Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by enduring patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience that deviate significantly from cultural expectations and cause distress or impairment in functioning. There are several recognized types of personality disorders, each with its own unique features and diagnostic criteria.
Here is a brief overview of the ten personality disorders as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5):
- Paranoid Personality Disorder: Characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspicion of others, interpreting their motives as malevolent.
- Schizoid Personality Disorder: Marked by detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional expression.
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Involves eccentric thoughts, behaviors, and appearance, as well as social and interpersonal deficits.
- Antisocial Personality Disorder: Associated with a disregard for others’ rights, impulsive and irresponsible behavior, and a lack of empathy or remorse.
- Borderline Personality Disorder: Characterized by instability in emotions, self-image, and interpersonal relationships, often accompanied by impulsivity and fear of abandonment.
- Histrionic Personality Disorder: Defined by excessive attention-seeking behavior, exaggerated emotions, and a need for constant reassurance and approval.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Involves an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.
- Avoidant Personality Disorder: Marked by feelings of social inhibition, inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, leading to avoidance of social interactions.
- Dependent Personality Disorder: Characterized by a pervasive reliance on others for decision-making, a fear of abandonment, and difficulty in being alone.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: Involves a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control, often at the expense of flexibility and interpersonal relationships.
It’s important to note that personality disorders are complex and can vary in severity and presentation among individuals. Proper diagnosis and treatment are typically provided by mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, through therapy and, in some cases, medication.
© Linda C J Turner
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