Part I: Has Anything Changed?

Introduction & Editorial Comment:winter 2012

This is the first installment of a two-part article entitled ‘Has Anything Changed’ based upon an article published in 2007 in the NAMI Advocate, written by Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D., President of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEABPD) with an introduction by Joyce Burland, Ph.D., Director, NAMI Education.

We ask has anything changed, as we describe how this illness has been, the most maligned, misdiagnosed, and misunderstood.

Has progress been made? Have practitioners become more educated and able to treat BPD? Are families more aware of how to support their family members and do they feel more supported?


PART I:  Has anything changed?

EXCERPT From: NAMI Advocate, Winter 2007

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Most Misunderstood Illness by Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D., President, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality DisorderTeenager in distress

Introduction by Joyce Burland, Ph.D., Director, NAMI Education, Training and Peer Support Center

“There is perhaps no serious mental illness more maligned and misconstrued than borderline personality disorder. Years ago, when I started my clinical career, I was warned to “stay away from ‘Borderlines’.” Being of a suspicious nature, I began to search out information about this dread diagnosis, which was primarily attached to women, and carried with it such a blatantly stigmatizing reputation.

As I began working with people with this disorder, I became aware of the enormous strength and resiliency they brought to the daily struggle of coping with the disruptive symptoms of the condition, and of the patience and loyalty shown by the families who loved and supported them.

Bringing this diagnosis out of the darkness is long overdue. Individuals and families living with the illness deserve current and correct information, and we must all advocate to dispel the myths which have made borderline personality disorder a “leprosy” of psychiatric diagnoses.   (more…)