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Research Papers on Treatment for Personality Disorders

The importance of treatment for individuals with a personality disorder can be overstated. Research from Paper Masters on personality disorders illustrate that treatment is varied and of many different schools of thought. Below is an outline of why treatment is so important for individuals with any type of personality disorder. Mainly, severely personality disordered individuals are at high risk of the following:

They are often homeless and unemployed.  They have high rates of suicide and death by violent means.  Substance abuse occurs frequently in this population.  Often, these people ask for help due to intense distress, but they find it very difficult to accept and learn from that help.  According to the article, “Managing Dangerous People”,  “the admission of a person with severe personality disorder to an acute NHS admission ward because they are feeling suicidal can be highly disruptive to the regime and may result in no effective benefit for the individual once the crisis is over”

One treatment option that has been used for Personality Disorder is medication. For instance, opiate antagonists such as naltrexone have been studied for use on patients with BPD.  Specifically, their dissociative symptoms may be reduced with the use of the drug.  However, it is well known that drugs are not going to address the complex issues faced by someone with a PD.

Treatment for Personality Disorder

Many mental health professionals agree that current interventions for adults with BPD are poorly coordinated and gravely ineffective.  The problem is that individuals with the disorder are difficult to recruit for any treatment programs.  They only use them in times of crisis, but do not generalize what they learned to the next crisis they face.  Most researchers agree that the complexity, severity, and long-term nature of the illness necessitate a long-term treatment approach.

One form of therapy, developed by Linehan in 1993, was specifically designed to address borderline personality disorder (BPD).  Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed to address chronic para-suicidal behavior in women with BPD.  This therapy is one of only a few that directly attempts to intercept individuals with suicidal tendencies.  In addition, DBT is only concerned about the diagnosis as it related to behaviors and prognosis of treatment.  It addresses behaviors of individuals in the present context, but when the behaviors are eliminated, this form of therapy considers the diagnosis to be non-existent.

One of the most important factors in DBT is the relationship of the therapist and client.  Much energy is spent exploring how the client and therapist reciprocally influence each other.  If a client responds aggressively every time the therapist addresses a certain problem, and this causes the therapist to refrain from targeting that problem, then therapy will be less effective.  Also, DBT is based on the idea that reality is comprised of opposing forces, the thesis and antithesis.  The resulting friction is used as a tool in treatment.  In summary, “DBT is a very interpersonal therapy and uses the dialectical tensions within the therapeutic relationship rather than impersonal logic to promote change”.

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