Personality Disorder: Temperament or Trauma

Book Cover: Personality DisorderBy Heather Castillo.
Jessica Kingsley
ISBN 1843100533

Star rating 4/5

Heather Castillo, advocacy service manager for Colchester Mind, set up a team of service users diagnosed with personality disorder to carry out this research, writes Patrick Tomlinson.

The book looks at the history of personality disorder diagnosis, and the difficulties and limitations in classifying people in this way. Personality disorder is not recognised as an illness, has negative connotations and can imply that the sufferer is in control of their condition, leading to a lack of treatment and, at worst, a criminalisation of individuals. Castillo argues: “The diagnosis is characterised by confusion and lack of agreement. Where understanding is required, fear has emerged.” The book shows how a diagnosis that captures the underlying history of trauma and abuse, attachment difficulties and suffering would be benefit service users more.

The research process and findings are informative and inspirational. The involvement of the researchers in the task contributed to their individual recovery, and the book offers an invaluable contribution to our understanding of personality disorder.

Patrick Tomlinson is director of practice development, SACCS.

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