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

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.

Interviewing a Criminal: Who Is Interviewing Whom?

Criminals case others out for their own purposes in all sorts of situations.

How Maternal Personality Problems Affect Children

How does parental personality dysfunction affect the future mental health of offspring? New research highlights how psychological issues carry over through generations.

Psychologists Hold the Future of Democracy in Their Hands

By Guest Blogger on June 12, 2017 in The Guest Room
It's up to psychologists to explain how leaders with a disordered personality pose a threat to society.

Is Trump's Abstinence a Personality Disorder?

By Stanton Peele on May 31, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Rather than quitting drinking without going to AA, as Kurt Anderson indicated was so for George W. Bush, Donald Trump makes us think that abstinence itself causes problems.

What Defines a Serial Killer?

The concept of a serial killer is best understood as a prototype concept. The prototype definition of a serial killer allows for a killer to be more or less of a serial killer.
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How Do Children Become Narcissists?

Have you ever wondered what type of childhood experiences lead people to develop Narcissistic disorders? Here are some common scenarios that lead children to become Narcissistic.

Performance vs. Ability in Psychology Research

Unwarranted assumptions invalidate research on personality disorders
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Do You Love a Narcissist?

It’s easy to fall in love with narcissists. They cast a spell, but once you're hooked, the relationship revolves around them, and things change for the worse.

How to Deal with Narcissists in the Workplace

By Ray Williams on May 13, 2017 in Wired for Success
What do you do if you have to work with a narcissist, particularly the boss?

Addict Cleans Up, Then Is Shunned by Family

Addiction is in the news again, and everyone wants to believe it's caused mostly by genetics. But a letter to a newspaper advice columnist reveals hidden family dynamics.

The Narcissistic and the Needy: A New Way to Deal

It can be a challenge to have to reassure the incessantly needy and narcissistic person. New research shows how to help you, and them, break out of their clingy habits.
Darlene Lancer

Are You Being Manipulated?

Manipulation is veiled influence or hostility that may seem benign, friendly, or flattering. It can be hard to detect and know how to respond, unless you can spot the signs.

High-Conflict Divorce: 3 Lessons Learned From the Couch

Recovery from a difficult divorce can seem unimaginable. A few mindset shifts can go a long way toward healing.

I Keep Good Stuff, You Hoard Junk: 10 Insights

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on April 22, 2017 in Creating in Flow
A diversity of odd habits and rituals for quelling anxiety lies along the continuum between normal and diagnosable. You may recognize some of these compulsions.

Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescence

The earlier the intervention for BPD, the better the long-term outlook

Of Spring, Sex, and Somatic Symptom Disorder

By Mark Borigini M.D. on March 31, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
Something just as crippling as an infection, also transmitted sexually.

Making Sense of FBI Director James Comey's Testimony

By Joe Navarro M.A. on March 27, 2017 in Spycatcher
Too often we talk about politicians talking to Russian as though there were no threat—there is always a threat with Putin in charge.

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 lost 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

By Dale Archer M.D. on February 23, 2017 in Reading Between the (Head)Lines
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

By George Drinka M.D. on February 21, 2017 in When the Media Is the Parent
In many instances, we find ample evidence that the facts are not as Mr. Trump insists they are.

Is Donald Truly Delusional?

By George Drinka M.D. on February 16, 2017 in When the Media Is the Parent
What can we tell about such a powerful public person who makes so many startling and often preposterous statements and draws factually unsupportable conclusions?