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NICE changes personality disorder guidelines

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The health watchdog NICE is calling for improvements in prevention, management and treatment of people with personality disorders.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) said a change of attitude within the NHS could dramatically reduce associated costs to society.

In the past conditions affecting thoughts, emotions and behaviour were thought to be untreatable. Now NICE wants to see medical staff use psychological therapies to help prevent the development of problems rather than drug therapies.

People with anti-social personality disorder (ASPD) can show harmful behaviour towards others, including impulsivity, anger, recklessness and deceitfulness. The disorder is not normally picked up until adulthood, although the problems often stem from childhood.

Around two million people in the UK have personality disorders - including 50% of the UK's prisoners.

NICE said the condition should be treated as a whole - rather than with drugs prescribed for particular symptoms following attendance at hospital A&E departments - and without any stigma.

Included in its recommendations for mental health trusts was the setting up of specialist teams with expertise in the disorder.

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