Clinical features and impairment in women with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), BPD without PTSD, and other personality disorders with PTSD

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003 Nov;191(11):706-13. doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000095122.29476.ff.


The aims of this study were to examine differences in clinical features, impairment, and types of childhood traumas among women with borderline personality disorder (BPD), women with BPD and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and those with other personality disorders and PTSD. Using baseline data from the Collaborative Longitudinal Study of Personality Disorders, 186 women were divided into 3 groups (BPD+PTSD, BPD, PTSD), based on structured diagnostic interviews for Axis I and Axis II disorders and compared on selected clinical variables. The additional diagnosis of PTSD in borderline women did not significantly increase the degree of borderline pathology and psychiatric morbidity but did significantly increase general dysfunction and the occurrence of hospitalization. The additional diagnosis of BPD in women with PTSD significantly increased the features of suicide proneness and impulsiveness. Both groups of women with PTSD reported significantly more types of childhood traumas relative to borderline women without PTSD. Consistent with other research, the findings suggest that PTSD does not appear to alter the central features of BPD. The clinical implications of our findings are considered.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*