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Personality Disorders

     A personality disorder is a long-standing, pervasive, rigid pattern of thought, feeling and behaviour that interferes with functioning and causes unhappiness for the person suffering and often the people around them.

a) Paranoid Personality Disorder: This personality disorder is marked by a suspicion of people in almost all situations, with no reason. They feel that everyone is against them and are constantly scanning the environment for proof of their suspicions. This suspicion has drastic effects on emotional adjustment and interferes with relationships.

b) Schizotypal Personality Disorder: In schizotypal personality disorder, a persons speech, behaviour, thinking and/or perceptions are disturbed in an odd way, but not disturbed enough to be diagnosed as schizophrenic.

c) Schizoid Personality Disorder: This disorder involves a severely restricted range of emotions that is most associated with a social detachment. A person with this disorder has little or no interest in relationships and are distant from their families, rarely marry, and have no close friends. In some cases the ability to experience positive emotions at all is restricted. They are totally absorbed with themselves.

d) Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline personality disorder is characterized by an unstable sense of self, a needy dependency on relationships with others in order to achieve a sense of identity, distrust of other people, a suspicion of people and an expectancy that they will be abandoned or victimized, an ambivalence towards people, impulsive and self-destructive behaviour, unpredictability in actions, self-destructive behaviour, manipulative behaviours, and difficulty in controlling anger and other emotions, often existing in a state of perpetual grief and anger.

e) Histrionic Personality Disorder: The main feature of this disorder is self-dramatization - an exaggerated display of emotion. These emotional outbursts are manipulative and are aimed at attracting attention and sympathy. Due to this excessive drama, their interpersonal relationships are fragile.

f) Narcissistic Personality Disorder: This disorder is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, which is often combined with periods of feelings of insecurity and inferiority. They brag of their achievements and predict great successes for themselves in their future, and expect the attention and adoration that would be given someone as gifted as they think they are. This self-love, however, is accompanied by a fragile self-esteem, which causes the individual to constantly check how he or she is regarded by others and to react to criticism with rage and despair. These people are poorly equipped for relationships with others, as they demand a great deal from others and give little in return, showing a lack of empathy. As well, they choose their friends based on what they can get from them.

g) Avoidant Personality Disorder: This disorder is marked by social withdrawal. This withdrawal is due to a fear of rejection. The person is hypersensitive to any possibility of rejection, humiliation or shame. They want to be loved and accepted, but they think that they will not, therefore causing then to avoid relationships unless they are constantly reassured of the others affection. They have low self-esteem and are depressed.

h) Dependent Personality Disorder: This disorder involves a dependence on others. These people are fearful and incapable of making decisions on their own. Underneath this dependency exists a fear of abandonment.

i) Obsessive compulsive personality disorder: The defining characteristics of this disorder are excessive preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control. They are very interested in efficiency - organizing, following rules, and making lists and schedules. They become so obsessed with this that they cease to be efficient, as they never get anything really important done. They are generally stiff and formal in their dealings with others, and they cannot really take any genuine pleasure in anything. Often obsessive compulsive personalities tend to be workaholics.


Related Links

Abnormal Psychology
Emotional & Behavioural Disorders
     Anxiety Disorders
     Dissociative & Somatoform Disorders
     Psychological Stress & Physical Disorders
     Mood Disorders
     Substance Use Disorders
     Sexual Dysfunction's, Paraphilias & Gender Identity Disorders
Psychotic and Neuropsychological Disorders
     Schizophrenia
     Acquired Brain Disorders
     Disorders of Childhood & Adolescence
     Mental Retardation & Autism
     Antisocial & Violent Behaviour