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Personality disorder Personality disorders are a class of personality types and enduring behaviors associated with significant distress

or disability, which appear to deviate from social expectations particularly in relating to others. Personality disorders are included as mental disorders on Axis II of the Diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, and in the mental and behavioral disorders section of the ICD manual of the World Health Organization. Personality, defined psychologically, is the enduring behavioral and mental traits that distinguish human beings. Hence, personality disorders are defined by experiences and behaviors that differ from societal norms and expectations. Those diagnosed with a personality disorder may experience difficulties in cognition, emotiveness, interpersonal functioning or control of impulses. In general, personality disorders are diagnosed in 40-60 percent of psychiatric patients, which is the most frequent of all psychiatric diagnoses. These behavioral patterns in personality disorders are typically associated with substantial disturbances in some behavioral tendencies of an individual, usually involving several areas of the personality, and are nearly always associated with considerable personal and social disruption. Additionally, personality disorders are inflexible and pervasive across many situations, due in large part to the fact that such behavior may be ego-syntonic (i.e. the patterns are consistent with the ego integrity of the individual) and are, therefore, perceived to be appropriate by that individual. This behavior can result in maladaptive coping skills, which may lead to personal problems that induce extreme anxiety, distress or depression. The onset of these patterns of behavior can typically be traced back to early adolescence and the beginning of adulthood and, in some instances, childhood. Because the theory and diagnosis of personality disorders stem from prevailing cultural expectations, their validity is contested by some experts on the basis of invariable subjectivity. They argue that the theory and diagnosis of personality

disorders are based strictly on social, or even sociopolitical and economic considerations. History Personality disorder is a term with a distinctly modern meaning, owing in part to its clinical usage and the institutional character of modern psychiatry. The currently accepted meaning must be understood in the context of historical changing classification systems such as DSM-IV and its predecessors. Although highly anachronistic, and ignoring radical differences in the character of subjectivity and social relations, some have suggested similarities to other concepts going back to at least the ancient Greeks. For example, the Greek philosopher Theophrastus described 29 'character' types that he saw as deviations from the norm, and similar views have been found in Asian, Arabic and Celtic cultures. A long-standing influence in the Western world was Galen's concept of personality types which he linked to the four humours proposed by Hippocrates. Such views lasted into the 18th century, when experiments began to question the supposed biologically-based humours and 'temperaments'. Psychological concepts of character and 'self' became widespread. In the 19th century, 'personality' referred to a person's conscious awareness of their behavior, a disorder of which could be linked to altered states such as dissociation. This sense of the term has been compared to the use of the term 'multiple personality disorder' in the first versions of the DSM. Physicians in the early 19th century started to diagnose forms of insanity that involved disturbed emotions and behaviors but seemingly without significant intellectual impairment or delusions or hallucinations. Philippe Pinel referred to this as 'manie sans délire' - insanity without delusion - and described a number of cases mainly involving excessive or inexplicable anger or rage. James Cowles Prichard advanced a similar concept he called moral insanity, which would be

Separately. with a pessimism about medical intervention so that social control should take precedence. while also being developed by some into a more specific meaning of moral degeneracy akin to later ideas about 'psychopaths'. Kraepelin also described three paranoid (meaning then delusional) disorders.used to diagnose patients for some decades. resembling later concepts of schizophrenia.excitable. as well as homosexuality. as psychiatric issues. These categories were much different and broader than later definitions of personality disorder. suggesting in 1891 the phrase 'psychopathic inferiority'. Richard von Krafft-Ebing popularized the terms sadism and masochism. The categories were essentially defined by the most disordered criminal offenders observed. supposedly without a moral judgement. Described as deeply rooted in his Christian faith. professional criminals. A diagnostic term for the latter concept would be included in the DSM from 1952. interpretations of earlier (1921) theories of . The German psychiatrist Koch sought to make the moral insanity concept more scientific. liar. unstable. and from 1980 the DSM would also include schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders. his work has been described as a fundamental text on personality disorders that is still of use today. and morbid vagabonds who wandered through life. 'Moral' in this sense referred to affect (emotion or mood) rather than necessarily ethics. social and moral beliefs. another German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin included a chapter on psychopathic inferiority in his influential work on clinical psychiatry for students and physicians. distinguished between criminals by impulse. 20th century In the early 20th century. delusional disorder and paranoid personality disorder. swindler and quarrelsome. but it was arguably based in part on religious. This referred to continual and rigid patterns of misconduct or dysfunction in the absence of apparent mental retardation or illness. He suggested six types . theorized to be a congenital disorder. eccentric.

