Investigating the stigma cycle at the interface of mental healthcare for people with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Daniel Ring, Sharon Lawn

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The stigma of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an open truth in mental healthcare. Discrimination against people
with a diagnosis of BPD is often the norm in many healthcare settings with workers openly expressing their discontent
with such patients. In mental health, stigma especially has a profound effect on access to care, engagement in care,
relationships and the quality of care provided to this population (Corrigan, 2004). For people with a diagnosis of BPD
,not being taken seriously by healthcare providers and the systems in which they deliver care is a major concern (Lawn
& McMahon, 2015). Despite the advent of national BPD guidelines and evidence of some improvements in treatment
options for people with a BPD diagnosis, inequity of access to care and experiences of discrimination continue for many
people with this diagnosis.
An extensive review of the international empirical research investigating the perspectives of workers and people with a
BPD diagnosis yielded 10 articles for each side. Results were synthesised to construct a model of how stigma is
systemically reinforced and how both parties feed into a vicious self-perpetuating cycle that stalls effective treatment
and engagement, leading to disempowerment and poorer outcomes for all concerned.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventTheMHS: Hear the Whisper, Not the Roar; Reform, Reflect and Review - Adelaide , Australia
Duration: 28 Aug 201831 Aug 2018


OtherThe Mental Health Services Learning Network
Internet address


  • Mental healthcare
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • BPD
  • mental health


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