Document Type


Publication Date

February 2012

Journal or Book Title

Current Psychiatry Reports


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and historical variants of the diagnosis were long held to represent an intractable syndrome of psychopathology consisting of interpersonal, intrapsychic, and affective disturbances. For years, patients labeled “borderline” were regarded pejoratively due at least in part to the lack of effective treatments. Prospective data from recent naturalistic follow-along studies along with the development of treatments with empirically demonstrated efficacy have changed how BPD is viewed. It is now less common to hide the diagnosis from the patient, and BPD has become a useful label to guide the treatment process and help the patient make sense of his or her suffering. Although it is now accepted that BPD is a treatment-responsive disorder and that remission is the norm, more work is needed to help patients achieve a higher level of functioning, and targeting persistent trait-like features suggests new directions for future efforts in treatment development.