What is Personality Disorder?

25th Jul 2016

Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause longstanding problems. The focus of this discussion will be on Borderline Personality Disorder, most commonly termed ‘emotionally unstable personality disorder.’ Approximately half of all the people diagnosed with a personality disorder are given a diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder, and approximately 75% of people given this diagnosis are women.

Professionals most commonly use the term ‘emotionally unstable’ as they feel it's a clearer description of the experiences individuals might have with this diagnosis. The term borderline personality disorder can be misleading; often it may be interpreted in its literal sense- that you are borderline in terms of having a personality disorder- however this is not the case.

Some of the feelings that people with emotionally unstable personality disorder may experience are abandonment, loneliness and very intense emotions. They may also struggle to make and keep stable relationships, may act impulsively, and self-harm. Treatment for emotionally unstable personality disorder can help individuals work out which thought and behaviour patterns are useful, and which aren't.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is one of the most commonly used treatment methods for people with emotionally unstable personality disorders. It aims to;

  • Reduce life threatening behaviours

  • Reduce non- life threatening self-harm

  • Reduce behaviours that are likely to lead to placement breakdown

  • Reduce Hospital admissions

  • Improve quality of Life

Here at The Heathcotes Group, we recognised that specialist service provision for people with emotionally unstable personality disorders is currently lacking. Individuals will most likely be placed in hospital, supported living or non-specialist residential services that are unable to manage their behaviours and meet their needs. In response to this, we appointed Dr Peter Burbidge, who has a wealth of experience in the field, to work with us and develop a specialist service model.

We are really excited to be opening two specialist residential treatment centres in Nottingham and Leeds that can safely meet individual’s needs in the community, whilst providing them with a programme of DBT . We hope this will mean that more individuals are discharged from hospital, or avoid hospital admission all together, in line with the Transforming Care agenda, and provide increased independence and a greater quality of life for the people that access our service.

We are now operational in Nottingham and are expecting Leeds to open in August. If you would like to hear more about our specialist provision or to discuss the treatment programme, please contact our Commissioning Team- 01246 556453.

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