Personality disorder: the patients psychiatrists dislike

Br J Psychiatry. 1988 Jul:153:44-9. doi: 10.1192/bjp.153.1.44.


A sample of psychiatrists was asked to read a case vignette and indicate likely management and attitudes to the patient on a number of semantic-differential scales. Patients given a previous diagnosis of personality disorder (PD) were seen as more difficult and less deserving of care compared with control subjects who were not. The PD cases were regarded as manipulative, attention-seeking, annoying, and in control of their suicidal urges and debts. PD therefore appears to be an enduring pejorative judgement rather than a clinical diagnosis. It is proposed that the concept be abandoned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Machiavellianism
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Semantic Differential