Psychiatrist says borderline personality disorder sufferers need targeted treatment

Recommendations made in two damning reports into Australia’s ability to treat patients with borderline personality disorder (BDP) have been ignored for two years by state and federal governments.

The reports detailed an illness that poses serious challenges to frontline medical staff.

Senior psychiatrist Dr Martha Kent was a lead author on both reports for the federal and South Australian governments on how to deal with BDP patients, and says the label can be misleading.

Rather than referring to a problem with a patient’s personality, the name traditionally refers to the mix of symptoms located on the border between psychosis and neurosis.

The condition can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms including wildly fluctuating mood swings, chronic self-harm, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and, for one-in-ten sufferers, the disorder can result in suicide.

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