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

What It’s Like to Live With Borderline Personality Disorder

"I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder when I was 14. Because I fear abandonment, I instinctually don’t trust anyone. I’m 23 years old, and I have yet to give my trust to anyone outside of my family."

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Addiction

The core feature of BPD is impulsivity and poor emotional regulation.

What Narcissists REALLY Want, and Can Never Get

Among other things, narcissists typically come across as arrogant, manipulative, entitled, and woefully lacking in empathy. But if these defining features are understood at a deeper level—as powerful psychological defenses to protect them from experiencing a truly frightening vulnerability—a quite different picture of them emerges. . . .

10 Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. How do you know when you’re dating a narcissist? Here are ten telltale signs...

"Should I Believe What the Internet Says About Borderlines?"

"I have read things on the Internet and I am worried that being my boyfriend or family member is a form of torture (although my current boyfriend assures me he likes being with me). Am I really like those people?"

Relationships Cause Conduct Disorder, Not "Bad Seeds"

To paraphrase a certain politician, it's the relationships, stupid! In order to avoid looking at their own or their family's behavior, both parents and professionals seem to want to think that children can be born as "bad seeds." However, human genes do not work that specifically. It is not toxic people that create most dysfunctional families, but toxic relationships.

Sadness or Depression

Depression has been getting more and more media attention, especially when it is mentioned by extremely well-known people who have experienced it. This is the case of a very popular Brazilian preacher, the Catholic priest Marcelo Rossi, who, in his most recent book, "Philia," publicly declared that he suffered from this mental disorder.

A Waking Dream

By Greg O'Brien on July 06, 2015 in On Pluto
The barkers have started selling new cures. Praise the Lord and pass the Aricept!

Regret vs. Remorse

The borderline or narcissist is often regretful, but how often do they really fee remorse for hurting others?

The Simple Exercise That Will Lead You Toward Love

By Ken Page L.C.S.W. on June 21, 2015 in Finding Love
The path to love is never simple. When we decide to pursue our longing for love, we’re led down a path with challenges we might never have dreamed of. For me, the decision to become a father—as a forty-something, single gay man---is what changed everything. In this post, I’d like to offer a potent exercise for following your own call to love—and share my personal story.

Tackling the Emotions in Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder have one of the most challenging psychological problems to treat. Furthermore, if you or someone you know is in a relationship with someone who has this disorder, you know how difficult it can be to live with the disorder. Mentalization-based therapy, focused on emotions, may provide an important new approach.

Stories of Seclusion: A Pot-Abusing Dealer Becomes Paranoid

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in How To Do Life
Heavily using and dealing weed turns a 18-year-old into a recluse.

A Response to "Why Patients with BPD Don't Get Better"

This post is in response to a post authored by David M Allen, MD titled “Why Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder Don’t Get Better,” published on June 15, 2015. I have several problems with this post and I’ll start with the title. Firstly, the title is a vast over-generalization.

Why Patients with Borderline Personality Don't Get Better

People who exhibit symptoms of borderline personality disorder, despite being intelligent and showing no signs of psychosis, persist tenaciously in their troublesome, self-destructive behaviors. They will not stop no matter what other people try to do to get them to. They will not tell you about the horrifying reactions they get from family members when they act better.

BPD and the Effective Therapist

What personal features predict better success in working with borderline patients?

Mom Humiliates Daughter via Facebook: Discipline or Abuse?

Have you ever seen what emotional abuse looks like? Here's a live example from a story that broke just this past week. What would you do if you saw someone doing this to a teenager?

BPD and the Effective Therapist

What personal features predict better success in working with Borderline patients?

Parental Guilt: The Dilemma

Today both men and women worry about short-changing their children because of their both working, and their own parents often feed their guilt. The result is an epidemic of over- and under-parenting in which the needs of the children take precedence over the need of the parents, leading to out of control children who have trouble becoming responsible adutls.

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

By Karyn Hall Ph.D. on May 24, 2015 in Pieces of Mind
Listen to someone who has borderline personality disorder (BPD) talk about her experience and learn the symptoms of BPD. Much of the stigma about the disorder comes from myths.

Online Personality Disorders

In my work as a web psychologist, I’m exposed to many different types of user behavior and online decision-making processes. Although each person is different and has an individual style, I have identified six recurring patterns of behavior that I identify as specific “online personality types.” In this piece, I’ll discuss the six pattern types

Am I Crazy or What?

By Teri Woods Ph.D. on May 17, 2015 in Compulsive!
What would a trained therapist say about me if they knew those silly little things I do to keep my day humming along?

Speaking Out for Men with BPD

While young women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) continue face stigma in this day and age, the impact of misinformation around men, who suffer from the disorder in equal portions, is much greater despite the availability of effective treatments.

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.

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

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.

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.