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J Pers Disord. 2014 Dec;28(6):796-809. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2014_28_136.

Supporting a person with personality disorder: a study of carer burden and well-being.


Personality disorders are characterized by impaired interpersonal functioning. There are few studies and little data available using validated questionnaires on the impact of caring for a person with personality disorder. The 287 carers included in this study were administered the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder-Carer Version, Burden Assessment Scale, Grief Scale, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, Mental Health Inventory-5, and a qualitative question. Scores were compared to those of published comparison groups. Burden and grief were significantly higher than that reported by carers of persons with other serious mental illnesses. Carers endorsed symptoms consistent with mood, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorders. A qualitative concept map highlighted the impact of caregiving on the interpersonal environment. Carers of persons with personality disorder report grieving their change in life and impairment in well-being. Carers are burdened, and appear more so than carers of persons with other serious mental illnesses. The results highlight the need for interventions to support carers.

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