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The functional impairment associated with personality disorders

Smith, Tracey Leonea; Benjamin, Lorna Smithb

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: March 2002 - Volume 15 - Issue 2 - p 135-141
Personality disorders and neuroses
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Personality disorder affects functioning and increases distress in nearly every realm of concern to healthcare providers. In the past year, studies of personality disorder particularly targeted the following areas related to function: co-morbidity with axis I disorders; social functioning across a range of relationships; occupational and cognitive functioning; medical utilization; prevalence and complications of personality disorders in primary care patients; violence/suicide prediction and risk; poor treatment response; substance abuse; and the costs associated with personality disorders. Personality disorders are themselves difficult to treat, and because they complicate the response to the treatment of other disorders, it is becoming ever more apparent that there is an urgent need for effective treatments for personality disorder. Studies vary greatly in the methods chosen for assessing personality disorder. This necessarily means that the reliability and validity of the conclusions are uneven. Nonetheless, we believe that overall, it is ever more apparent that there is an urgent need for effective treatments for personality disorder. Moreover, the assessment and treatment of personality pathology may be important, even in contexts in which it is not the presenting complaint.

aWisconsin Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; and bDepartment of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Correspondence to Tracey L. Smith, Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.