Personality disorders

People with personality disorders may demonstrate a wide range of negative behaviours. They may be irritable, demanding, hostile or manipulative. The behaviours can be mildly disruptive to the person’s home or work life but can also be serious enough to cause great disruption to the person’s family and sometimes to society.

These disorders can affect thought, emotion, interpersonal relationships and impulse control. An example of a diagnosable personality disorder is borderline personality disorder (BPD). Common symptoms of this disorder include unstable patterns of social relationships; bouts of anger, depression and anxiety; and a high sensitivity to rejection and abandonment.

Personality disorders can be the most difficult to treat because they are often unrecognized by the person experiencing them. Many people who have a personality disorder don’t seek help because they are able to live normally in some ways. Individual and group psychotherapy combined with antidepressants and mood stabilizers have shown promise in treating personality disorders.