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Mental health labels can hamper treatment

The label “borderline personality disorder” was especially problematic, as professionals could assume the patient was damaged in all areas of life and close contact should be avoided.

Mental health labels can hamper treatment

DIAGNOSING patients with labels such as “personality disorder” and “schizophrenia” can lead to less effective treatments, research shows.

UP to five people in every 100 are diagnosed with personality disorders in the UK, according to estimates, with one to three in every 100 living with schizophrenia.

It is commonly believed such diagnoses are stigmatising and lead to negative perceptions by the public, family members and those with mental health problems.

Previously, it had been assumed those working in the profession would be immune to such beliefs but research by the University of Bath found labelling patients with these conditions can have negative impacts on professionals and lead to less effective treatment.

The label “borderline personality disorder” was especially problematic, as professionals could assume the patient was damaged in all areas of life and close contact should be avoided.

This might lead to clinicians wrongly assuming tendencies and behaviours from the patient, offering treatment for these instead of taking into account their individual needs.

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