which would later be referenced as a personality disorder in the DSM. Meanwhile. then a hysterical personality. based on his personal categorization of similarities he noted in some prisoners. A passive aggressive style was defined clinically by Colonel William Menninger during World War II in the context of men's reactions to military compliance. including dependent. marked the start of the modern clinical conception of psychopathy and its popularist usage.Ernst Kretschmer led to a distinction between these and another type later included in the DSM. Gordon Allport was publishing theories of personality traits from the 1920s. obsessive-compulsive and histrionic. Psychiatrist David Henderson published in 1939 a theory of 'psychopathic states' which ended up contributing to the term becoming popularly linked to anti-social behavior. The Mask of Sanity. then renamed histrionic personality disorder in later versions of the DSM. a more general personality psychology had been developing in academia and to some extent clinically. This included the concept of 'character disorders'. and Henry Murray advanced a theory called 'personology' which influenced a later key advocate of personality disorders. the latter starting off as a conversion symptom of hysteria particularly associated with women. The term 'borderline' stems from a belief that some individuals were functioning on the edge of those two categories. Towards the mid 20th century.Otto Kernberg was influential with regard to the concepts of the borderline and narcissistic personalities which were later incorporated as disorders into the DSM in 1980. psychoanalytic theories were coming to the fore based on work from the turn of the century being popularized by Sigmund Freud and others. and a number of the other personality disorder categories were also heavily influenced by this approach. These were typically understood as weaknesses of character or willful deviance. . and were distingished from neurosis or psychosis. which were seen as enduring problems linked not to specific symptoms but to pervasive internal conflicts or derailments of normal childhood development. Cleckley’s 1941 text. avoidant personality disorder. Hervey M.

though a proposed 'depressive personality disorder' was added. notably putting all personality disorders onto a second separate 'axis' along with mental retardation. self-defeating personality disorder and sadistic personality disorder were included as provisional diagnoses requiring further study. Tests were developing or being applied for personality evaluation. though the terms and descriptions had only a slight resemblance to current definitions. 'temperament' or 'constitution'. and psychiatrist Kurt Schneider was popularising a clinical use in place of the previously more usual terms 'character'. International differences have been noted in how attitudes have developed towards the diagnosis of personality disorder. They were dropped in the DSM-IV. the official diagnosis of passive-aggressive personality disorder was dropped. which relied heavily on psychoanalytic concepts. Kurt Schneider had argued that they were simply 'abnormal varieties of psychic life' and therefore not necessarily the domain of psychiatry. as well as questionnaires such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Around mid-century. Most categories were given more specific 'operationalized' definitions. American psychiatrists officially recognised concepts of enduring personality disturbances in the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the 1950s. which had been the term for psychopathy.Theodore Millon. intended to signify more enduring patterns. was renamed Antisocial Personality Disorder. tentatively renamed 'negativistic personality disorder. and others were unpacked into more types. with standard criteria that psychiatrists could agree on in order to conduct research and diagnose patients. Somewhat more neutral language was employed in the DSM-II in 1968. Hans Eysenck was analysing traits and personality types. . a view said to still have influence in Germany today. or changed from being personality disorders to regular disorders. including projective tests such as the Rorshach. in addition. Sociopathic Personality Disorder. distinct from what were considered axis one mental disorders. 'Inadequate' and 'asthenic' personality disorder' categories were deleted. In the DSM-III revision. The DSM-III published in 1980 made some major changes.

