Personality Disorder

When we think about the word ‘personality’, what is it that we think of? One of the definitions in the dictionary states that personality is “the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual…”. Personality characteristics or traits are the ways that each individual perceives, relates to, and thinks about his/her surroundings and him/herself. These characteristics or traits are shown in a wide array of social and personal contexts. So, essentially, personality can be described as the characteristics or traits that make each individual person just that, INDIVIDUAL.

So what is a Personality Disorder? A personality disorder is a behavior pattern that deviates from society’s expectation of the individual. Basically, Personality Disorders are the personality characteristics or traits that become so disruptive that the day-to-day functioning of the individual is seriously impaired.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) identifies ten (10) Personality Disorders. 

Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personality Disorders

The first is Paranoid Personality Disorder, described as having a pattern of distrustful and suspiciousness regarding other peoples motive.

Secondly is Schizoid Personality Disorder, described as a pattern of avoiding social interaction.

Thirdly, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, described as a pattern of discomfort in personal relationships, delusions, hallucinations, and eccentric behavior.

Patients with Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal Personality Disorders are often characterized as being odd or peculiar in their behavior.

Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders

Fourth is Antisocial Personality Disorder, described as a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of other.

Fifth is Borderline Personality Disorder, a pattern of impulsivity and instability in personal, social and occupational environments.

Sixth is Histrionic Personality Disorder, a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking.

Seventh on the list is Narcissistic Personality Disorder, described as a pattern of a grandiose need for admiration and lack of empathy.

The behavior of patients with Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders is often described as being dramatic, emotional, and erratic. 

Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders

Eighth is Avoidant Personality Disorder, a pattern of self-exclusion from social and occupational functions.

Ninth is Dependent Personality Disorder, described as a pattern of excessive passivity and dependence upon others.

Tenth on the list is Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, described a pattern of preoccupation with control.

Patients with Avoidant, Dependent, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders often exhibit anxious and fearful behaviors.

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