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Psychiatr Dev. 1984 Winter;2(4):295-308.

Psychosis in borderline personality disorder.


Do patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) display psychotic symptoms as part of their syndrome? This question has important theoretical significance, since it bears on the question of whether BPD lies 'on the border' of psychotic functioning, or whether it is unrelated to psychotic disorders. A review of available evidence suggests that 'narrowly defined' psychotic symptoms, such as those included under the DSM-III definition of psychosis, are rare in BPD. Furthermore, when such symptoms have been reported in BPD, they may have been attributable to a concomitant, possibly independent, disorder suffered by the patient, such as substance abuse or major affective disorder. Broadly defined psychotic symptoms, such as depersonalization, are much more often reported in BPD, but many of these symptoms have also been reported frequently in patients with non-psychotic disorders and in normals. Finally, the prevalence of factitious psychotic symptoms in BPD has not been systematically investigated. Thus, the evidence for psychotic symptoms in BPD remains equivocal.

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