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Similarities and Differences in Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia With Voice Hearing

Tschoeke, Stefan MD; Steinert, Tilman MD; Flammer, Erich MSc; Uhlmann, Carmen PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2014 - Volume 202 - Issue 7 - p 544–549
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000159
Original Articles

The aim of the study was to identify psychopathological similarities and differences in borderline personality disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia. We compared 23 female patients with a BPD and 21 female patients with schizophrenia according to auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs), dissociation, childhood trauma, and additional psychotic symptoms. The character of AVH was similar with regard to commenting voices, location, and foreign voices. Major differences were found in the prevalence of negative symptoms, bizarre delusions, and formal thought disorder. These characteristics were more frequent in schizophrenia and negatively correlated with childhood traumatization. A history of childhood traumatization and dissociative symptoms was significantly more frequent in BPD. AVHs in BPD and schizophrenia are not distinguishable in terms of the historically grown criteria in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision for diagnosing schizophrenia. Other symptoms such as delusions, negative symptoms, formal thought disorder, and dissociative psychopathology could help to differentiate between both groups.

Center for Psychiatry Südwürttemberg, Ulm University, Ravensburg-Weissenau, Germany.

Send reprint requests to Stefan Tschoeke, MD, Center for Psychiatry Südwürttemberg, Ulm University, Postfach 2044, D 88190 Ravensburg-Weissenau, Germany. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins