Personality Disorders

Disturbing patterns of behaviour  

Have you ever known someone who could bear a grudge for years, or was highly suspicious of his or her friends? Or how about someone who was prone to aggression and violence and displayed a lack of regard for social norms? If so, it’s possible that you have known someone with a personality disorder.

Personality disorders are characterized by an inability to reconcile one’s behaviour, thoughts and emotions with what is considered socially and culturally acceptable. Personality disorders can cause serious problems in both work and relationships. It is estimated that as many as one in 10 people could be diagnosed with a personality disorder.

Types of personality disorders

Borderline personality disorder, which is characterized by persistent unstable emotions regarding oneself and others. People with borderline personality disorder often exhibit highly impulsive behaviour.

Paranoid personality disorder, which is marked by paranoia and a pervasive distrust of others. People with paranoid personality disorder often suspect their loved ones of having ulterior motives and have difficulty maintaining close relationships.

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a consistent disregard for and violation of the rights of others. Lack of empathy or remorse, deceitfulness and a disregard for social norms are common in people with antisocial personality disorder.

Avoidant personality disorder exhibits as persistent feelings of inadequacy and an avoidance of social interaction. People with avoidant personality disorder are often extremely sensitive about what others think of them and often avoid trying new things, for fear of embarrassment.

Because the types of personality disorders are so diverse, treatment for personality disorders is also varied. Depending on the disorder, various forms of therapy or psychiatric medication may be useful in treatment.

People with personality disorders may not seek treatment until their disorder has resulted in severe problems in their work or personal lives. Treating personality disorders is often challenging, because these disorders affect so many aspects of a person’s functioning.

Personality disorders are very serious and can have a negative effect on many aspects of a person’s life. If you believe that you or someone close to you has a personality disorder, please contact your doctor.