New York (PRWEB) November 12, 2006
Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the most serious and fast-growing psychiatric disorders. More patients are now diagnosed with BPD than with Alzheimer's disease, manic depression or schizophrenia. The costs of Borderline Personality Disorder to the patients who suffer from it, their families and to society at large are enormous. About 10 percent of patients with BPD succeed in committing suicide, while 80 percent mutilate themselves and make repeated suicide attempts. BPD patients now account for more than one in every five inpatient psychiatric admissions. Until recently, many mental health professionals considered BPD to be almost untreatable.
Federal agencies, private organizations and scientists have begun to recognize the seriousness of this disorder and have intensified efforts to develop effective treatments. This has led to a significant increase in research studies on BPD in respected journals, large increases in research funding and a declaration of war on the disorder by Dr. John Oldham, former director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and an expert on personality disorders.
Schema Therapy, a new treatment for BPD developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young at Columbia University in the Department of Psychiatry, has led to a major breakthrough in the battle to find an effective treatment. According to a recent study in a leading psychiatric journal, a treatment for BPD has, for the first time, led to full recovery across the full range of symptoms in a high percentage of patients.
In addition to major reductions in self-harming and suicidal behaviors, BPD patients receiving Schema Therapy are now being freed from depression, hopelessness, angry outbursts, and fears of abandonment and rejection. Patients are also developing stable relationships, and making basic and far-reaching changes in personality.
The large-scale outcome study appeared in a recent issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, published by the American Medical Association. According to the study, Schema Therapy was more than twice as effective in bringing about full recovery as a widely-practiced psychodynamic therapy. Schema Therapy was also found to have a much lower dropout rate.
Borderline patients are typically impulsive, unstable, exquisitely sensitive to rejection, have regular outbursts of anger and live daily with extreme emotional pain. Identity problems, low stress tolerance, volatile relationships and fears of abandonment make the disorder difficult for patients and for those who live with them. Many either cannot work or do not function at levels that would be expected in light of their intellectual capacities.
Over their lifetimes, 97 percent of BPD patients will seek psychotherapy from an average of six different therapists, and the rates of treatment failure are very high. Until now, psychotherapy has offered help for only some of the symptoms of BPD. The best available alternatives, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, succeed in relieving many of the self-harming behavioral symptoms of the disorder, but do not reduce many of the other core symptoms, especially those related to deeper personality change.
For further information about Schema Therapy, contact Jeffrey Young, Ph.D., at the Cognitive Therapy Center of New York: 212-221-0700 or e-mail; or George Lockwood, Ph.D., at the Schema Therapy Institute Midwest: 269-345-8100, or e-mail.