Occurrence of schizotypal and borderline symptoms in parasuicide patients: comparison between subjective and objective indices.
Markar HR., Williams JM., Wells J., Gordon L.
Seventy-six patients were interviewed within a week of admission following a parasuicide episode. Axis II diagnosis on DSM-III was made for schizotypal, borderline, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorder. In addition patients completed a self-rating questionnaire, the Schizotypy Questionnaire of Claridge & Broks (1984), which assesses schizotypal and borderline personality traits. The objective and subjective indices of schizotypal and borderline symptoms correlated significantly but allocation of patients to a diagnosis missed several patients who nevertheless rated themselves as having a high frequency of these symptoms. There was an asymmetry of symptom pattern reminiscent of Foulds & Bedford's (1975) hierarchy model. The presence of schizotypal symptoms appeared to be higher in the hierarchy: they predicted borderline symptoms, but a high frequency of borderline symptoms did not necessarily predict schizotypy. We suggest that the occurrence of schizotypal symptoms should become a more explicit focus of clinical assessment and treatment of these patients, especially those who repeatedly harm themselves and we suggest ways in which cognitive therapies may be adapted to do this.