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

Is Trump a Conservative Only by Accident?

By Alfie Kohn on March 23, 2017 in The Homework Myth
Narcissism and hypercompetitiveness, like certain other personality features, actually can predict political positions.

Bipolar II or Bipolar Too?

The challenges of accurate symptom identification for those newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well as for diagnosed individuals who also struggle with emotional reactivity.

Avoidant Personality Disorder

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in A Sideways View
How can you best help and understand those with Avoidant Personality Disorder?

What Is Bulimia Nervosa?

It's been called "the secretive syndrome," and the intense shame can obstruct seeking help.

Split Decisions in the Courtroom

The movie Split has brought Dissociative Identity Disorder back into the spotlight. Here's how this controversial diagnosis plays out in the courtroom.

The Military and Management Incompetence

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in A Sideways View
Forty years ago Norman Dixon wrote The Psychology of Military Incompetence. It is the story of loss battles and poor generalship. It has important lessons for us today

Divorcing and Coparenting With the Sociopath

There are ways to keep you and your children safe when divorcing a sociopath. Here are 5 things you must do in the face of a personality disordered ex.

Psychopathic Killers Hide in Plain Sight

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on February 26, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
The world’s most prolific killers are totally incapable of empathy or remorse. However, they rarely look like the scary monsters we expect them to be.

Remembering Jodi Arias: Poster Girl for Narcissism

Jodi Arias reminds us we overuse the word “Narcissist,” and this serious diagnosis should never be just a slur for people who’ve hurt us, or who we don’t like.

Malignant Narcissism: Collision of Two Personality Disorders

By Rhonda Freeman Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in NeuroSagacity
Those who interact with malignant narcissists consider them jealous, petty, thin-skinned, punitive, hateful, cunning, and angry.

Is Donald Truly Delusional? Part 2

In many instances, we find ample evidence that the facts are not as Mr. Trump insists they are.

Is Donald Truly Delusional?

What can we tell about such a powerful public person who makes so many startling and often preposterous statements and draws factually unsupportable conclusions?
Vectoric/Shutterstock

The Anatomy of Who We Are

By Psychology Today Editorial Staff on February 13, 2017 in Brainstorm
A new study explores the ties between personality and the dimensions of the brain.

Narcissistic or Not?

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on February 13, 2017 in I Hear You
The entire millennial generation has been criticized as narcissistic and entitled. Can this really be true?
Used by permission from nobullying.com

Ten Commandments for Those Considering Violence

By Steve Albrecht DBA on February 12, 2017 in The Act of Violence
Isn't it time we told potential workplace and school violence perpetrators to stop?

Diagnosing Donald Trump

What does psychiatric diagnosis add to political criticism of President Trump?

We Can Often See the Reflection of Our Narcissistic Side

Do external affirmations seem not to exist? Do you want to brag about yourself but you know you ought not? How do you build self-confidence without being narcissistic?

Idealization and Contempt

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Life After 50
Do you know someone who cycles between idealization and devaluation? It may be an indicator of a personality disorder.

From Mice to Men?

By Joni E Johnston Psy.D. on February 02, 2017 in The Human Equation
A recent rash of animal killings in Canada have raised new questions about a budding serial killer. Do serial killers target animals first? Here's what the research says.

Shrinks Battle Over Diagnosing Donald Trump

Chaos in the White House fuels discord amongst the experts.

You're So Vain

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 30, 2017 in A Sideways View
There is a great deal of interest in narcissism and many claims about who and why certain groups are clinically and sub-clinically narcissistic

Childhood Roots of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Can you tell if a child is a budding narcissist? Warning signs that self-worth is getting dangerous.

3 Steps to Handle a Narcissistic Boss

How to determine your priorities and act with purpose.

Serial Killers in 2016

By Joni E Johnston Psy.D. on January 19, 2017 in The Human Equation
What can we learn from an overview of serial killers in 2016? Let's take a look at the new faces of serial murder.

Writers Beware! Diagnosing Characters on TV and Film

By Dennis Palumbo on January 19, 2017 in Hollywood on the Couch
In many Hollywood films and TV shows, therapists are portrayed as quick to assign diagnostic labels to characters in the story with emotional distress. Here's why it's a bad idea.

FoMO? No, DoMO! "The Desire of Missing Out" Debuts

Millennial lexicon touts the fear of missing out (FoMO) but neglects DoMO.

Why Personality Holds the Key to Understanding Sexuality

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on January 18, 2017 in Standard Deviations
Research shows that sexuality is often correlated to personality characteristics.

Can You Be Mindful and Still Feel Angry?

Mindfulness will not turn you into a feel-good Zen zombie. It does not stop you from feeling negative emotions; it just helps free you from being controlled by those emotions.

Borderline Personality: Why They May Not “Get Used to It"

A recent study showed that persons with borderline personality disorder do not "get used" to the sight of unpleasant pictures as others do. Error management theory tells us why.

When Your Boss is a Narcissist

When Your Boss is a Narcissist How to reduce the abuse and feel safe at work