Archive for January 11th, 2009

What is the Cost of BPD to Society?

January 11th, 2009 7 comments

(Click here for more coverage of Borderline Personality Disorder.)

I’d like to encourage people who are aware of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to start spreading the news about how devastating this illness is not just for those who have it and their family members, but for the entire United States economy.

I wrote this post to explain to people who may not have the ability to understand how horrific BPD is from personal experience dealing with an afflicted person. Such people can still likely understand the economic impact of this illness and how it would be far more cost-effective for US mental health care policies to be overhauled to raise awareness and get most of the victims into treatment. The increased government spending appears that it would be entirely offset by savings in government expenses (in such areas of courts and law enforcement) and increases in tax revenues due to a significant improvement in worsened productivity harming families affected by BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a devastating but very common mental illness that until recently has been believed based upon DSM-IV (Diagnostics and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition — a widely used reference book in the mental health field) to affect about 2% of the US population or about 6 million people in the US. Common belief is that it afflicts women about 3 times more often than men.

Recent research published in April 2008 suggests that 6% of the population may be affected and the difference between rates for males and females may be little. If this research is accurate, the United States with its population of about 300 million people has 18 million victims of BPD.

The result of BPD is a catastrophic cycle of child abuse and mental illness that runs for generations. The economic impact of this illness is worse than a 9/11/2001 terror attack each and every year. US mental health care policies are badly in need of an overhaul to deal with BPD and similar personality disorders and the drastic economic impact they have on any tens of millions of US citizens.

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