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Improved prognosis for borderline personality disorder

New treatment guidelines outline specific communication strategies that work

Until recently, borderline personality disorder (BPD) was considered to be a chronic ongoing condition with a poor prognosis and no effective treatment. However, the tide of research and clinical opinion has turned, and the prognosis for this disorder is now considered improved for most patients if one of a number of effective evidence-based treatments is implemented.1 On 15 March 2013, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) issued the Clinical practice guideline for the management of borderline personality disorder, which outlines best practice.2

BPD was first described in 1938 when referring to a recognised group of people who were thought to be on the “borderline” between neurosis (depression and anxiety) and psychosis (schizophrenia).3 The term “borderline personality disorder” became accepted medical terminology in 1980 with its inclusion in the third edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders.