Personality disorders are conditions where an individuals’ personality characteristics can cause regular and long term problems in the way they cope with everyday life and interact with other people; anti-social personality disorder (ASPD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) are two types.

APMS (2007) describes these disorders as:

“ASPD is characterised by disregard for and violation of the rights of others. People with ASPD have a pattern of aggressive and irresponsible behaviour which emerges in childhood or early adolescence. They account for a disproportionately large proportion of crime and violence committed. ASPD was present in 0.3% of adults aged 18 or over (0.6% of men and 0.1% of women).”

“BPD is characterised by high levels of personal and emotional instability associated with significant impairment. People with BPD have severe difficulties with sustaining relationships, and self-harm and suicidal behaviour is common.”

In Coastal West Sussex CCG, approximately 1,130 adults aged 16-64 were estimated to have borderline personality disorder, and 850 with antisocial personality disorder.

Applying sex-specific prevalence rates of borderline personality disorder to the West Sussex population aged 16-64 years (by CCG)

Prevalence of borderline personality disorderEstimate number of persons aged 16-64 with personality disorder
%Males% Females% allCoastal West Sussex CCGCrawley CCGHorsham and Mid Sussex CCGWest Sussex
Borderline Personality Disorder0.3%0.6%0.4%1,1302905601,980
Antisocial personality disorder0.6%0.1%0.3%8502204201,480
Source: APMS 2007, 2014 mid-year population estimates
Note. Values have been rounded to the nearest 10. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

The presence of a personality disorder, notably antisocial personality disorder, may have considerable implications in the treatment and management of co-existing psychiatric and physical conditions. Co-existence of a personality disorder and another mental health problem is high.