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Keywords:

  • borderline personality disorder;
  • psychosis;
  • schizophrenia;
  • self

Abstract

Aim

Research in the phenomenological tradition suggests that the schizophrenia spectrum is characterized by disturbance of the ‘basic’ self, whereas borderline personality disorder involves disturbance of the ‘narrative’ self. The current study investigated this proposal in an ultra-high risk for psychosis sample.

Methods

The sample consisted of 42 ultra-high-risk participants with a mean age of 19.22 years. Basic self-disturbance was measured using the Examination of Anomalous Self-Experience. Borderline personality pathology was measured using the borderline personality disorder items from the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) Axis II Personality Questionnaire.

Results

No correlation was found between the measures of basic self-disturbance and borderline personality pathology.

Conclusions

The finding is consistent with the proposal that different (although not mutually exclusive) types of self-disturbance characterize the schizophrenia spectrum and borderline personality disorder. Further research should further examine the question of basic self-disturbance in patients with established borderline personality disorder.