Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are pervasive chronic psychological disorders, which can negatively affect a person’s life in many ways including one’s work, one’s family, and one’s social life. While most people can live pretty normal lives with mild personality disorders (or more simply, personality traits), during times of increased stress, the symptoms of the personality disorder will gain strength and begin to seriously interfere with their emotional and psychological functioning. Those with a personality disorder possess several distinct psychological features including disturbances in their ability to have successful relationships; inappropriate emotions, disturbances in ways of perceiving themselves, others, and the world; and difficulties with impulse control. These symptoms come together to create a pervasive pattern of behavior and inner experience that is quite different from the norm and that often tend to be expressed in behaviors that appear more dramatic than what society considers usual. There are ten different types of personality disorders that exist, which all have various emphases. Successful treatment typically focuses on increasing one’s coping mechanisms and interpersonal skills.