which has been attributed partly to resource pressures within the National Health Service. especially if they feel righteously indignant. and cluster C. In the US.British psychiatrists have also been reluctant to address such disorders or consider them on a par with other mental disorders. as well as to negative medical attitudes towards behaviors associated with personality disorders. This behavior often leads to rejection by others. They are generally cold and distant in their relationships. Based on little or no evidence. the prevailing healthcare system and psychanalytic tradition has been said to provide a rationale for private therapists to diagnose some personality disorders more broadly and provide ongoing treatment for them. cluster B. They are unable to see their own role in a conflict. . anxious or inhibited behavior. Cluster A personality disorders involve odd or eccentric behavior. As mentioned previously. they suspect that others are out to harm them and usually find hostile or malicious motives behind other people's actions. Cluster A: Odd or Eccentric Behavior Paranoid Personality: People with a paranoid personality are distrustful and suspicious of others. People with a paranoid personality often take legal action against others. people with a paranoid personality may take actions that they feel are justifiable retaliation but that others find baffling. They usually work in relative isolation and may be highly efficient and conscientious. Thus. which seems to justify their original feelings. personality disorders are grouped into three clusters. Types of Personality Disorders Here are the different types of personality disorders along with the characteristics of each type of personality disorder. dramatic or erratic behavior.

perceiving. Fantasizing is a common coping (defense) mechanism. like those with a schizoid personality. is not evidence of a paranoid personality unless it involves wrongly attributing malice to others. people may believe that they can harm others by thinking angry thoughts. are socially and emotionally detached. Schizoid Personality: People with a schizoid personality are introverted. and communicating similar to those of people with schizophrenia (see Schizophrenia and Delusional Disorder: Schizophrenia). they believe that their thoughts or actions can control something or someone. They talk little. For example. They are most often absorbed with their own thoughts and feelings and are fearful of closeness and intimacy with others. and solitary. most adults with a schizotypal personality do not develop schizophrenia. . People with a schizotypal personality may also have paranoid ideas. In addition. Although schizotypal personality is sometimes present in people with schizophrenia before they become ill. Some people with a schizotypal personality show signs of magical thinking that is. They are emotionally cold and socially distant. withdrawn. however. and prefer theoretical speculation to practical action. they display oddities of thinking. Schizotypal Personality: People with a schizotypal personality.Sometimes people who already feel alienated because of a defect or handicap (such as deafness) are more likely to suspect that other people have negative ideas or attitudes toward them. are given to daydreaming. Such heightened suspicion.

defeat. childish. a need for admiration. . and are overly concerned with appearance. or criticism. Some people with a histrionic personality also are hypochondriacal and exaggerate their physical problems to get the attention they need Narcissistic Personality: People with a narcissistic personality have a sense of superiority. they may not really want a sexual relationship. They may be extremely sensitive to failure. they expect to be admired and often suspect that others envy them. However. who view them as being self-centered. Their lively. and contrived to evoke sympathy or attention (often erotic or sexual) from others. Their expression of emotions often seems exaggerated. When confronted by a failure to fulfill their high opinion of themselves. or selfish. expressive manner results in easily established but often superficial and transient relationships.Cluster B: Dramatic or Erratic Behavior Histrionic (Hysterical) Personality: People with a histrionic personality conspicuously seek attention. People with a histrionic personality are prone to sexually provocative behavior or to sexualizing nonsexual relationships. Because they believe themselves to be superior in their relationships with other people. which is what therapists call grandiosity. although it may also occur in people with few achievements. rather. their seductive behavior often masks their wish to be dependent and protected. they can easily become enraged or severely depressed. whose needs or beliefs they deem to be less important. This personality disorder typically occurs in high achievers. arrogant. so they exploit others. They have an exaggerated belief in their own value or importance. are dramatic and excessively emotional. Their behavior is usually offensive to others. They believe they are entitled to having their needs met without waiting. and a lack of empathy.

