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Concept: Personality disorder


One of the core symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the instability in interpersonal relationships. This might be related to existent differences in mindreading between BPD patients and healthy individuals.

Concepts: Borderline personality disorder, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder


BACKGROUND: Negative affect and difficulties in its regulation have been connected to several adverse psychological consequences. While several questionnaires exist, it would be important to have a theory-based measure that includes clinically relevant items and shows good psychometric properties in healthy and patient samples. This study aims at developing such a questionnaire, combining the two Gross [1] scales Reappraisal and Suppression with an additional response-focused scale called Externalizing Behavioral Strategies covering clinically relevant items. METHODS: The samples consisted of 684 students (mean age = 23.3, SD = 3.5; 53.6% female) and 369 persons with mixed mental disorders (mean age = 36.0 SD = 14.6; 71.2% female). Items for the questionnaire were derived from existing questionnaires and additional items were formulated based on suggestions by clinical experts. All items start with “When I don’t feel well, in order to feel better…”. Participants rated how frequently they used each strategy on a 5-point Likert scale. Confirmatory Factor Analyses were conducted to verify the factor structure in two separate student samples and a clinical sample. Group comparisons and correlations with other questionnaires were calculated to ensure validity. RESULTS: After modification, the CFA showed good model fit in all three samples. Reliability scores (Cronbach’s alpha) for the three NARQ scales ranged between .71 and .80. Comparisons between students and persons with mental disorders showed the postulated relationships, as did comparisons between male and female students and persons with or without Borderline Personality Disorder. Correlations with other questionnaires suggest the NARQ’s construct validity. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the NARQ is a psychometrically sound and reliable measure with practical use for therapy planning and tracking of treatment outcome across time. We advocate the integration of the new response-focused strategy in the Gross’s model of emotion regulation.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Factor analysis, Reliability, Mental disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Emotion, Personality disorder, Likert scale


Dual diagnosis is common in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), one of the most common being Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Previous studies have shown that general psychiatric management (GPM) was effective in reducing borderline symptoms. In the present study, we tested whether the short GPM was as effective in the BPD + SUD as in the BPD group.

Concepts: Mental disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Psychiatry, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder


Psychopathy is a personality disorder associated with a profound lack of empathy. Neuroscientists have associated empathy and its interindividual variation with how strongly participants activate brain regions involved in their own actions, emotions and sensations while viewing those of others. Here we compared brain activity of 18 psychopathic offenders with 26 control subjects while viewing video clips of emotional hand interactions and while experiencing similar interactions. Brain regions involved in experiencing these interactions were not spontaneously activated as strongly in the patient group while viewing the video clips. However, this group difference was markedly reduced when we specifically instructed participants to feel with the actors in the videos. Our results suggest that psychopathy is not a simple incapacity for vicarious activations but rather reduced spontaneous vicarious activations co-existing with relatively normal deliberate counterparts.

Concepts: Psychology, Personality psychology, Mental disorder, Emotion, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, Conduct disorder, Personality disorders


The most efficacious treatments for social anxiety disorder (SAD) are the SSRIs and cognitive therapy (CT). Combined treatment is advocated for SAD but has not been evaluated in randomized trials using CT and SSRI. Our aim was to evaluate whether one treatment is more effective than the other and whether combined treatment is more effective than the single treatments.

Concepts: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Avoidant personality disorder, Personality disorder, Social anxiety disorder, Paroxetine


Although recreational dancing is associated with increased physical and psychological well-being, little is known about the harmful effects of excessive dancing. The aim of the present study was to explore the psychopathological factors associated with dance addiction. The sample comprised 447 salsa and ballroom dancers (68% female, mean age: 32.8 years) who danced recreationally at least once a week. The Exercise Addiction Inventory (Terry, Szabo, & Griffiths, 2004) was adapted for dance (Dance Addiction Inventory, DAI). Motivation, general mental health (BSI-GSI, and Mental Health Continuum), borderline personality disorder, eating disorder symptoms, and dance motives were also assessed. Five latent classes were explored based on addiction symptoms with 11% of participants belonging to the most problematic class. DAI was positively associated with psychiatric distress, borderline personality and eating disorder symptoms. Hierarchical linear regression model indicated that Intensity (ß=0.22), borderline (ß=0.08), eating disorder (ß=0.11) symptoms, as well as Escapism (ß=0.47) and Mood Enhancement (ß=0.15) (as motivational factors) together explained 42% of DAI scores. Dance addiction as assessed with the Dance Addiction Inventory is associated with indicators of mild psychopathology and therefore warrants further research.

