Personality disorders (PD) are extremely controversial diagnoses, provoking heated debate among people with personal experience of these diagnoses, mental health staff, researchers and policy makers. Controversy centres on the three following points:
- Do personality disorders actually exist as objective ‘disorders’?
- Are these diagnoses a useful way of understanding distress and coping strategies?
- What are the implications of these diagnoses for broader political questions about inequality, abuse and other social problems?