Thursday, October 16, 2008

Service users or destructine whirlwinds?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by an unstable pattern of personal relationships, changeable moods (including intense anger), poor impulse control and self-mutilating behaviour. Psychiatric nurses often see service users with BPD in negative terms as manipulative, attention-seeking or troublemakers. A qualitative study of six psychiatric nurses in London and Hampshire used interviews to explore further nurses' perceptions of people with BPD. They found that nurses saw these people as a 'destructive whirlwind'; a powerful, dangerous, unrelenting force that leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. The major themes emerging from the study were: care giving; idealized and demonized; manipulation and threatening.

Woollaston, K. and Hixenbaugh, P. - 'Destructive whirlwind': nurses' perceptions of patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing November 2008, 15(9), 703-709

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