alexa Descriptive and longitudinal observations on the relationship of borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder.


Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Author(s): Gunderson JG, Weinberg I, Daversa MT, Kueppenbender KD, Zanarini MC

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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test whether borderline personality disorder is a variant of bipolar disorder by examining the rates of co-occurrence in both disorders, the effects of co-occurrence on a longitudinal course, and whether the presence of either disorder confers the risk for new onsets of the other.

METHOD: A prospective repeated-measures design with reliable independent diagnostic measures and 4 years of follow-up was used to assess 196 patients with borderline personality disorder and 433 patients with other personality disorders.

RESULTS: Patients with borderline personality disorder had a significantly higher co-occurrence of bipolar disorder (19.4%) than did patients with other personality disorders. However, this co-occurrence did not appear to affect the subsequent course of borderline personality disorder. Although only 8.2% of the borderline personality disorder patients developed new onsets of bipolar disorder, this rate was higher than in patients with other personality disorders. Patients with other personality disorders with co-occurring bipolar disorder generally had more new onsets of borderline personality disorder (25%) than did patients with other personality disorders without co-occurring bipolar disorder (10%).

CONCLUSIONS: A modest association between borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder is reported.

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This article was published in Am J Psychiatry and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

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