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Understanding Mental Disorder

Personality Disorders


What are Personality Disorders?

Do you feel that your attitudes and beliefs are often different to those of people around you? Do others find your behaviour unusual or unpredictable? Despite problems caused, do you find it difficult to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviour? Have these problems been around for a while?
If you can strongly relate to some of these, then you may have a personality disorder and should seek advice from a professional. If you have experienced suicidal thoughts, have a history of self-harm or drug abuse, or partake in ‘risky’ behaviours such as excessive gambling or sexual promiscuity, then it is particularly important that you seek help.

An Overview of Personality Disorders

There are currently 10 diagnosable personality disorders, but they can be difficult to distinguish as a person can display characteristics of more than one disorder at any given time. They are organized into three ‘clusters’ that group the disorders based on similar behaviours and emotions:

The DSM-5 includes the following diagnosable personality disorders:
Cluster A – where odd or eccentric behaviours are a core aspect of the disorder.
• Paranoid personality disorder (PPD)
• Schizoid personality disorder

Cluster B – where dramatic, emotional or erratic behaviours are a core aspect of the disorder.
• Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)
• Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
• Histrionic personality disorder
• Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

Cluster C – where anxious and/or fearful behaviours are a core aspect of the disorder.
• Avoidant personality disorder (AvPD)
• Dependent personality disorder (DPD)
• Obsessive compulsive personality disorder

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