Concepts: Linear regression, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Borderline personality disorder, Psychiatry, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder, Dance


In developed countries, the majority of all violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial recidivistic offenders, but no genes have been shown to contribute to recidivistic violent offending or severe violent behavior, such as homicide. Our results, from two independent cohorts of Finnish prisoners, revealed that a monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) low-activity genotype (contributing to low dopamine turnover rate) as well as the CDH13 gene (coding for neuronal membrane adhesion protein) are associated with extremely violent behavior (at least 10 committed homicides, attempted homicides or batteries). No substantial signal was observed for either MAOA or CDH13 among non-violent offenders, indicating that findings were specific for violent offending, and not largely attributable to substance abuse or antisocial personality disorder. These results indicate both low monoamine metabolism and neuronal membrane dysfunction as plausible factors in the etiology of extreme criminal violent behavior, and imply that at least about 5-10% of all severe violent crime in Finland is attributable to the aforementioned MAOA and CDH13 genotypes.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 28 October 2014; doi:10.1038/mp.2014.130.

Concepts: Gene, Mental disorder, Monoamine oxidase, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder


A meta-review, or review of systematic reviews, was conducted to explore the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in major mental disorders. A systematic search generated 407 relevant reviews, of which 20 reported mortality risks in 20 different mental disorders and included over 1.7 million patients and over a quarter of a million deaths. All disorders had an increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with the general population, and many had mortality risks larger than or comparable to heavy smoking. Those with the highest all-cause mortality ratios were substance use disorders and anorexia nervosa. These higher mortality risks translate into substantial (10-20 years) reductions in life expectancy. Borderline personality disorder, anorexia nervosa, depression and bipolar disorder had the highest suicide risks. Notable gaps were identified in the review literature, and the quality of the included reviews was typically low. The excess risks of mortality and suicide in all mental disorders justify a higher priority for the research, prevention, and treatment of the determinants of premature death in psychiatric patients.

Concepts: Death, Eating disorders, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, Bipolar disorder, Personality disorder, Suicide


Background: Motive-oriented therapeutic relationship (MOTR) was postulated to be a particularly helpful therapeutic ingredient in the early treatment phase of patients with personality disorders, in particular with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The present randomized controlled study using an add-on design is the first study to test this assumption in a 10-session general psychiatric treatment with patients presenting with BPD on symptom reduction and therapeutic alliance. Methods: A total of 85 patients were randomized. They were either allocated to a manual-based short variant of the general psychiatric management (GPM) treatment (in 10 sessions) or to the same treatment where MOTR was deliberately added to the treatment. Treatment attrition and integrity analyses yielded satisfactory results. Results: The results of the intent-to-treat analyses suggested a global efficacy of MOTR, in the sense of an additional reduction of general problems, i.e. symptoms, interpersonal and social problems (F1, 73 = 7.25, p < 0.05). However, they also showed that MOTR did not yield an additional reduction of specific borderline symptoms. It was also shown that a stronger therapeutic alliance, as assessed by the therapist, developed in MOTR treatments compared to GPM (Z55 = 0.99, p < 0.04). Conclusions: These results suggest that adding MOTR to psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatments of BPD is promising. Moreover, the findings shed additional light on the perspective of shortening treatments for patients presenting with BPD. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Mental disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Psychotherapy, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder


OBJECTIVE The authors examined 3-year transitions among nonuse, asymptomatic use, and problem use of illicit drugs for U.S. adults in the general household population. METHOD Data were from the nationally representative National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a study of 34,653 adults interviewed twice, 3 years apart. Respondents were categorized on three mutually exclusive categories of baseline drug status: past-year nonusers (N=32,675), past-year asymptomatic drug users (N=861), and past-year symptomatic drug users (N=1,117). Symptomatic drug use, or problem use, was defined as presence of one or more symptoms that operationalize DSM-IV drug abuse and dependence criteria. The authors assessed sociodemographic, health, substance use, and psychiatric covariates for association with 3-year transitions to different status categories. RESULTS Among baseline nonusers, 95.4% continued to be nonusers at follow-up, 2.1% became asymptomatic users, and 2.5% developed problem use. Among baseline asymptomatic users, 66.6% had stopped using drugs at follow-up, 14.3% continued to be asymptomatic users, and 19.1% had developed problem use. Nearly half (49.0%) of those with problem use at baseline had stopped using drugs at follow-up, 10.9% had transitioned to asymptomatic use, and 40.1% continued to have problem use. Younger age, male sex, white race, and not being married were associated with progression from nonuse to use or problem use, as were alcohol and tobacco use and disorders, major depression, and schizotypal, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders. Panic disorder and avoidant personality disorder were associated with less progression. CONCLUSIONS Transitions in drug use status are common. The finding that alcohol and tobacco variables and co-occurring psychopathology are important correlates of transitions suggests the value of addressing all co-occurring disorders and substance use in patient assessments and treatment planning, both to prevent adverse transitions and to promote positive transitions.

Concepts: Drug addiction, Borderline personality disorder, Schizoid personality disorder, Avoidant personality disorder, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder, Dependent personality disorder