University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Influence of Borderline Personality Traits on the Course of Bipolar Disorder

Jones, Tim, Gordon-Smith, Katherine ORCID:, Forty, L., Craddock, N., Jones, I., Saunders, K. and Jones, Lisa ORCID: (2016) The Influence of Borderline Personality Traits on the Course of Bipolar Disorder. In: 18th Annual Conference of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders & 8th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Affective Disorders, 13th - 16th July 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Unpublished)

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Background and Aims: Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are commonly comorbid. Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed categorically, but personality pathology may be better characterised dimensionally. The impact of borderline personality traits (not diagnosis) on the course of bipolar disorder is unknown. We examined the presence and severity of borderline personality traits in a large UK sample of bipolar disorder, and the impact of these traits on illness course.

Methods: Borderline Evaluation of Severity over Time (BEST) was used to measure presence and severity of borderline traits in 1447 individuals with DSM-IV bipolar I disorder (n = 1008) and bipolar II disorder (n = 439) recruited into the Bipolar Disorder Research Network ( Clinical course was measured via semi-structured interview (Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry) and case-notes.

Results: BEST score was higher in bipolar II than bipolar I (36 v 27, p < 0.001) and 9/12 individual BEST traits were significantly more common in bipolar II than bipolar I. Within both bipolar I and bipolar II higher BEST score was associated with younger age of bipolar onset (p < 0.001), history of alcohol misuse (p < 0.010), and history of suicide attempt (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Borderline personality traits are common in bipolar disorder, and more severe in bipolar II than bipolar I disorder. Borderline trait severity was associated with more severe bipolar illness course; younger age of onset, alcohol misuse and suicidal behaviour. Clinicians should be vigilant for borderline personality traits irrespective of whether criteria for diagnosis are met, particularly in those with bipolar II disorder and younger age of bipolar onset.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information:

The published abstract for the poster is available in the journal 'Bipolar Disorder', Volume 18, Issue SI, P-031 on p. 79.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: borderline personality traits, bipolar disorder
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Katherine Gordon-Smith
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2016 14:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 08:03

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