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 3 clusters (A, B, and C), although there is now known to be much overlap between the disorders, each of which exists on a spectrum.

Recent Posts on Personality Disorders

Harming the Innocent to Punish the Guilty

By Peter Toohey on April 16, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
There are three harrowing stories here, one modern concerning Katherine Knight, and two from Greek mythology concerning Procne and Atreus. Mental derangement, jealousy and resentment, and profoundly dysfunctional families are at the heart of the cannibalistic stories. They dramatize the harm that is inflicted on the innocent in order to punish the apparently guilty.

When a Sociopath Is Hell Bent on Destroying You

By Carrie Barron M.D. on April 13, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Sociopaths (anti-social personality, psychopath) can decimate a life. The mental, emotional or physical trauma can be stunning. The aftermath of sociopathic is unique because the assault instills a dim world view, a shaky sense of safety and a feeling that one has been visited by evil. Here are 16 points of focus to begin recovery.

Finally, An Online Group For Kids With a Borderline Parent!

By Randi Kreger on April 08, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
Kids need support for the puzzling things going on in their life. Until now, there was nowhere to go to have a borderline parent. Now, thanks to the Personality Disorders Awareness Network, there are place they can go.

Boys and Girls, with Guns

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 06, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
Dr. Peter Langman examined 48 cases of school shootings to show which assumptions are wrong and what we should actually pay attention to.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

The Top 4 Reasons Relationships Fail

Committed relationships can survive ups and downs, but some patterns and behaviors can create more permanent damage. Infidelity is only one of the reasons relationships break up. These four negative patterns raise red flags about the state of your relationship or marriage. If you recognize your relationship here, it's time to change course.

Don't Give Up on the Difficult Patient

By Allen J Frances M.D. on March 31, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
The most difficult patients often eventually form the deepest relationships and have the most satisfying outcomes. We are most important and make the biggest difference in the lives of the people who need us most, even if the day to day is not always smooth. With redirection, what was once the power to destroy can now become the power to heal and create.

Mental Health Screening Wouldn't Have Saved Germanwings 9525

By Jean Kim M.D. on March 30, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Screening must balance concerns of rare high-risk cases versus the vast majority of functional people with mental illness trying to overcome stigma and judgment

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

Murder in a Locked Room:

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
In a paradox worthy of Greek tragedy, the fortified cockpit door to Germanwings Flight 9525 invited the mass murder it was meant to prevent. Can we make sense of a co-pilot’s rampage?

Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Part II

A case study illustrating comorbidity and distinctions between bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and attention deficit disorder.

Do You Work in a Hostile Environment?

If you're feeling stressed at work, mindfulness may be the answer

Humiliation, Recovery and Monica Lewinsky

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 27, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Public shaming, online harassment and cyber-bullying are ubiquitous but they were not always. This blog examines the heart wrenching plight of one woman and how she overcame humiliation to become a tour-de-force and an agent for public good.

Misdiagnosis of Men With Borderline Personality Disorder

By Randi Kreger on March 17, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
Like women with BPD, men may come from troubled pasts and unstable relationships. At age 3, borderline football star Brandon Marshall witnessed his father nearly beat his mother to death—for the first time. He also lived with his father's drug use and vicious assaults toward women.

Reservoir Dogs

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on March 16, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Why Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs paints the perfect portrait of the spectrum of psychopathic personalities.

What is a Psychological Disorder?

Psychologists define a psychological disorder broadly as psychological dysfunction in an individual that is associated with distress or impairment and a reaction that is not culturally expected.

4 Ways To Be A More Authentic Person

People are attracted to authenticity. Here are four techniques that help you be your most authentic self, even in uncomfortable situations.

The Case of Francis Underwood

I always like to take the opportunity to explain misunderstood psychiatric concepts or diagnoses, and to clarify when a psychiatric term is used incorrectly or prone to misinterpretation. In today’s blog, I aim to do both of these things.

Why We Need People Who Care About Us

Empathy erosion occurs when people fail to attend to the humanity—the feelings, interests, kinship, etc—of others. Either they don’t cognitively understand others’ feelings or they aren’t emotionally affected by others’ feelings.

The Borderline Father

Women are more likely to have Borderline Personality Disorder, but men can be impacted as well. Here's how a Borderline father can affect you and some tips about what you can do about it.

Personality Disorders Explained 3: Treatment

Where most therapies capitalize on the alliance with the one part of the patient that agrees with the psychological formulation, therapists treating personality disorders are on their own.

How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?

Being blind to how you act in a relationship, you may not be able to measure whether a relationship is going well or not.

3 Major Warning Signs of Relationship Trouble

Most of us want to meet and settle down with the “right” person, and most of us want such a relationship to last. Yet, 53% of marriages in the U.S., 48% in Canada, 47% in the U.K., and 43% in Australia end in divorce. What are some of the major warning signs of a relationship in trouble? Here are three key indicators based on research...

Jodi Arias Wins

After a deadlocked jury, for Jodi Arias the death penalty is now off the table.

42 Signs that You are a Narcissist

Discover your degree of self-centeredness with these 42 signs indicating narcissism.

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.

Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors

By The Book Brigade on March 03, 2015 in The Author Speaks
The millions of teens and adults who engage in self-destructive behavior do so because they never learned more constructive ways of soothing themselves in moments of distress. Many have engaged in such behaviors for so long that they can't envision a way out. But it's possible to replace self-destructive acts with kinder means of coping.

Treatment for Borderline Disorder May Reduce Distortions

By Randi Kreger on March 01, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
My teenage sister was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. We have a difficult relationship, and sometimes I feel like interacting with her is just not worth the trouble. For example, I have caught her lying on too many occasions to count, and she always makes excuses. Now, she blames it on her psychological problems. Can lying be treated?

Should Health Care Providers Joke About Patients?

By Jean Kim M.D. on February 26, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Medical Gallows Humor can help providers cope, but at what cost to the care provider-patient relationship?

4 Shocking Lies About Weight

By Harriet Brown on February 26, 2015 in The Truth About Your Health
4 shocking lies about weight and health you need to know