Stigma and self-stigma in borderline personality disorder: A narrative review.

  Vol. 44 (4) 2023 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2023; 44(4): 206-215 PubMed PMID:  37466060    Citation

INTRODUCTION: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) presents a highly stigmatised condition. Individuals with BPD may experience stigmatising attitudes and remarks from the general population and mental health professionals. Significant self-stigma also seems common. The paper reviews the current knowledge regarding the stigma connected to BPD. METHOD: The Web of Science, Medline, and Scopus databases identified studies published from January 1990 to January 2023. Additional references were found using analyses of the primary articles. The search terms included "borderline", "stigma", and "self-stigma". RESULTS: Public knowledge of BPD is scarce. The general population may interpret the BPD symptoms as "purposeful misbehaviour" rather than signs of a mental disorder. Mental health professionals commonly distance themselves from patients with BPD and may prematurely give up their treatment efforts. This stance often comes from believing BPD is difficult or impossible to treat. Therefore, treating patients with a personality disorder should be consulted with a supervisor, especially when the psychotherapist shows a negative attitude towards the patient. Generally, few BPD-specific destigmatisation interventions have been verified by research. Limited evidence suggests that targeted training of the healthcare providers can reduce stigmatising attitudes and that interventions combining positive messages of the recovery potential with biological aetiology of the disorder are most impactful in reducing the stigma. CONCLUSION: BPD is commonly stigmatised by the general population and mental health professionals. Destigmatising efforts need to tackle the stigma's primary sources, namely the general population's lack of understanding and the pessimistic beliefs in the healthcare providers. More BPD-specific research on stigma is needed.

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