The final item on our programme tonight is this loose collection of thoughts and perspectives about personality disorder – the label, the diagnosis, the support, the treatment from professionals, the stigma, and anything else that comes to mind from anyone with lived experience.

All contributions have been anonymised and have come from service user involvement meetings, as well as from discussions online. If you would like to add your own thoughts, email Tom at tom.dent-spargo@nhs.net.


“At the time it was helpful and validating, and resulted in treatment that was life changing. However I quickly came to see that having the ‘problem’ located in me by an authority figure repeated previous childhood experiences.”

“Having a diagnosis should be a good thing because then at leats you know what the problem is and can seek help, but the stigma comes directly from the mental health ‘professionals’ themselves, who don’t know what they’re doing and don’t want to help us.”

“I’ve been called ‘difficult’ and ‘noncompliant’ but I’m just scared.”

“I think the term itself isn’t inherently problematic, it’s the stigma that comes attached to it and the sad thing is in my experiences the ones responsible for further perpetuating the stigma is mental health professionals, especially doctors, the stigma seems almost systemic and where/how do we even begin to change a system where the stigma is so ingrained within it and the people who are meant to be providing us care (aka doctors/nurses/crisis workers in inpatient settings) are the ones causing us the most harm.”

“Some people with the condition are stabilised into it, as an alternative to another condition that they have even greater difficulties with. This is sometimes called iatronic (ie therapist induced) personality disorder, and is often used to treat schizophrenia when it is present with other conditions.”