Treating Personality Disorders

September, 2008 | Vol: 6 Issue: 9

In this issue

Learning Objective


Topics in Personality Disorders

Are you diagnosing a personality disorder (PD) in half of your patients? If not, you probably are not asking enough questions. Studies have found that the prevalence among psychiatric patients of any PD is about 50%, but that clinicians relying on their standard interviews diagnose half that many, about 25% (Zimmerman M et al., Psychiatr Clin North Am 2008 Sep;31(3):405-20). About 10% of people in the general population have a PD.

Medications for Borderline Personality Disorder

Most authorities in the world of borderline personality disorder (BPD) say that psychotherapy is the mainstay of treatment and that medications should only be used adjunctively to treat symptoms as they arise. Nevertheless, medications are used relatively frequently for this disorder. The Journal of Affective Disorders recently published a useful review of studies looking at the role of medications in treating borderline personality disorder (Abraham PF and Calabrese JR, J Aff Disord 2008, early online access). We’ve organized the information by medication class, and, in some cases, provide references to the original studies.

Expert QA

Research Update