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

The 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.

Can Two Narcissists Ever Really Fall in Love?

It’s a well-known fact in the psychology of relationships that like really does attract like. New personality research shows that narcissism follows the same assortment pattern.

The Narcissist Next Door

Do you have a narcissist in your life? What to watch out for.

The Narcissistic Personality: How They Think

By Joe Navarro M.A. on September 01, 2017 in Spycatcher
A look at how the narcissistic personality sees the world around them and how they make us feel.

Personality Pathology in Modern America

Does personality pathology explain some of our socialpolitical unease?

Hate at Home

Dehumanizing others makes it easier to intimidate and threaten violence on people who are not people.

Is It Narcissism? Or Why Some People Can't Love

By Susan J Elliott JD, M.Ed. on August 19, 2017 in Getting Back Out There
Wondering if someone is a narcissist? Here is the test of 8 traits that most all narcissists have.

After Charlottesville: Is Racism a Mental Illness?

In what ways might racism be considered a mental illness? How might this understanding help us treat those who suffer from pathological bias?

Counseling a Person With a Multiple Personality Disorder

Dissociation is a coping mechanism. A person literally dissociates himself from a situation that's too violent, traumatic or painful to assimilate with his conscious self.

If I Can't Have You, No One Can

How can we predict who will kill someone s/he once loved? Look at the dark clouds in the relationship to predict storms after a breakup.

The Psychopathology of Shakespeare’s Most Evil Villains

And thus I clothe my naked villainy / With odd old ends stol'n forth of holy writ, / And seem a saint when most I play the devil. — Richard III

To Say "I" Means To Be Alone

By Elena Bezzubova on August 12, 2017 in The Search for Self
Loneliness seems a transient step to self identity that could include depersonalization-like feelings of detachment and autism/introversion-like feelings of isolation.
pixabay.com

The Truth About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Have you ever wondered, “Isn’t everybody a bit narcissistic?” Learn the difference between healthy self-esteem and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Who’s to Blame When a Child Dies in High-Conflict Divorce?

By Linda Esposito LCSW on August 11, 2017 in From Anxiety to Zen
Filicide is the most unimaginable crime perpetrated against children. The very act defies explanation, yet opening up the dialogue may be the only hope for the lives lost.

Petition Declaring Trump Mentally Ill Pushes for Signers

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on August 07, 2017 in Me Before We
Group gathers nearly 60,000 signatures from mental health professionals calling for removing Donald Trump from office due to "serious mental illness."

15 Things to Do Instead of Self-Harming

Guest post by Lauren Coe, M.S. Ed., author of Let's Talk About Self-Harm.
pexels.com courtesy of pixabay.com

Why Do Narcissists Abuse Those They Love?

If you have ever had your heart broken by a Narcissist and wondered how someone who professed to love you so much could treat you so badly, this article is for you.

The "High-Risk" Psychiatric Patient

In medicine and surgery, a "high risk case" means the patient is at risk. In mental health, sometimes it's the doctor.

Borderline Personality Disorder: Who Burdens Who?

Most personality disorders are in actuality a family affair, but saying this has become politically incorrect. Political considerations can trump scientific ones in science.

Is It Narcissism or Sociopathy?

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on July 19, 2017 in Evil Deeds
What is the nexus between narcissistic and antisocial personality?

Dysfunctional Family Role: The “Loser”

Some adults who are actually perfectly normal act out in ways which ensure that they will always fail in life. They remain dependent on their parents for the sake of the parents.

The Most Effective Psychotherapy For Borderline Personality

What psychotherapy has the best outcome in the treatment of BPD?
Praeger

Will This Angel of Death be Released?

With the approaching release of a suspected healthcare serial killer in Texas, old cases are being reexamined for possible new evidence against her.

HiTOP: The Future of Mental Health Diagnosis is Here

By David J Ley Ph.D. on June 23, 2017 in Women Who Stray
A revolutionary new approach to mental health diagnosis offers new ways to resolve old diagnostic controversies.