Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Justin Dainer-Best

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Although Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a valid and treatable diagnosis, it has been one of the most stigmatized illnesses since entering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1980 (Sharp & Tackett, 2014). This disorder continues to be underdiagnosed and undisclosed in adolescent patient populations in particular (Koehne et al., 2012) despite well-founded agreement that BPD begins in adolescence (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Because of this reluctance from clinicians to disclose a BPD diagnosis to their patients, adolescents with BPD tend to face even more stigma than adults with the same diagnosis, which then impedes their ability to seek and receive proper treatment before symptoms worsen. Considering that common symptoms of severe BPD include self-harm, multiple inpatient hospitalizations, and or suicide, early diagnosis and treatment intervention is imperative. BPD has actually been called the “good prognosis diagnosis” (Gunderson et al., 2009), but misdiagnosis and lack of education and awareness about adolescent BPD remain an issue. It is entirely possible that a BPD diagnosis in adolescence can in fact do more good than harm, and in that diagnosis itself, one can even find hope. A review of the literature includes: disclosing the diagnosis and ethical considerations, adolescent-specific challenges and perspectives on mental health in general, misdiagnosis, and the importance of psychoeducation for BPD. Finally, based on this review, a training intervention on adolescent BPD for psychiatric inpatient treatment clinicians is proposed.

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Open Access

Creative Commons License

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