Research has demonstrated that about 30% of chronic pain patients suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD), yet pain is not often discussed in research on the treatment of BPD. Sixty-five patients entering outpatient treatment for BPD were assessed at baseline for the prevalence of DSM-IV lifetime pain disorder, current medical problems, and the experience of current pain as measured by the McGill Pain Questionnaire. DSM-IV lifetime pain disorder diagnosis was present in 65% of patients. Current pain was experienced by 89% of participants, with intensity ranging from mild (19%) to excruciating (2%). Some individuals (21.5%) also reported experiencing daily medical problems in the past month prior to entering treatment. Physical pain is highly prevalent among treatment-seeking individuals with BPD. This pain phenomenon should be considered during treatment to help prevent a lifetime of functional impairment, including the possibility of abusing substances as a maladaptive coping mechanism.
Journal of Personality Disorders – Guilford Press
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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