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An Overview

‘Personality’ is the collection of internal traits or characteristics which are relatively stable and have been developed as an individual grows up. These characteristics together make us different from others and the components of personality include ways of thinking, feeling or behaving. ‘Personality Disorders’ are certain traits or parts of personality that makes it very difficult to live with others and even oneself. There are traits you don’t seem to be able to change for better even knowing that it negatively affects not just but especially the people in our environment.

Types

  • Cluster A 'Odd or Eccentric
  • Cluster B 'Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic'
  • Cluster C 'Anxious and Fearful'

A person can also have features of more than one particular type.

Signs and symptoms

Presence of persistent difficulty in -

  • Making or keeping close relationships
  • Being able to cooperatively work with people at work
  • Getting along with loved ones – friends and family
  • Keeping oneself out of troubles
  • Controlling feelings, emotions and behaviors even after being pointed out repeatedly by others about the inconvenience or discomfort that it elicits in others around you.
  • Listening actively to other people

When these persistent difficulties create frequent feelings of distress, sadness or anger towards others, then there is possibility of presence of some type of personality disorder.

Causes

  • Faulty Upbringing – People with personality disorder are mostly brought up inadequate and difficult environments especially involving abuse by parents (physical, sexual or emotional), severe drinking problems in parents, etc.
  • Childhood behavioral issues- Extreme aggression, frequent temper tantrums and tendency to disobey.
  • Slightly different brain structure and in the way chemicals are released and transmitted.
  • Too much usage of drugs or alcohol
  • Significant continuous interpersonal conflicts
  • Gross financial problems
  • anxiety, depression or other mental health problems
  • highly stressful situations
  • Significant loss, such as death of a loved one in young age

Assessments

Personality disorder is diagnosed based on the behavioral patterns of the person over time in variety of situations. In clinical setting many sources of diagnostic data are generally accessible. Clinical observation, detailed interview with detailed psychiatric and social history are required, also there are projective, semi-projective and certain rating scales used for assistance in diagnostic purposes.

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