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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) represents a major health problem for the 1990s and beyond. It is a prevalent disorder that is severe, chronic, and persistent. The number of individuals meeting criteria for the disorder is high, approximately 11% of all psychiatric outpatients and 20% of psychiatric inpatients. In addition to being prevalent, follow up studies consistently indicate that the diagnosis of BPD is chronic. Between 57 and 67% continue to meet criteria four to seven years after the first diagnosis and up to 44% continue to meet criteria fifteen years later.