Understanding Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are deeply ingrained ways of thinking and behaving that are inflexible and generally lead to impaired relationships with others. Mental health professionals formally recognize 10 disorders that fall into three clusters, although there is now known to be much overlap between the disorders, each of which exists on a spectrum:

Cluster A. Odd or eccentric disorders, including paranoid personality disorder as well as schizoid and schizotypal personalities.

Cluster B. Dramatic or erratic disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.  

Cluster C. Anxious or fearful disorders, including avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Recent posts on Personality Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder and Ability to Read Emotions

Being unable to decode emotions seems to be an inherent feature of borderline personality disorder but new research shows it’s not as inevitable as you might think.
eric maisel

What You Can Expect From an Authoritarian, Part 2

Based on research on authoritarian wounding, learn what you can expect from authoritarian contact and how you can heal the wounds inflicted by that contact.
eric maisel

What You Can Expect From an Authoritarian

Based on Dr. Maisel's primary research on authoritarian wounding, learn what you can expect from authoritarian contact and how you can heal the wounds inflicted by that contact.

Why Am I Attracting So Many Narcissists?

Do you feel as if you are a magnet for narcissists? Here are three simple rules that can protect you from mistreatment.

Five Types of High-Conflict Personalities

Understanding five high-conflict personalities can help us to be more careful and effective with those around us.

The Eight Basic Qualities in All Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are complex and some believe they defy classification. A recent study shows eight interpersonal qualities that can provide new understanding.

Can People With Borderline Personalities Succeed In Life?

What happens in the lives of women and men who have a borderline personality disorder?

The “Catch-22” of Dealing With a Narcissist

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
Most pathological narcissists suffer from marked deficits in self-image. But their wildly over-compensating sense of superiority and entitlement can cause others to suffer, too.

It Takes a Psychopath to Like Another Psychopath

As much as people are fascinated with the concept of psychopathy, the attraction is tinged with stigma. A recent study shows those who like psychopaths may share their traits.

Research Into Borderline Disorder: A Mindless Assumption

When studying emotional reactions, psychological researchers often look at people as though their feelings are all generated completely from inside their heads.

5 Signs Your Coworker Is a Psychopath

By Kevin Bennett on October 26, 2017 in Modern Minds
How many psychopaths are reading this next to you right now? Rates are very high in prison, but if you work in an office you may see one or more of these signs in a co-worker.

4 Biggest Mistakes With High-Conflict Personalities

It's easier to deal with high-conflict people when we don't make these mistakes.

The Survival Guide for Living With a Narcissist

Wondering how to make your relationship with your narcissistic mate run smoother? This article tells you what you need to know.

A Political Prescription for Donald Trump's Brain

By Hara Estroff Marano on October 18, 2017 in Brainstorm
Mental health experts go beyond warning of the dangers of Donald Trump's presidency to take political action.

High-Conflict Personalities

It's time to talk about high-conflict personalities. Here's why.

How To Fail at Family Problem-Solving

When family members try to discuss their recurring, disturbing interactions, anger and frustration often result. There are many common strategic errors that lead to this outcome.
pexels.com courtesy of pixabay.com

How to Co-Parent with a Narcissist

Here are the things that you need to know to help your children when your co-parent has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Is Borderline Personality a Woman's Disease?

What are the differences between men and women with borderline personality disorder?

Are Narcissists More Likely to Be Abusive?

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on September 29, 2017 in Friendship 2.0
The public's understanding of narcissism is growing, and many people see how it can be a challenging trait in a partner. But does it increase the likelihood of abuse? Read on.

"The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump"

Why are so many mental health professionals willing to put their careers on the line?
used with permission from iclipart

Mind Games

By Joni E Johnston Psy.D. on September 27, 2017 in The Human Equation
Most mental health professionals have the best interest of their clients at heart. But, when they don't, the "cure" can be worse than the "disease."

An Empirical Study Mapping Personality Disorders

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on September 26, 2017 in Theory of Knowledge
Empirically mapping personality disorders by using Leary's Interpersonal Circumplex and Beck's Sociotropy and Autonomy formulations.

Another Dark Side of 9/11: Manipulating Trauma for Sympathy

By Jean Kim M.D. on September 24, 2017 in Culture Shrink
The heartbreak of 9/11 held the nation's sympathy. For a few wayward souls, the temptation of receiving that powerful sympathy was worth lying for.

What Does It Mean to Have a Personality Disorder?

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on September 22, 2017 in I Hear You
Have you ever noticed a concerning trend in your relationships at work, with friends, and with family? Here's one way to think about what you might be bringing to the problem.

The Epistemology of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People in relationships with persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder find it problematic; but the reasons are not apparent from psychological diagnosis alone.
Darlene Lancer

How to Spot Narcissistic Abuse

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT on September 17, 2017 in Toxic Relationships
Narcissists don’t really love themselves, but are driven by shame. Their coping mechanisms are abusive and damage relationships and loved ones–hence the term, “narcissistic abuse.”

Is Mindfulness Just Hype?

Depending on the news source, you may have read that mindfulness is a miraculous life-changer, a harmful Pandora's box, or an utter sham. So which is it?

It's Harder to Spot a Psychopath Than You Might Think

The most widely used test to diagnose a psychopath comes under scrutiny in a new analysis of how well psychologists can agree in rating real clinical cases.

Therapy for Borderline Personality: Why It Takes So Long

By David M. Allen M.D. on September 08, 2017 in A Matter of Personality
Understandable mistrust of the therapist, along with fear, shame and complex interactions with family members, make psychotherapy with BPD patients very complicated.