Experiences of daily life for people with borderline personality disorder: an occupational perspective.
This project looks at experiences of daily life for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A personality disorder is considered a type of mental health problem which affects the way a person thinks, acts and feels. People with borderline personality disorder can have unstable emotions, an unstable sense of identity, and unstable relationships with others and may be impulsive and disorganised. People with BPD often participate in harmful behaviours and are at high risk of suicide. Current clinical guidelines in the UK acknowledge that BPD has an impact on occupation; which can be defined as the everyday activities that people have to, want to or need to do that give their lives meaning and purpose. This is the area of expertise for occupational therapists, who may work in hospital or community settings with individuals who are experiencing difficulties participating in daily occupations and roles. This project aims to explore the experiences of daily roles, routines and activities for people with BPD. It is helpful for occupational therapists to be aware of the occupational experiences of people with BPD so that occupational therapy practice can meet the needs of those with the diagnosis. First a literature review was carried out to identify what current research shows. The main findings were that people with BPD can have difficulties with sleep, socialising and setting routines, and that participating in purposeful activity and meaningful roles such as parenting, work, leisure, interests and community activities are beneficial to those with BPD. Secondly, qualitative research to understand the experiences of those with BPD is proposed, which would interview three people living with BPD. The research proposed aims to contribute to the existing knowledge available for occupational therapists working with those with BPD, and thus inform more effective, evidence-based occupational therapy which is sensitive to the needs of this population.