Category Archives: Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders

Description of Medical Condition A group of conditions, with onset at or before adolescence, characterized by enduring patterns of maladaptive and dysfunctional behavior that deviate markedly from one’s culture and social environment leading to functional impairment and distress to the individual, coworkers and the family. These behaviors are perceived by the patient to be “normal”… Read More »

Intervention of Personality Disorders

As noted above, many people with personality disorders do not seek treatment, because they do not recognize that there are problems. Often, if they do come to the attention of mental health professionals, it is not by choice, and a struggle between client and clinician ensues. Therefore, intervention can be very difficult. An additional problem… Read More »

Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders

People with cluster A personality disorders do not often seek intervention. A person with a paranoid personality disorder will find it difficult to trust, and the clinician needs to be patient, sensitive, empathic, and somewhat distant, and to respect the client’s need for autonomy. Openness and honesty are essential, and the clinician must reinforce for… Read More »

Medication for Personality Disorders

Most people who have no Axis I diagnosis but do have an Axis II diagnosis probably would not benefit from medication. Thus, when medication is given to people with Axis II disorders, it is usually to treat the comorbid Axis I diagnosis, especially if there is a symptomatic crisis. As noted, there is significant overlap… Read More »

Etiology of Personality Disorders

As has been indicated above, little is known with certainty about the etiology of personality disorders, although it may be assumed that there are biological, social, cultural, and psychological influences on their development. Although research has been limited, it is thought that there may be genetic and environmental factors that may cause a predisposition for… Read More »

Differential Diagnosis of Personality Disorders

As has been noted above, there is considerable overlap in the criteria for personality disorders, and people may have more than one. In addition, some of the personality disorders are associated with vulnerability to certain symptom (Axis I) disorders, further confusing the diagnosis — for example, the relationship of schizotypal personality disorder to schizophrenia, or… Read More »

Clinical Course of Personality Disorders

As noted above, many people with personality disorders never come to the attention of mental health professionals and, if they do, frequently do not follow a suggested course of intervention. The traits that compose a personality disorder are so pervasive that the person may not see them as causing a problem. Most personality disorders appear… Read More »

Epidemiology of Personality Disorders

Because of the elusiveness of diagnosis, it is difficult to get accurate epidemiological data. It is also possible that the recognition of these disorders may depend on the orientation of the person making the assessment, as well as the setting in which the client is seen. The fact that many people with personality disorders never… Read More »

Assessment of Personality Disorders

Diagnosing personality disorders is a very difficult task. They represent the least-understood and most-controversial categories of mental disorders, and it is possible that they are overdiagnosed. There is significant overlap in the criteria for specific personality disorders, and it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the behavior is really impairing the individual. An individual’s core… Read More »

Definitions of Personality Disorders

In describing people, several words are commonly used and require definition, as do the types of personality disorders most commonly observed. Personality (character) implies the conscious and unconscious ways in which a person more or less consistently interacts with the environment and with other people. Factors considered in assessing character may include interests, attitudes, intellectual… Read More »