Early Diagnosis (Before the Age of 18)

Why not diagnose BPD before the age of eighteen?

  • The personality is not yet fully developed, so how can one determine that someone suffers from a personality disorder?
  • It is difficult to distinguish between adolescence and BPD anyway, so why risk making such a dramatic diagnosis?
  • The stigma surrounding BPD may cause the sufferer to despair.
  • Given the biosocial nature of the disorder, this diagnosis may burden parents with a tremendous degree of guilt and, thus, lessen the efficacy of the treatment.
  • Given the stigma of the disorder as untreatable, clinicians are concerned about making such a diagnosis lest it dissuade other therapists from taking on the case.