Personality Disorders

Personality-disorders are a group of psychiatric conditions in which a person’s long-term (chronic) behaviours/emotions/thoughts are very different from their culture’s expectations and can cause serious problems with relationships/work.

In Europe, it is estimated that around one in every twenty people have a personality-disorder. However, many people have only mild conditions so only need help at times of stress (such as a bereavement)and anxiety. Other people with more moderate conditions may need specialist help for longer periods.

The causes of personality-disorders are unknown however, many genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role.
Symptoms vary widely depending on the type of personality-disorder.

In general, personality-disorders involve feelings/thoughts, and behaviours that do not adapt to a wide range of settings.
These patterns usually begin in adolescence and may lead to problems in social/work situations.

Eccentric Personality-Disorders.
These people often appear strange/peculiar to others.

Paranoid Personality-Disorder.
Individual generally tends to interpret the actions of others as threatening.

Schizoid Personality-Disorder.
Individual generally detached from social relationships and shows a narrow range of emotional expression in various social settings.

Schizotypal Personality-Disorder.
Individual is uncomfortable in close relationships, has thought/perceptual distortions, and peculiarities of behaviour.

Dramatic Personality-Disorders.
These people have intense emotional mood swings and distorted perceptions of themselves and impulsive behaviours.

Antisocial Personality-Disorder.
Individual shows a pervasive disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.

Borderline Personality-Disorder.
Individual shows a generalised pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and observable emotions, and significant impulsiveness.

Histrionic Personality-Disorder.
Individual often displays excessive emotions and are attention seeking in various contexts. He/she tend to over-react to other people, and are often perceived as shallow/self-centred.

Narcissistic Personality-Disorder.
Individuals have a grandiose view of themselves, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood furthermore, these individuals are very demanding in their relationships.

Anxious Personality-Disorders.
These people are often fearful and anxious of one or many things.

Avoidant Personality-Disorder.
Individual is socially inhibited, feels inadequate, and is oversensitive to criticism.

Dependent Personality-Disorder.
Individual shows an extreme need to be taken care of that leads to fears of separation, and passive/clinging behaviour.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality-Disorder (OCD).
Individual is preoccupied with orderliness/perfectionism, and control at the expense of flexibility/openness, and efficiency.
Initially, individuals with these disorders usually do not seek treatment on their own. They tend to seek help once their behaviour has caused severe problems in their relationships/work, or when they are diagnosed with another psychiatric problem.

Although personality-disorders take time to treat, there is increasing evidence that certain forms of talk therapy can help many people.

The outlook varies. Some personality-disorders go away during middle age without any treatment, whereas, others may only improve slowly throughout life, even with treatment.

Personality-disorders are often difficult to treat and may require long-term attention to change the inappropriate behaviour and thought patterns. Most personality-disorders can be successfully treated with a course of psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), this form of therapy has helped countless of people.

Most people recover from personality-disorders with time and proper treatment with a competent therapist nevertheless, this depends on the severity of the disorder and whether there are other ongoing problems such as, stress//anxiety.

It is important to get the right therapy.

© 2012 – 2015, Content: Dr Vasilios Silivistris – Artwork: Ian Francis. All rights reserved.