The legal system often struggles to define and manage mental illnesses in criminal cases, but personality disorders make the issue of definition and culpability even more complex.
Defendants may be suspected of having inadequate present knowledge of their legal cases. When this occurs, they require a formal evaluation that may render them incompetent or unfit to stand trial. This can be a complicated psycholegal issue that impacts more than just the defendant.
Although diagnosing mental illness can be challenging, mental health clinicians too often make reckless misdiagnoses. The consequences of misdiagnosis are wide-ranging, all of which include poor outcomes for patients. Clinicians need to return to simple, ethical best practices to solve this prolific problem.