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Br J Psychiatry. 1993 May;162:641-50.

An affective syndrome in psychopaths with borderline personality disorder?

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Department of Psychological Medicine, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.


A preliminary study of the repetitive mood swings of 72 female psychopaths with a DSM-III diagnosis of borderline personality disorder demonstrated considerable complexity and specificity in what has been previously considered a criterion of personality disorder. A principal-components analysis of the symptom profile for these affective disturbances revealed four factors (anxiety, anger, depression, and tension) which showed individual patterns of association with additional lifetime diagnoses of major mental illness and other personality disorders. The women also had multiple mood-related behavioural disorders, enacted with a feeling of compulsion, which appeared to relieve the original affective symptoms. It is hypothesised that these women could have a distinct affective syndrome that has not previously been described in the literature.

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