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Understanding the phenomenology of borderline personality disorder from the patient's perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-82
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

King's Authors


Background: Guidelines and clinical practice focuses on behavioural symptoms of borderline personality disorder, yet other experiences are more persistent and detrimental to psychosocial function. It is unclear how this relates to the experience of individuals with the diagnosis.

Aims: To understand more about phenomenology of borderline personality disorder from the patient’s perspective.

Methods: We interviewed nine people with a borderline personality disorder from specialist services in South London, UK. The data were analysed using a phenomenological qualitative method.

Results: Individuals experienced frightening perceptual changes that were rationalised in meaningful ways. Participants related their intense experiences to their families, finding them both protective and burdensome.

Conclusions: The results illuminate contradictory behaviours, offering content for clinical interventions. Particularly, this study has provided some novel perspectives about suicidality and interactions with family and friends.

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