Personality Disorders: What are they?
Dr Matthew Cullen, Psychiatrist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney
There are around a dozen different types of personality disorders that are described. And each of them have very subtle differences, and some of them quite major differences.
The Types of Disorders
There’s obsessive personality disorders, there are avoidant personality disorders, there’s borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, and sociopathic. All of them have different manifestations, and all of them have different degrees of disturbance, and all of them have, at its core, three or four areas of dysfunction.
What problems do people with personality disorders have?
The first is dysfunction in close interpersonal relationships. The second is dysfunction in your occupational relationships. And the third is within yourself, a feeling of, in various degrees, a lack of confidence or adequacy in the way you conduct yourself in your external world. What each of the personality disorders does is manifest those three or four core elements in different ways, depending on the type of disorder that that person has.
How to get help
If you are in immediate danger, call triple zero ‘000’.
Important national numbers for help
- Emergency 24/7 – 000
- 1800 RESPECT 24/7 – 1800 737 732
- Kids Help Line 24/7 – 1800 551 800
- Sexual Assault Counselling Aust – 1800 211 028
- Men’s Line – 1300 789 978
- Men’s Referral Service 24/7 – 1300 766 491
- TIS – need an interpreter? – 131 450