Studies examining recovery through the service users’ perspectives have mainly included persons with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Giving voice to those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) would enrich our understanding of recovery, as their specific experiences may bring new dimensions, obstacles and facilitators. The objective of this study was to qualitatively capture the experience of recovery in women with BPD. Participants were women between 18 and 65 years old who had a diagnosis of BPD and completed at least 2 years in a program for persons with BPD. During the first meeting, they produced a picture collage, followed by an interview on their experience of recovery. The second meeting was a phone interview to discuss new thoughts. In addition, their medical records were reviewed. A thematic analysis of the interviews was conducted and organized with the Person-Environment-Occupation model. Although recovery was not the best term to name their experience, they all talked about a process towards stability and wellbeing (n = 12). Dimensions of recovery included, for example, letting go of the past (person), being involved in meaningful activities (occupation) and having healthy relationships (environment). Facilitators included social support and participation in a specialized therapy program. The main obstacle was unstable family relationships. The findings from this study showed similar dimensions to previous recovery studies, new perspectives on certain dimensions, as well as new ones. They also reinforced the importance to incorporate intervention outcomes that target the person with BPD, their social environment and meaningful occupations.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 4, 2015
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