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.

 


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Last Reviewed: 19/08/2020

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