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Study shows long-term success in recovery from borderline personality disorder

April 15, 2010 |  6:00 am

Borderline Borderline personality disorder has long been considered one of the toughest psychiatric disorders to resolve. There have been many questions about how to best treat the condition, which is marked by unstable relationships, unhappiness, mood changes, impulsive behavior and poor decision-making.

Advances in understanding and treating the condition have been made in recent years, however. And a new study offers hope that recovery, although challenging, can be long-lasting.

Many Zanarini of McLean Hospital in Massachusetts studied 290 hospitalized patients with BPD over 10 years. Half of the patients recovered from the disorder after 10 years of follow-up. Recovery was defined as at least two years without symptoms and both social and vocational functioning. Overall, 93% of patients achieved a remission of symptoms lasting at least two years and 86% for at least four years.

The research suggests that while it may be difficult to achieve recovery, once recovery has been attained it appears to last. While many treatments focus on symptoms, therapy should include work on improving relationships and functioning in the workplace, areas that vastly boost the odds of long-term recovery, the authors said.

The study is published online Thursday in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Wesley Allsbrook  /  For the Times

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Comments (4)

BPD is one complicated subject to deal with as it is very much related to past events; for example: failure in love and relationship.

The patient gets traumatised by past events which can make them very unhappy. I've broken up with my ex and 8 years old I still love and think about her although she's married.

There's no actual pill that can cure this illness as for my case. Only time will slowly erase the old memories and make us a normal and happy human being once again.

It's all in your mind. The universe is perfect, don't mess it up. Stay away from negative people.

Being a daughter of a BPD sufferer I just don't see how our relationship would ever be mended. The things I and the other members of our family had to deal with are too much. I just don't see the trust being built back up. Or how the manipulative behavior would improve. I am glad to now know that there was a reason for all the hurt, but I can't really see how I can put myself in the line of fire again.

As a male BPD I feel that all my actions and thinking are due to my an "autodefense" system. I feel that I unconsciously do things at times to protect myself. Even if it is dellusional. It is possible to resist these actions. People make decisions based on many factors. What influences us to make decisions is more important then showing someone the right or wrong decision.


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