Call for better treatment for people with personality disorder
A group of organisations including the British Psychological Society, the Centre for Mental Health, the Royal College of GPs and Mind has today supported the launch of a ‘consensus statement’ around the treatment of people diagnosed with a personality disorder.
The statement identifies the challenges faced by people with personality disorders and sets out the priorities for improving treatment and support.
The work was spearheaded by Norman Lamb MP, former Minister for Care and Support, and Sue Sibbald, who campaigns on behalf of people with personality disorders following her own experience of being diagnosed.
Norman Lamb MP said:
"This consensus statement is a call to action to stop the appalling treatment which people given a diagnosis of Personality Disorder too often experience. It is intolerable that the services we offer do not meet the needs of this group of people, when small changes could make such a difference. This report offers some important suggestions which offer hope to these people. It is vital that government and the NHS grasps the urgency of this."
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“Being diagnosed with personality disorder can be very difficult for all sorts of reasons. There’s also a relatively limited level of public awareness of what personality disorder is, and what it might mean, which in itself can lead to self-blame and self-stigma among people who are diagnosed. This lack of awareness can also extend to family members of those diagnosed with personality disorder, who may be unsure about how best to support their loved one.
“The help available to people is patchy, or there can often be no help, with some people telling us that they are discharged after one-off appointments. There is a limited expectation of ‘recovery’, as the focus is on management of symptoms and behaviour instead. As a result people often feel like they are a problem – to services, their family and themselves.
“The consequences of not getting the right treatment and support are stark. People with a personality disorder are more likely to experience chronic physical health conditions, more likely to develop further mental health problems, more likely to have a problematic relationship with drugs or alcohol, and more likely to die earlier.
“We welcome this statement, which we hope will start us on a path that will see NHS mental health services do better by people with personality disorders.”