Personality Desorders

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates significantly from cultural expectations; is pervasive and inflexible; and has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood. It is stable over time, and leads to distress and impairment. 

Personality traits are consistent ways of relating to and thinking about the environment and oneself, that exist in a wide range of personal and social situations. When personality traits become inflexible and maladaptive and cause significant problems and distress for the person it constitutes a personality disorder.

The DSM IV TR lists ten personality disorders. A person can be diagnosed with more than one disorder. The list of personality disorders include:

1. Paranoid Personality Disorder:  which is characterized by a pattern of distrust and suspiciousness which results in the person interpreting the motives of others as malevolent. A person  with paranoia who exhibits psychotic features such as bizzare beliefs and, hallucinations may be diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic.

2. Schizoid Personality: is a pattern of detachment from social relationships with no interest in and an actual dislike of people; little or no need for a sexual connection and a reduced level of emotional expression.

3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder: is a pattern of discomfort in close relationships; distortions in thinking and perceptiions; and extremly eccentric or odd behavior or beliefs.

4. Antisocial Personality: is the new term for Psychopathic or Sociopathic personality. It is demonstrated by a pattern of disregard of laws and regulations, and the rights of other people, a lack of emotional connectivity, and deficits in the ability to experience empathy. The person has an inability to accept responsibility for his behavior and tends to blame others for his wrongdoings. He has little to no empathy and acts normal to appear normal, but does so without having emotional understanding. People with this disorder can be extremely charasmatic and easily con others. Compulsive lying is also a key feature. Many criminals and some white collar executives have this disorder. Conduct Disorder in childhood must exist before Antisocial Personality Disorder can be diagnosed in adulthood.

5. Borderline Personality Disorder: BPD is a pattern of of problems in relationships, feelings of emptiness, confused self-image, and problems with mood swings which can be rapid and  persistent. These mood swings can be misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder; although the mood swings of Bipolar Disorder are longer lasting than the rather quick mood changes evident in the person with BPD.The person fears abandonment and will do anything to remain connected to another person despite her conflict and desire to be separate. The main emotions are anger or rage. BPD: includes impulsive behaviors with the goal of filling the emptiness the person feels; addictions such as spending, compulsive sexual behavior, overeating, gambling, and drug and alcohol addiction.

6. Histrionic Personality disorder: consists of a pattern of being excessively emotional; being provocative and seductive to both genders, and a strong need for attention. Relationships tend to be superficial, and short lived. This is a fair weather friend.

7. Narcissistic Personality Disorder: is exhibited by a pattern of grandiosity; a desire to associate with the people at the top or only important people, a constant need for attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. This lack of empathy is demonstrated by the person having some Antisocial traits; including placing their self interest above the rights of others and obeying rules and laws only if they are convenient.
8. Avoidant Personality Disorder: Is demonstrated by a person who feels inadequate;  is constantly oversensitive; fears negative evaluation and being made fun of. APD is similar to social phobia where the person avoids situations where they might be criticized. These people are often worried about being around people they do not know, and usually have a restricted number of friends.

9. Dependent Personality Disorder: Is demonstrated by a pattern of submissive and clinging behavior, and a great need to be taken care of. The person is constantly afraid of making a mistake. and doubts their own ability or judgment. Therefore they rely on another person to take care of them and make decisions for them.  This subservience to others can serve the purpose of removing the fear of making a wrong decision; and demonstrates a lack of faith by the person that he can take care of himself.

10. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder: Consists of a pattern of preoccupation with perfection, orderliness, and control. Because of this desire for perfection; the person will miss the forrest because of his focus on one tree. This disorder is characterized by a rigid way of living, an inability to complete projects on time, indecisiveness, reduced emotions, and a robot like approach to life.