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To think personality disorder IS mental health? (sensitive topic)

(128 Posts)
EddyF Tue 20-Feb-18 21:55:38

In this article of a mother killing her baby, it mentions that she has a personality disorder but not suffering mental illness. Wouldn't a PD mean mental illness?

I genuinely am interested in knowning more about PD as I'm worried about a relative who appears to have PD (from my limited knowledge on Google search). But I would have thought it would be considered as a MH issue.

Sorry it's from the DMblush

article-5412741/Mother-22-admits-poisoning-seven-week-old-baby-boy.html

user1490465531 Tue 20-Feb-18 21:59:57

Hi the link doesn't work

IntelligentYetIndecisive Tue 20-Feb-18 22:01:52

Wales Online link for those who can't bring themselves to follow the link to the Fail.

It doesn't specify which PD she was diagnosed with.....

fitbitbore Tue 20-Feb-18 22:04:08

It's a Mental disorder as it's categorised in the dsm.

jeanlou1se Tue 20-Feb-18 22:05:37

Yes PD is a mental disorder

eyeswideshit Tue 20-Feb-18 22:05:52

I have a personality disorder and I group it with my other mental health issues.

JamesBlonde1 Tue 20-Feb-18 22:06:50

I wonder if they mean it’s more psychological than psychiatric?

PaperdollCartoon Tue 20-Feb-18 22:08:04

I have a personality disorder, yes it is a mental health problem. I might not exhibit depression symptoms or anxiety symptoms etc all the time, but it does impact how I live my life. Luckily not too much but it rears it’s ugly head every so often.

PaperdollCartoon Tue 20-Feb-18 22:08:56

@JamesBlonde1 not sure what you think the difference is in this context?

EddyF Tue 20-Feb-18 22:13:52

OK thank you. It was just that on the DM article it stated that although the mother was not suffering from mental illness, she did have PD. I will read the other link provided to see how it's reported.

Leontine Tue 20-Feb-18 22:14:43

@Paperdoll I didn't think that personality disorders were anything to do with anxiety and depression.

Xineop Tue 20-Feb-18 22:15:26

If I remember rightly i think I've read that legally personality disorders are treated differently than other mental health problems, when it comes to mitigating circumstances because they're so ingrained in the persons personality rather than say, post natal depression

Xineop Tue 20-Feb-18 22:18:05

Personality disorders are mental health disorders but not illnesses if that makes sense, e.g schizophrenia is an illness, antisocial personality disorder isn't

Rinoachicken Tue 20-Feb-18 22:18:22

Leontine they often go hand in hand. But what I think the potty was getting at was that someone with a PD may not necessarily exhibit obvious outward signs of distress like someone with depression or anxiety - but the distress and mental turmoil is still very much there, just internal, and affects day to day life.

I have a PD and that’s my experience anyway.

Rinoachicken Tue 20-Feb-18 22:18:47

PP not potty!!!

SaucyJack Tue 20-Feb-18 22:19:20

It's a semantic difference which the DM has exploited (as usual) to make the woman sound as terrible as possible.

Mental illness is abnormal episode (however long) in a mentally normal person. A personality disorder means that the abnormal thought and behaviour patterns are hardwired into your brain. It's who you are as a person.

DixieFlatline Tue 20-Feb-18 22:19:24

personality disorders are treated differently than other mental health problems, when it comes to mitigating circumstances because they're so ingrained in the persons personality

This is more or less the difference as explained to me by a psychiatric nurse. The personality disorder is very much part of the person. E.g. people with antisocial personality disorder can't be helped with therapy, though their impact on others can be improved with behaviour training. The thing that gets confusing for me in this area is e.g. borderline personality disorder, since it seems to have quite a lot of depressive/anxiety symptoms that can be helped with medications for those. I wonder how differently the personality disorder presents when those symptoms are well managed.

