On the Border –
July 5, 2019 – Why the label is such a problem – Labelling people with BPD as having a personality disorder can exacerbate their poor self-esteem. “Personality disorder” translates in many people’s minds as a personality flaw, and this can lead to or exacerbate an ingrained sense of worthlessness and self-loathing. This means people with BPD may view themselves more negatively, but can also lead other people – including those closest to them – to do the same.
Clinicians, too, often harbour negative attitudes towards people with BPD, viewing them as manipulative or unwilling to help themselves. Because they can be hard to deal with and may not engage with initial treatment, doctors, nurses and other staff members often react with frustration or contempt. These attitudes are much less frequently seen from clinicians working with people suffering from complex PTSD or other trauma-spectrum disorders.