They tolerate frustration poorly. . Characteristically. most of whom are male. They often have a family history of antisocial behavior. People with an antisocial personality have a shorter life expectancy than the general population. many were emotionally neglected and physically abused. they glibly rationalize their behavior or blame it on others. self-destructive behavior. Often they do not anticipate the negative consequences of their antisocial behaviors and. do not feel remorse or guilt. substance abuse. They exploit others for material gain or personal gratification (unlike narcissistic people. hypochondriasis. drug addiction. show callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others. despite the problems or harm they cause others. Frustration and punishment do not motivate them to modify their behaviors or improve their judgment and foresight but. reckless sexual behavior. divorce. and clashes with society's values. sexual deviation. rather. and physical abuse. Dishonesty and deceit permeate their relationships. As children. and imprisonment. They are likely to fail at their jobs and move from one area to another. promiscuity. Consequences of Personality Disorders • People with a personality disorder are at high risk of behaviors that can lead to physical illness (such as alcohol or drug addiction). people with an antisocial personality act out their conflicts impulsively and irresponsibly. who exploit others because they think their superiority justifies it). Rather. People with an antisocial personality are prone to alcoholism.Antisocial Personality: People with an antisocial personality (previously called psychopathic or sociopathic personality). usually confirm their harshly unsentimental view of the world. The disorder tends to diminish or stabilize with age. and sometimes they are hostile or violent.

distrust. abusive. • They may develop a mental health disorder. When they fear being abandoned by a caring person. or irresponsible styles of parenting. are unstable in their self-image. moods. leading to medical and psychiatric problems in their children. more impulsive. Borderline Personality: People with a borderline personality. and more confused about their identity than are people with a histrionic personality. overemotional. detached. most of whom are women. The doctor may then start to blame. anxiety. Their thought processes are more disturbed than those of people with an antisocial personality.• They may have inconsistent. they tend to express inappropriate and intense anger. Borderline personality becomes evident in early adulthood but becomes less common in older age groups. they are usually less responsive to drugs than most people are. they feel empty. • They are less likely to follow a prescribed treatment regimen. Consequently. angry. • They often have a poor relationship with their doctor because they refuse to take responsibility for their behavior or they feel overly distrustful. or psychosis) depends in part on the type of personality disorder. or needy. People with a borderline personality often report being neglected or abused as children. and ultimately reject the person. even when they follow the regimen. They have far more dramatic and intense interpersonal relationships than people with cluster A personality disorders. behavior. and interpersonal relationships. deserving. People with a . depression. the type (for example. and their aggression is more often turned against the self. They are angrier. and deserving of nurturing. • They are vulnerable to mental breakdowns (a period of crisis when a person has difficulty performing even routine mental tasks) as a result of stress.

they do not respond to rejection with anger. after repeated crises. and they fear starting relationships or anything new. or self-mutilation. instead. Unlike those with a schizoid personality. but never neutral. vague unfounded complaints. they may wonder whether they actually exist (that is.borderline personality tend to see events and relationships as black or white. substance abuse. they withdraw and appear shy and timid. good or evil. People with a borderline personality commonly visit primary care doctors. Borderline personality is also the most common personality disorder treated by therapists. They have a strong desire for affection and acceptance but avoid intimate relationships and social situations for fear of disappointment and criticism. and failures to comply with therapeutic recommendations. caretakers including doctors often become very frustrated with them and view them erroneously as people who prefer complaining to helping themselves. Cluster C: Anxious or Inhibited Behavior Avoidant Personality: People with an avoidant personality are overly sensitive to rejection. because people with the disorder relentlessly seek someone to care for them. they do not feel real). paranoia. Avoidant personality is similar to generalized social phobia . and hallucinations. When people with a borderline personality feel abandoned and alone. At times they are so out of touch with reality that they have brief episodes of psychotic thinking. they are openly distressed by their isolation and inability to relate comfortably to others. However. engaging in reckless promiscuity . They can become desperately impulsive. Unlike those with a borderline personality.

