Comparing the Psychological Effects of Different Psychiatric Labels: Borderline, Paranoid, and Antisocial Personality Disorder; Major Depression; Anxiety Disorder; and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Article


Celaire, Sarah and Mcdermott, M. 2015. Comparing the Psychological Effects of Different Psychiatric Labels: Borderline, Paranoid, and Antisocial Personality Disorder; Major Depression; Anxiety Disorder; and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. 17 (1), pp. 33-44.
AuthorsCelaire, Sarah and Mcdermott, M.
Abstract

The psychological effects of six Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5) psychiatric labels on respondents were evaluated, three of them being variants of "personality disorder" (PD). Self-selecting students from a university in London, United Kingdom, were invited to take part in a repeated-measures questionnaire study delivered online. One hundred and seventy-three participants completed the questionnaire, responding to 16 items for each of the six mental health labels. Results showed that respondents reported the greatest dysphoric reactions to the "paranoid personality disorder" label, followed by the "borderline" and "antisocial" personality disorder labels, with "major depression," "anxiety disorder," and "posttraumatic stress disorder" thereafter. Borderline personality disorder was designated as being least understandable of the six labels. It is evident that the PD psychiatric labels have greater iatrogenic effects than the others included here. From this, we conclude that PD labels produce greater dysphoric consequences because they can be construed as implying a fault in an individual's core and immutable sense of self, which in turn may cause significant stigma and distress in those to whom they have been applied. We conclude that given these adverse effects of PD labels and conceptual problems associated with the notion of personality disorder, that such labels at the very least should be replaced by more compassionate and self-explanatory terms, which reflect the chronic difficulties forming and maintaining attachments that underpin this group of presenting complaints.

Keywordsdepression; effects; personality disorder (pd); posttraumatic stress disorder (ptsd); psychiatric labels
JournalEthical Human Psychology and Psychiatry
Journal citation17 (1), pp. 33-44
ISSN1559-4343
Year2015
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1891/1559-4343.17.1.33
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.17.1.33
Publication dates
Print01 Apr 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Mar 2017
Copyright informationThe final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.17.1.33
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