Get access

Comorbid personality disorder and treatment use in a community sample of youths: a 20-year follow-up


Dr Stephanie Kasen, Unit 47, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY, 10032, USA.


Objective:  The impact of comorbid personality disorder (PD) on subsequent treatment and psychotropic drug use was examined in a representative sample of over 700 individuals.

Method:  Axis I disorders and PD were assessed by self- and mother-report at mean ages 13 and 22 years, and by self-report at mean age 33. Mothers reported treatment use by participants before mean age 33; participants reported treatment and psychotropic drug use at mean age 33.

Results:  Individuals with multiple axis I disorders without PD, axis I disorder–PD comorbidity, and single disorders were compared simultaneously to individuals not diagnosed. Overall, odds of subsequent and past year treatment or psychotropic drug use or both were highest when PD co-occurred with a mood, an anxiety, a disruptive, or a substance use disorder.

Conclusion:  Co-occurring personality pathology may contribute to elevated mental health service use, including use of psychotropic drugs, among young adults in the community.