Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) report experiencing inner states related to having a negative identity less often over time. This according to a recent study with 2 objectives. The first was to determine the levels of identity disturbance reported by 290 patients with BPD and 72 personality-disordered comparison subjects over 20 years of prospective follow-up. The second aim was to describe the levels of identity disturbance reported by 152 ever recovered vs 138 never recovered borderline patients over 20 years of prospective follow-up. Researchers found:
- Borderline patients reported levels of these states that were >3 times higher than personality-disordered comparison subjects, with both groups demonstrating significant declines in these states over time.
- For 3 of these inner states (“I feel like I am worthless,” “I feel like a complete failure,” and “I feel like I am evil”), recovered borderline patients had lower baseline scores and significantly different patterns of decline than non-recovered patients.
- For the fourth state, “I feel like I am a bad person,” recovered patients had lower scores over time, but the groups declined at the same rate.
Gad MA, Pucker HE, Hein KE, et al. Facets of identity disturbance reported by patients with borderline personality disorder and personality-disordered comparison subjects over 20 years of prospective follow-up. [Published online ahead of print November 10, 2018]. Psychiatry Res. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.11.020.
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