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Prevalence of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a debilitating condition with an estimated global prevalence of between 1.4% and 5.9% in the general population (Samuels, et al., 2002; Coid, et al., 2006; Lenzenweger, et al., 2007; Grant et al., 2008; Trull, et al., 2010). Epidemiological research in Australia however is limited (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012) with the most recent Australian data from Jackson and Burgess (2000 in NHMRC, 2012) identifying a prevalence of 1% for the general Australian population and Krawitz & Watson (2000) who reported a 1.8% prevalence for 19-55 year olds.

Although under researched in Australia, it is acknowledged that individuals with a BPD diagnosis are well represented within the public mental health system with up to 23% of psychiatric services outpatient and up to 43% of inpatient populations’ presenting with a diagnosis of BPD (NHMRC, 2012). BPD also has a high mortality rate with up to 10% of individuals with BPD successfully committing suicide, which is at a rate almost 50 times higher than in the general population (American Psychiatric Association, 2001).