Rinoachicken Tue 20-Feb-18 22:22:28

Dixie I have BPD and would be classed as ‘well
managed’ or high functioning. Means I can hold down a job (with very understanding employers), and get through day to day life, but internally still have very disordered thoughts patterns - but I can recognise them as disordered an dtry and challenge them as I learnt in therapy. Doesn’t always work and it’s exhausting emotionally but that’s my life.

RogueAnnJosh Tue 20-Feb-18 22:24:12

A personality disorder isn’t a mental illness per se, it’s a fundamental problem with someone’s personality. The way this manifest can lead to people being treated by the mental health services, but it isn’t a ‘disease’ that can be ‘cured’. Rather, people can learn coping strategies and access support.
The key thing in this context is: did the perpetrator have an abnormality of mind so severe they were unable to tell right from wrong, or know what they were doing was illegal?
So, someone with schizophrenia may kill someone because they are delusional, and think they are killing the devil etc. This, clearly, is not the persons fault.
Someone with a personality disorder smothering an innocent baby when alone with it, and covering it up and lying because they know what they are doing would be seen by others as wrong, and a crime, is different. The person is culpable for their actions, even though their personality disorder is likely a contributing factor.

A very high percentage of people in prison have personality disorders.

Rinoachicken Tue 20-Feb-18 22:26:06

What’s sad in this case is that her health visitor had referred her to SS for further support/intervention but it was refused as she didn’t fulfil the criteria sad

lougle Tue 20-Feb-18 22:27:08

Personality disorders are functional differences in the way someone manages life and responds to people and situations, to the extent that it interferes with making normal relationships. For example, narcissistic personality disorder may make you very self-centred and manipulative so you turn each situation to your advantage, whilst paranoid type personality disorder might make you very suspicious of people, so you find it very hard to trust anything people say, which makes it very hard to form friendships.

Mental illness, such as depression, can come about because you find it hard to make relationships, etc., which may be because you have a personality disorder which makes it hard for you to make or keep relationships.

So in this case, it seems the court were told that the defendant has no mental illness as such, but lives with a personality disorder.

mamaryllis Tue 20-Feb-18 22:28:09

You can have a serious mental illness (ie a dx of whatever) but still experience a huge fluctuation in how it affects you at any one time. So while you still have a personality disorder/ mental illness, you can actually be in very good mental health. Similarly, you can also be experiencing very bad mental health. Are they trying to say that at the time, she wasn't experiencing significantly poor mental health?

My friend with bpd absolutely has a mental illness. But she can either be right as rain on a good mental health day, or suicidal, abusive, and a danger to both herself and others when suffering poor mental health.

A dx is a dx. It doesn't tell you anything about anyone's mental health at any given time.

Rinoachicken Tue 20-Feb-18 22:30:32

This is from the BBC

*The court heard that when James was born on 17 April 2016, there were no concerns about his health and Ms Turtle's emotional health was listed as "good".
Jackie Wood, a health visitor, said ten days after the birth Ms Turtle "felt well" and claimed not to have concerns, while the baby was feeding well.
The court was told that Ms Turtle was assessed on the "Edinburgh" scale in May 2016 - a score over 10 could indicate post-natal depression and Turtle scored 18.
Ms Wood made a referral to early intervention services which was rejected.*

EllJ Tue 20-Feb-18 22:34:43

A personality disorder is classed as a
Mental disorder, not an illness. The main difference is that an illness can be cured, a disorder cannot

Uhuhhoney Tue 20-Feb-18 23:17:12

but it isn’t a ‘disease’ that can be ‘cured’.

Neither is depression or anxiety or even schizophrenia.

Mental illness, distress, personality disorders - whatever you wanna call it; they're all just labels for "sane reactions to insane circumstances". That is to say, after all youve gone through why wouldn't you be experiencing low mood, a break from reality etc.

I work in psychiatric research and we walk along the lines of "don't tell me whats wrong with you, tell me what happened to you".

I personally dont believe in a disordered personality. Its a very politically and socially loaded term. I very much empathise with the experiences of those labelled with PD, but suggest a more holistic approach.

Sorry to ramble... just quite passionate about this!

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