First and foremost it should be stated that the patients with the specific types of the personality disorders are not a new phenomenon in the health care setting; however, it is significant to understand that treating of such individuals may be difficult and requires attention and a high degree of the professionalism.
The fact that the patient has personality disorders affect the relationship between the physician and the patient itself and impacts the process of treatment and diagnosis. The appropriate knowledge of the main symptoms allows the physician to provide the high-quality care. The personality disorders are commonly considered to be connected to the psychiatric and affect the social and communicational aspects of the person who suffers from it, that is, the appropriate treatment should be implemented to eliminate severe consequences.
It should be pointed out that the psychological intervention for those patients who have different types of personality disorders is still not researched enough and demands modernization of approaches in the field of diagnosis and treatment (Eaton et al., 2010, p. 1041). The complicated interaction with the patient requires the deeper understanding of the main cause of the disorder as usual people with the borderline personality disorder experiences some trauma in the family.
It should be highlighted that social work can help to understand the patient’s feelings and thoughts better, which will be beneficial for the process of treatment. The reason for such type of the disorder is usually hidden in the childhood, when an individual experienced a certain type of abuse, namely drug, alcohol, or sexual (Barlow, 2014, p. 395).
The health care providers often misdiagnose the borderline personality disorder; however, the experienced social work clinicians can evaluate the diagnosis by medical examination, which involves discussing the symptoms and interviewing of the patient.
Social work clinicians usually combine theory and practice to prevent and cure certain diseases connected to the mental health. Their work is centered on the examination of the connection of the disorder with the social, spiritual, and psychological factors that can consequently impact the process of treatment.
The deeper interaction with the patient and the respectful attitude towards the rights of an individual are beneficial for the successful outcome of the treatment. It should be stressed that social work clinicians can be seen as the largest segment of the healthcare providers in the field of the mental health issues. They examine the environmental and background peculiarities of the individual to achieve the best results.
The treatment of the borderline personality disorder requires a complex combination of different approaches; however, the teamwork should be seen as a significant element that can influence the process of the treatment in a positive way. Individuals who suffer from this type of disorder are usually emotionally unstable, and this can cause conflicts within the group.
That is, the leadership is an essential element while working with people who suffer from the borderline personality disorder. Although different methods of treatment are usually combined to achieve the positive outcome, it should be stated that individual with the borderline personality disorder does not have an immediate improvement. The primary task of the health care provider is to set rational goals that will be possible to accomplish.
While treating the borderline personality disorder, physicians usually face the transference and countertransference aspect (Barlow, 2014, p. 396). Transference and countertransference feelings can be helpful while examining the inner world of the patient. Transference is considered to be the process when the person transfers the emotions from the past to the present.
This process occurs unconsciously. A countertransference happens when the therapist and client have complications with the understanding of the emotional environment. The therapist transfers the emotional state to the client as a response to the transference. The transference allows the health care provider to get deeper in the understanding of the causes and roots of the borderline personality disorder.
One of the most significant ethical issues while working with patients who struggle with the borderline personality disorder are the following, namely discussing the diagnosis, telling the patient about the increase level of the suicide, hospitalization against the willingness of the client, and the actions that the healthcare provider should take after the failed attempt of the patient to commit suicide (Howe, 2013, p. 15).
It should be stressed that the ethical issue should never be the obstacle on the way of the patient treatment. The health care providers should develop and implement the appropriate techniques for the patient to receive the positive outcome.
To eliminate the stated above ethical challenges, one should take into consideration the significant effect of the social work while dealing with the issue. It is undeniable that the lack of information can cause the panic situation as the diagnosis of the borderline personality disorder immediately associates with the negative outcome of the treatment.
However, it should be stated that the appropriate approaches can change the process of treatment dramatically. The social work should involve spreading of information and support the patients as the understanding that they are not alone facing the issue can be helpful and influence the recovery process.
Barlow, D. (2014). Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: A step-by-step treatment manual (5th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Eaton, N., Krueger, R., Keyes, K., Skodol, A., Markon, K., Grant, B., & Hasin, D. (2010). Borderline personality disorder co-morbidity: Relationship to the internalizing–externalizing structure of common mental disorders. Psychological Medicine, 41(5), 1041-1050.
Howe, E. (2013). Five Ethical and Clinical Challenges Psychiatrists May Face When Treating Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder Who Are or May Become Suicidal. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 10(1), 14-19.