Student Perceptions of the mental disorders Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder
Jones, Cherylley Claire
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Research has revealed that there is a great concern that many staff in the mental health field feel that they lack the knowledge and experience needed to deal with those who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Further research by Markham (2009) is indicative that many mental health professionals perceive Borderline Personality Disorder more negatively than disorders such as Schizophrenia and often view those with BPD as more dangerous than those with Schizophrenia; this can have a knock-on effect as to how these patients are treated. As per the BPS curriculum all university programmes should follow a list of core subjects relating to psychology. One of these subjects is that individual differences; within this module students are expected to gain knowledge of both physical and mental health. Therefore, it was felt that it would be interesting to see how those who are studying for a psychology degree perceive these illnesses to be. This population was targeted given that they should have a higher level of understanding of mental health than the general population and often express a desire to work in mental health focused careers post-graduation. Using qualitative research and semi-structured interviews, a thematic analysis was used to search for common themes or patterns between the participants (n=7). This study examined four aspects in the perceptions of the mental illnesses Schizophrenia and BPD amongst students in their final year of a Bsc Psychology Degree at University. These themes were negative stigma, positive stigma, lack of knowledge and common reasons to seek help. These themes correlated with existing literature such as that of Bowen (2012); Markham (2009) and Woolaston and Hixenbaugh (2008), that the lack of knowledge about severe mental health disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder, can lead to stigma.
B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology
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