to becoming a valid diagnosis with significant heritability and with specific and effective psychotherapeutic treatments. Nonetheless, patients with this disorder pose a major public health problem while they themselves remain highly stigmatized and largely neglected.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite remarkable changes in our knowledge about borderline personality disorder, increased awareness involving much more education and research is still needed. Psychiatric institutions, professional organizations, public policies, and reimbursement agencies need to prioritize this need.

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PMID:
19411380
PMCID:
PMC3145201
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08121825
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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