perfectionism. and methodical. They are uncomfortable with their feelings. their responsibilities make them so anxious that they can rarely enjoy their successes. They lack self-confidence and feel intensely insecure about their ability to take care of themselves. unwanted obsessions and ritualistic behavior. Because they are cautious and weigh all aspects of a problem. dependable. and with situations in which they lack control or must rely on others or in which events are unpredictable. This behavior is due partly to a reluctance to express their views for fear of offending the people they need and partly to a belief that others are more capable. They take their responsibilities seriously. they often have trouble completing tasks.Dependent Personality: People with a dependent personality routinely surrender major decisions and responsibilities to others and permit the needs of those they depend on to supersede their own. Unlike the mental health disorder called obsessive-compulsive disorder. obsessive-compulsive personality does not involve repeated. People with an obsessive-compulsive personality are often high achievers. Sometimes adults with a prolonged illness or physical handicap develop a dependent personality. but the dependent traits are usually hidden by the more dominant traits of the other disorder. They often protest that they cannot make decisions and do not know what to do or how to do it. They are reliable. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality: People with an obsessive-compulsive personality are preoccupied with orderliness. but because they cannot tolerate mistakes or imperfection. and control. with relationships. People with other personality disorders often have traits of a dependent personality. but their inflexibility makes them unable to adapt to change. they have difficulty making decisions. especially in the sciences and other intellectually demanding fields that require order and attention to detail. . However. orderly.

and selfconsciousness. Each mood lasts weeks or longer. Cyclothymic Personality: People with cyclothymic personality alternate between high-spirited buoyancy and gloomy pessimism. Frequently. which impairs their initiative and disheartens others. To them. they agree to perform tasks they do not want to perform and then subtly undermine completion of the tasks. Mood changes occur regularly and without any identifiable external cause. Passive-Aggressive (Negativistic) Personality: People with a passive-aggressive personality behave in ways that appear inept or passive. or claim an implausible disability. these behaviors are actually ways to avoid responsibility or to control or punish others. However. . satisfaction seems undeserved and sinful. Many gifted and creative people have this personality type (Depression and Mania: Symptoms and Diagnosis). worry. Such behavior usually enables them to deny or conceal hostility or disagreements. They may unconsciously believe their suffering is a badge of merit needed to earn the love or admiration of others. People have a pessimistic outlook. People with a passive-aggressive personality often procrastinate.Other Personality Types Some personality types are not classified as disorders. Depressive Personality: This personality type is characterized by chronic moroseness. perform tasks inefficiently.

Symptoms General symptoms of a personality disorder Personality disorder symptoms include: • • • • • • • • • Frequent mood swings Stormy relationships Social isolation Angry outbursts Suspicion and mistrust of others Difficulty making friends A need for instant gratification Poor impulse control Alcohol or substance abuse Specific types of personality disorders The specific types of personality disorders are grouped into three clusters based on similar characteristics and symptoms. Cluster A personality disorders These are personality disorders characterized by odd. Many people with one diagnosed personality disorder also have signs and symptoms of at least one additional personality disorder. eccentric thinking or behavior and include: Paranoid personality disorder • • • • Distrust and suspicion of others Believing that others are trying to harm you Emotional detachment Hostility .

thinking. often violent behavior Disregard for the safety of self or others . overly emotional thinking or behavior and include: Antisocial (formerly called sociopathic) personality disorder • • • • • • Disregard for others Persistent lying or stealing Recurring difficulties with the law Repeatedly violating the rights of others Aggressive. beliefs or behavior Perceptual alterations. such as those affecting touch Discomfort in close relationships Flat emotions or inappropriate emotional responses Indifference to others "Magical thinking" — believing you can influence people and events with your thoughts Believing that messages are hidden for you in public speeches or displays • Cluster B personality disorders These are personality disorders characterized by dramatic.Schizoid personality disorder • • • • Lack of interest in social relationships Limited range of emotional expression Inability to pick up normal social cues Appearing dull or indifferent to others Schizotypal personality disorder • • • • • • Peculiar dress.

