Personality Disorder

Personality disorder are a class of maladaptive personality traits, that is, enduring patterns of behavior, cognitions and inner experience that are exhibited across many contexts and deviate markedly from those accepted by the individual's culture. These patterns are inflexible and are associated with significant distress or disability. The definitions may vary some according to other sources.

Personality disorders are included as mental disorders in the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association and in the mental and behavioral disorders section of the ICD manual of the World Health Organization. Personality, defined psychologically, is the set of enduring behavioral and mental traits that distinguish human beings. Hence, personality disorders are defined by experiences and behaviors that differ from societal norms and expectations. Those diagnosed with a personality disorder may experience difficulties in cognition, emotiveness, interpersonal functioning or control of impulses. In general, personality disorders are diagnosed in 40–60 percent of psychiatric patients, making them the most frequent of all psychiatric diagnoses.

These behavioral patterns in personality disorders are typically associated with substantial disturbances in some behavioral tendencies of an individual, usually involving several areas of the personality, and are nearly always associated with considerable personal and social disruption. A person is classified as having a personality disorder if their abnormalities of behavior impair their social or occupational functioning. Additionally, personality disorders are inflexible and pervasive across many situations, due in large part to the fact that such behavior may be ego-syntonic (i.e. the patterns are consistent with the ego integrity of the individual) and are, therefore, perceived to be appropriate by that individual. This behavior can result in maladaptive coping skills, which may lead to personal problems that induce extreme anxiety, distress or depression. These patterns of behavior typically are recognized in adolescence and the beginning of adulthood and, in some unusual instances, childhood.

There are many issues with classifying a personality disorder, is it really a disorder; or just hard to get along with. There are many categories of definition, some mild and some extreme. Because the theory and diagnosis of personality disorders stem from prevailing cultural expectations, their validity is contested by some experts on the basis of invariable subjectivity. They argue that the theory and diagnosis of personality disorders are based strictly on social, or even sociopolitical and economic considerations.

Read more about Personality Disorder:  Classification, Diagnosis, Normal Personality, In Children and Adolescents, Causes, Prevalence, Occupational Functioning, History

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