What is a personality disorder?

A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder that involves fixed, maladaptive behavior and thought patterns. Because of their rigid and enduring nature, those with a personality disorder may experience severe impairments of daily functioning and have difficulty following cultural norms. This is due to the person’s inflexibility of their debilitating behavior and thought patterns across all situations.

How is a personality disorder diagnosed?

Personality disorder diagnosis usually takes place in early adulthood (20-30  years old). A personality disorder is diagnosed when a behavioral or thought pattern is having a negative impact on personal, social or work life and/or is causing significant distress.

What is an example of a type of personality disorder and its symptoms?
An example of a type of personality disorder is antisocial personality disorder. An individual with this type of disorder lacks empathy for others, displays aggressiveness, and has an inflated sense of self-appraisal, among other characteristic signs. This may have a strong impact on the ability to form healthy, close connections with others on both a personal and professional level.
How can personality disorders be treated?
Personality disorders are difficult to “cure” completely due to their strong ties to an individual’s personality. Treatment will differ depending on the type of personality disorder. Generally speaking, psychotherapy can help make affected individuals more aware of their disorder and help them improve upon areas of their lives that are being negatively impacted.
View  personality disorder resources in UB’s Wellness Directory.
If you would like to seek counseling with a UB therapist, contact UB.
Grohol, J. (2013). Personality Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/personality/
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