Presentations of Borderline Personality Disorder in the UK Press
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most stigmatised and misunderstood, yet also one of the most common diagnosed personality disorders. Within the UK there is an estimated prevalence between 0.7% to 2% of BPD in the general population, with women, 0.6% twice as often diagnosed compared to men (0.3%) (NHS, 2011 factsheet), and in the U.S. between 0.5 % and 1.4 % (ten Have, Verheul, Kaasenbrood, van Dorseelaer, Tuithof, Kleinjan & de Graaf, 2016), and women are particularly over-represented in the forensic population with 20% of women fulfilling criteria for a BPD diagnosis (Singleton, Meltzer & Gatward, 1998; Sansone & Sansone, 2009). Despite the relatively common diagnosis of BPD in both inpatients and outpatients, the presentation of personality disorders in newspapers has received only very limited attention (Bowen, 2016; Goulden et al., 2011).
For my postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh), I am using in-depth corpus-assisted discourse analysis to explore how BPD is presented in UK newspapers. Special attention is given to identify how discourse types compare in their communication of stereotypes and prejudices that create and reinforce existing social stigma against individuals affected by BPD. To this end I have conducted a corpus-assisted qualitative frame analysis and a comparison of gender presentations. The slides of these analyses might be of interest to anyone with an interest in public presentations of mental health: