Personality disorders and physical comorbidities: A complex relationship

Mehmet E. Dokucu, C. Robert Cloninger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewIt is not uncommon for clinicians to label patients' complaints as 'psychogenic' when they present with symptoms that are difficult to understand. This article reviews recent reports about the comorbidity of personality disorders and nonpsychiatric medical problems, which call into question the adequacy of the mind-body dichotomy in medicine.Recent findingsThe strong association of any personality disorders with poor health in cross-sectional and community-based studies is now confirmed by personality disorder predicting future deterioration in longitudinal studies. Borderline personality disorder has been studied most frequently, but recent data suggest that severity of any personality disorder is associated with poor and worsening health.SummaryPersonality disorder is associated with the full range of physical, mental, and social disorders. Greater attention to the common features of personality disorders, which are crucial for the self-regulation of behavior, would facilitate more effective health promotion and disease prevention across all medical specialties, thereby helping to relieve the burdens of chronic common diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-441
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • antisocial personality disorder
  • borderline personality disorder
  • comorbidity
  • diabetes mellitus
  • eating disorder
  • iatrogenic disease
  • multimorbidity
  • obesity
  • personality disorder
  • polymorbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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