Sometimes I have to eat crow. A mess of personality disorders, it seems that whatever lies at the core of this person often has its words drowned out by the maelstrom going on upstairs. The comorbidity of psychopathy and Borderline Personality Disorder is well documented in the literature and results in a person that can be quite unpleasant to deal with. Sprinkle on organic illness, manifested within myself by Bipolar Disorder, and I can be a demon in the playground of angels. My intellectual self may often be drowned by competing disorders, but occasionally she cries out, trying to stop the madness. I know that in order to continue my own recovery (from Borderline Personality Disorder in particular), I have to own my disorders and – gasp – take responsibility for my actions. Personality disorders can never be an excuse for bad behavior, no matter how well they model such unappealing traits.
What if oncologists refused to treat patients with terminal cancer? Chalking up the afflicted for dead, imagine that they withhold treatment that could extend the quality of life for those dying as well as for those around the dying. I would imagine that there would be a great murmur from society, proclaiming such withholding of treatment to not only be unethical but antithetical to the promise of life. Why then is it acceptable to withhold treatment from those having personality disorders? This post will focus particularly on the lack of available treatment options for those with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), but this can extend to other disorders considered taboo or worthy of scorn by society; those such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder. “Fluffy” disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are not meant to be part of this discussion.