Personality disorders are extremely complex mental health illnesses which can lead to difficulties in how a person thinks and feels about themselves and others. Personalities are made up of our thoughts, feelings and values which make each one of us an individual in our own right, but occasionally unwanted patterns of thoughts and behaviours occur which can have a negative effect on the person concerned and those close to them.
There are many personality disorders, but perhaps the most commonly known is ‘borderline personality disorder’. Signs of the disorder can show in different ways, but diagnosis may occur if a medical professional feels the following apply:
Women have been shown to be affected by personality disorder more than men, but the condition can affect any person at any age. As mentioned, there are different types of the disorder, but the symptoms of borderline personality disorder can include;
In terms of mental health conditions, personality disorders are one of the hardest to pinpoint a reason behind the illness. Often, there has been some kind of trauma in a person’s childhood such as neglect from a parent or an abusive or violent upbringing. These can skew a child’s thoughts and beliefs and lead to difficulties whilst a personality is developing in young adulthood. Like many mental health conditions, there is growing research into the effect of genetics and the tendency to develop personality disorders, with early results showing it may well be a contributing factor.
Research has shown that most disorders of this type fall into the following three categories,
Odd or Eccentric - Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal
Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic - Antisocial, or Dissocial, Borderline, or Emotionally Unstable, Histrionic, Narcissistic
Anxious and Fearful - Obsessive-Compulsive (aka Anankastic), Avoidant (aka Anxious/Avoidant), Passive.