What are characteristics of a personality disorder
Overview of personality disorders
It is estimated that internationally, eleven percent of people suffer from a personality disorder. There is no final agreement on the definition of personality disorders in the international research landscape. For general information on what is a personality disorder, see Personality Disorders: What is it?
Official classifications that classify personality disorders provide orientation. In Austria, the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases) and other international diagnostic schemes (e.g. DSM-V) provide guidance. At DSM-V, the disease value tends to be in the background. However, ICD-10 is in the foreground in Austria as the official so-called coding of diseases for diagnosis. DSM-V helps, for example, to divide personality disorders into three so-called clusters:
In cluster A personality disorders are summarized, which are mainly noticeable through strange, eccentric behavior. These include paranoid, schizoid and schizotypic personality disorders.
In cluster B there are personality disorders that are defined by very emotional, dramatic or mood-changing behavior. These include the antisocial (dissocial), the histrionic, the narcissistic and the emotionally unstable personality disorder.
Cluster C includes personality disorders that are characterized by anxiety and fear or obsession: the avoidant-self-insecure, the dependent and the obsessive-compulsive (as well as passive-aggressive) personality disorder.
The following list of the most important personality disorders can help those affected and their relatives to pay attention to their own or those of others and to facilitate the way to professional help.
|Cluster||Personality disorder||Examples of features|
|A.||paranoid personality disorder|
|A.||schizoid personality disorder (not to be confused with schizophrenia)|
|A.||schizotypal personality disorder (not to be confused with schizophrenia)|
|B.||emotionally unstable personality disorder (impulsive type)|
emotionally unstable personality disorder(Borderline type)
|B.||narcissistic personality disorder|
|B.||histrionic personality disorder|
|B.||dissocial (antisocial) personality disorder|
|C.||anxious avoidant personality disorder|
|C.||Compulsive (anankastic) personality disorder|
|C.||dependent (asthenic, dependent) personality disorder|
|C.||passive-aggressive personality disorder|
There are also so-called combined personality disorders. People with a personality disorder find it difficult to express their opinions and feelings. In many cases they have made the experience that they are usually not perceived or valued in a mostly open manner. In order to achieve goals in the interpersonal area (e.g. recognition, love), they often behave strangely and influence - unnoticed by the other person - their reactions. These behaviors mostly emerged in the course of life and, after closer inspection, often have a tangible breeding ground (e.g. problematic relationship experiences). However, many people with a personality disorder manage to avoid being conspicuous as much as possible. Nevertheless, there can be great inner suffering. Sometimes, however, the pressure of suffering also prevails in the environment.
Personality disorders relate to certain, formative and in the foreground personality traits of people. Since they relate to a person's character, they cannot be compared 1: 1 with other diseases. Because people with personality disorders still have many - e.g. also positive - other characteristics of their personality than those that define these disorders. Thus, a whole person cannot and should not be “categorized”. However, the assignments facilitate diagnostic and therapeutic steps. Personality disorders can also change over the course of life.
NotePeople with personality disorders can have an increased risk of suicide. If a victim speaks of suicide, this must always be taken seriously and a doctor should be consulted immediately. Under no circumstances should the person concerned be left alone in this situation. For more information, see Do you know someone who had thoughts of suicide?
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