Experiences of women in secure care who have been prescribed clozapine for borderline personality disorder

Geoffrey L. Dickens, Catherine Frogley, Fiona L. Mason, Katina Anagnostakis, Marco M. Picchioni

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Abstract

Background: Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic medicine which can cause significant side-effects. It is often prescribed off-license in severe cases of borderline personality disorder contrary to national treatment guidelines. Little is known about the experiences of those who take clozapine for borderline personality disorder. We explored the lived-experience of women in secure inpatient care who were prescribed clozapine for borderline personality disorder. Findings: Adult females (N=20) participated in audio-taped semi-structured interviews. Transcripts were subject to thematic analysis. The central themes related to evaluation, wellbeing, understanding and self-management; for many, their subjective wellbeing on clozapine was preferred to prior levels of functioning and symptomatology, sometimes profoundly so. The negative and potentially adverse effects of clozapine were explained as regrettable but relatively unimportant. Conclusions: When psychological interventions are, at least initially, ineffective then clozapine treatment is likely to be evaluated positively by a group of women with borderline personality disorder in secure care despite the potential disadvantages.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalBorderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2016

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