Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 February 2022
In this last chapter we are offering an optimistic way forward, which if followed by all, will lead to wider use of the concept of personality disorder, better clinical care and greater understanding. This is not empty Panglossian optimism. Here we are not over-simplifying the challenges of personality disorder but showing that it can be taken out of the shadows of rejection and criticism and given its proper place in psychiatric practice and in general dialogue. We have failed both in the past, when we had prejudiced and negative views about all aspects of the subject, and also in the present, despite making some progress, by having an impractical and unnecessarily complicated classification system, and by over-selling a limited range of goods. These errors, far from opening up the subject, have led to over-specialisation and esoteric arguments that have left other health professionals out in the cold. Yet it is these health professionals, and also those involved in any form of care, seeing people with personality problems every day in their lives, whom we need to educate and encourage.