fearful thinking or behavior and include: Avoidant personality disorder • • Hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection Feeling inadequate .Borderline personality disorder • • • • • Impulsive and risky behavior Volatile relationships Unstable mood Suicidal behavior Fear of being alone Histrionic personality disorder • • • • • Constantly seeking attention Excessively emotional Extreme sensitivity to others' approval Unstable mood Excessive concern with physical appearance Narcissistic personality disorder Believing that you're better than others • • • • Fantasizing about power. success and attractiveness Exaggerating your achievements or talents Expecting constant praise and admiration Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings Cluster C personality disorders These are personality disorders characterized by anxious.

perceiving and interpreting the self.• • • Social isolation Extreme shyness in social situations Timidity Dependent personality disorder • • • • • Excessive dependence on others Submissiveness toward others A desire to be taken care of Tolerance of poor or abusive treatment Urgent need to start a new relationship when one has ended Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder • • • • • Preoccupation with orderliness and rules Extreme perfectionism Desire to be in control of situations Inability to discard broken or worthless objects Inflexibility Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder isn't the same as obsessivecompulsive disorder. a type of anxiety disorder. This requires that there be (to paraphrase): • An enduring pattern of psychological experience and behavior that differs prominently from cultural expectations. as shown in two or more of: cognition (i. . other people or events). or impulse control. interpersonal functioning. affect.e. Diagnosis The DSM-IV lists General diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder. which must be met in addition to the specific criteria for a particular named personality disorder.

involving usually several areas of functioning. affectivity.g. have started as early as at least adolescence or early adulthood. The pattern must not be better accounted for as a manifestation of another mental disorder. and not limited to episodes of mental illness. associated with significant problems in occupational and social performance.' In clinical practice. or to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e. individuals are generally diagnosed by an interview with a psychiatrist based on a mental status examination. the abnormal behaviour pattern is pervasive and clearly maladaptive to a broad range of personal and social situations. head trauma).g. but not invariably. of long standing. To quote: • markedly disharmonious attitudes and behaviour. rules and obligations. and lead to clinically significant distress or impairment in important areas of functioning. arousal. the above manifestations always appear during childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood. • the abnormal behaviour pattern is enduring.• The pattern must appear inflexible and pervasive across a wide range of situations. impulse control. drug or medication) or a general medical condition (e. • • • • The ICD adds that 'For different cultures it may be necessary to develop specific sets of criteria with regard to social norms. • The pattern must be stable and long-lasting. ways of perceiving and thinking. e.g. • The ICD-10 'clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines' introduces its specific personality disorder diagnoses with some general guideline criteria that are similar. the disorder is usually. the disorder leads to considerable personal distress but this may only become apparent late in its course. which may take into account . and style of relating to others.

and they may vary depending on the disorder and the individual and their circumstances. and bulimia nervosa as well as substance abusers. One tool of diagnosing personality disorders. Causes There are numerous possible causes of mental disorders. and sex offenders.observations by relatives and others. is a process involving interviews with scoring systems. There may be genetic dispositions as well as particular life experiences. The personality disorders classification follow categorical approach whereas the trait personality approach follows the dimensional approach. and depending on their answers. He discussed the constraints of the categorical approach and argued for the dimensional approach to the personality disorders. examined the relationship between childhood experiences of sexual and physical abuse and currently . narcissism. psychopaths. averaging almost 30 years of age and who were not drawn from a clinical sample. A study of almost 600 male college students. The Five Factor Model of personality has been proposed as an alternative to the classification of personality disorders. Normal personality and personality disorders The issue of the relationship between normal personality and personality disorders is one of the important issues in personality and clinical psychology. including patients with borderline personality disorder. which may or may not include particular incidents of trauma or abuse. The patient is asked to answer questions in a questionnaire. Many studies across cultures have explored the relationship between personality disorders and the Five Factor Model This talks about Five-factor translations of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV personality disorders and expounds relevance of the FFM to a variety of patient populations. Thomas Widiger has contributed to this debate significantly. the trained interviewer tries to code what their responses were. This process is fairly time consuming.

