Comparison of the Phenomenology of Hallucination and Delusion Characteristics in People Diagnosed With Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizophrenia

Zalie Merrett, David J. Castle, Neil Thomas, Wei Lin Toh, Josephine Beatson, Jillian Broadbear, Sathya Rao, Susan L. Rossell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hallucinations and delusions in borderline personality disorder (BPD) are understudied. The authors explore the phenomenology of multisensory hallucinations and delusions in individuals with BPD and compare them to those in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). Clinical psychopathology was also explored. Eighty-nine adults participated and were categorized into four groups: BPD with voices, BPD without voices, SSD with high BPD traits, and SSD with low BPD traits. Among individuals with BPD, 81% reported visual and tactile hallucinations, 75% reported olfactory hallucinations, and 94% experienced delusions. When comparing BPD with and without voices, there were no significant differences in nonpsychotic psychopathology. Slight differences were found when hallucinations in BPD were compared with hallucinations in SSD, but overall the experiences were similar across diagnoses. The BPD group also reported significantly higher rates of paranoia/suspiciousness and delusions of guilt than the SSD group. Multisensory hallucinations and delusions occur in BPD and should be explored when treating people with BPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-430
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • borderline personality disorder
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • schizophrenia
  • voices

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