Document Type


Publication Date

July 2007

Journal or Book Title

Comprehensive Psychiatry






This study compared psychosocial functioning and treatment utilization in 130 participants who were diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder (BPD), a non-BPD personality disorder (OPD), a mood and/or anxiety disorder (MAD), or had no current psychiatric diagnosis and served as a healthy comparison group. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition) diagnoses, psychosocial functioning, and treatment utilization were determined by using well-established semistructured research interviews conducted by trained doctoral-level clinicians. Analysis of variance revealed the most severe deficits in functioning characterized the BPD group across areas of global functioning with more moderate impairments in functioning occurring in OPD and MAD groups. The BPD group was characterized by significantly greater psychiatric and nonpsychiatric treatment utilization than the other groups. These findings indicate that BPD as well as other personality disorders are a source of considerable psychologic distress and functional impairment equivalent to, and at times exceeding, the distress found in mood and anxiety disorders. The public health impact of BPD diagnosis is highlighted by the high rates of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric treatment utilization.