Understanding the inverse relationship between age and psychotic symptoms: The role of borderline personality traits

Acta Psychiatrica ScandinavicaScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | July 18, 2022



The current study has shown that emotional dysregulation, a core feature of borderline personality disorder, precedes psychotic symptoms.

Data from 19,980 (age range, 16-95 years) were obtained from the 2000, 2007, and 2014 UK Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders Screening Questionnaire was administered to assess hallucinations and delusions.

Age was shown to be inversely associated with hallucinations and delusions.

Borderline personality disorder scores accounted for 100% and 61% of the decline in hallucinations and delusions with age, respectively. There was no such relationship between the frequency of psychotic symptoms and general psychopathology.

The change in psychotic symptoms was related to a corresponding decline in the following borderline personality disorder changes: identity/relationship disturbances; mood instability/anger; and self-harm/suicidality.