February 2007, Vol. XXIV, No. 2
According to the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Resource Center, BPD affects about 10 million persons in the United States and is 2 to 3 times more prevalent than bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Despite this, the center, which is located at New York–Presbyterian Hospital's Westchester Division in White Plains, NY, notes that few people have even heard of the disorder. In a press release, the center's clinical director, Dr Otto Kernberg, notes that because of “the complexities of this diagnosis, an extraordinarily large number of people go . . . for years before receiving proper treatment.”
To help educate and inform clinicians, other personnel who come in contact with individuals who have BPD, and patients and their families, the center recently released a DVD. Titled “Back From the Edge,” the DVD uses 3 personal vignettes from adults who have the disorder. As the patients relate their experiences and the struggles they have had while living with the disorder, informative interviews are intertwined from leading experts in the field, including Dr John Gunderson of Harvard University, Dr Kernberg, and Dr Marsha Linehan of the University of Washington.
The DVD also interviews patients' family members. One mother distinctly addresses the sensitivity that patients with BPD feel in situations where others would not: “They say that [they] are like burn victims, that their skin is just raw, like someone who's been burned. If something is said to them or done to them . . . they feel it with the intensity that you would if you poked somebody in the arm that didn't have skin.”
Among the topics discussed in the 50-minute DVD are effective treatment strategies such as individual psychotherapy, psychosocial therapies, and dialectical behavior therapy. The DVD also weighs in on the problem of insurance coverage for the disorder, providing arguments for the payment of treatment services.
The DVD retails for $20 and is available through the BPD Resource Center. For more information or to order a copy, call 888-694-2273; or visit the center online at www.bpdresourcecenter.org.