Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often co-occurs in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, and can negatively impact the disease’s progression and treatment.
It is known that BPD can have a negative impact on relationships and personality stability, but scientists at the University of Pennsylvania say there isn’t a lot of information about the co-occurrence of BPD in schizophrenic patients. That’s why they decided to examine the relationship between BPD and people with schizophrenia.
The research team studied 142 patients between ages 18 and 40 who were diagnosed with either schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder and who were at high risk for violent behavior. About 17.6 percent of them also had co-occurring Borderline Personality Disorder.
More Severe Psychiatric Symptoms
The patients with schizophrenia and BPD had slightly more severe psychiatric symptoms, and higher rates of anxiety and depression, compared to schizophrenics who didn’t have BPD.
At a follow-up visit one year later, researchers discovered that the patients with co-occurring BPD and schizophrenia continued to show more severe psychiatric symptoms, especially suspicion and hostility.
Overall, those patients demonstrated lower levels of functioning than those diagnosed only with BPD and were re-hospitalized much more often than those without BPD.
The researchers, who published their findings in Schizophrenia Research, concluded that Borderline Personality Disorder adversely affects the outcome of people with co-occurring schizophrenia. Future research is needed to create specialized treatment for people with both illnesses.