obsessive-compulsive or paranoid personality disorders in adulthood. In the following study. efforts were taken to match retrospective reports of abuse with a clinical population that had demonstrated psychopathology from childhood to adulthood who were later found to have experienced abuse and neglect. The sexually abused group demonstrated the most consistently elevated patterns of psychopathology. A screening survey across 13 countries by the World Health Organization using DSM-IV criteria. narcissistic. researchers asked mothers if they had screamed at their children. Children who had experienced such verbal abuse were three times as likely as other children (who didn't experience such verbal abuse) to have borderline. Prevalence The prevalence of personality disorder in the general community was largely unknown until surveys starting from the 1990s. is described as a major public health concern requiring attention by researchers and clinicians. especially as associated with high use of services. and told them that they didn’t love them or threatened to send them away. in symptomatology variance spread over Cluster A. In 2008 the median rate of diagnosable PD was estimated at 10. but clinically negligible. cases of abuse of the neglectful type that created childhood pathology were found to be subject to partial remission in adulthood. Child abuse and neglect consistently evidence themselves as antecedent risks to the development of personality disorders in adulthood. reported in 2009 a prevalence estimate of around 6% for . Childhood abuse histories were found to be definitively associated with greater levels of symptomatology. B and C scales. Officially verified physical abuse showed an extremely strong correlation with the development of antisocial and impulsive behavior. On the other hand. In a study of 793 mothers and children. This rate of around one in ten. based on six major studies across three nations. Severity of abuse was found to be statistically significant.reported personality disorder symptoms.6%.

• Psychological-education may be used as an addition. Functional disability associated with the diagnoses appeared to be largely due to co-occurring mental disorders (Axis I in the DSM). screening data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication between 2001 and 2003. including couples therapy. . reported in 2010 that the majority of people show some personality difficulties in one way or another (short of threshold for diagnosis). The rate sometimes varied with demographic and socioeconomic factors.3%. while the prevalence of the most complex and severe cases (including meeting criteria for multiple diagnoses in different clusters) was estimated at 1. combined with interviews of a subset of respondents. A UK national epidemiological study based on DSM-IV screening criteria reclassified in to levels of severity rather than just diagnosis. but the most severely in need of services was a much smaller group. Interventions Specific approaches There are several different forms (modalities) of treatment used for personality disorders: • Individual psychotherapy has been a mainstay of treatment. • Family therapy. indicated a population prevalence of around 9% for personality disorders in total. Even low levels of personality symptoms were associated with functional problems. There are longterm and short-term (brief) forms. • Group therapy for personality dysfunction is probably the second most used. and functional impairment was partly explained by cooccurring mental disorders..personality disorders. In the US.

g. and the match between the two (e. There is also often a focus on common themes that seem to be beneficial regardless of techniques. trustworthiness. competence. many therapists use an 'electic' approach. for example. has a history of use in treating personality disorders. There are different specific theories or schools of therapy within many of these modalities. In clinical practice.• Self-help groups may provide resources for personality disorders. emphasize psychodynamic techniques. processes afforded to the client (e.g. including attributes of the therapist (e. or cognitive or behavioral techniques. • Milieu therapy.g. trust and boundaries). taking elements of different schools as and when they seem to fit to an individual client. a kind of group-based residential approach. • Psychiatric medications for treating symptoms of personality dysfunction or cooccurring conditions. They may. ability to express and confide difficulties and emotions). . caring). aiming for mutual respect. including therapeutic communities.