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Gender, Identity & Disorder in Accounts of Borderline Personality Disorder

30 June 2019

This study seeks to explore peoples’ experience and understanding of being diagnosed and living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Through in-depth one-to-one interviews, either by Internet video call or by online text chat, the study seeks to understand participants' views on BPD as a diagnosis: what it means to them, whether it has been a helpful/unhelpful diagnosis, experiences of healthcare professionals, and anything else they personally think important.


  • 1. Be at least 21 years old and a UK or US resident.
  • 2. Have received a diagnosis of BPD at some point in your life.
  • 3. Have been living with the diagnosis BPD for at least three years.
  • 4. Not currently in an intensive treatment programme for BPD, e.g. DBT (long-term personal therapy, support groups etc. are fine).
  • 5. Consider yourself able to talk about your experience of, and thoughts about BPD, and its relevance to you and your life, for between one and two hours, without anticipating undue or excessive psychological distress.
  • 6. Be able to talk about your support systems you might use were you to find participation particularly distressing (e.g. close friends, family, personal therapist, etc.) NB While the researcher will be available to discuss any difficulties in and around the interview, it is important to identify any significant personal risk to yourself in participating and to have strategies for coping with this
  • 7. Consent to your interview being audio-recorded and transcribed, then anonymised and used for the research study.
  • 8. Consent to providing signed proof of age and willingness to participate.
  • I'm more than happy to discuss/clarify any of these points further, without any obligation to participate – if you have a question then it’s worth asking, and even just asking could be really helpful, e.g. you may spot something important I have missed!

Take part in this study


Ethical approval

This study has been submitted to the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Ethics Committee of The University of Surrey, UK, and has received a favourable ethical opinion on the basis described in the protocol and supporting documentation.

Date approved: 29/11/2018

About the researcher

My name is Steve Young and I’m currently studying for a doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Psychology at The University of Surrey, UK. For my doctoral research project I want to speak to people with first-hand experience of being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). I’m looking for people who would be interested in taking part in one-to-one interviews, either by Internet video call, or by online text chat, to talk about their experiences of BPD/EUPD as a diagnosis and their views on the diagnosis. I am particularly keen to speak to both men and women, and people who do not identify as gender-binary.

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Academic study

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