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

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.

Self-Blindness Harms Relationships

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?

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is 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 your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

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

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 24, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

Detecting Darkness: How to Spot Leaders Who Will Derail

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in A Sideways View
We know that leadership derail is both common and costly. We also know that there are many very good psychometric tests, which can help identify those who will derail. But so many selectors are afraid to use them. Why?

Personality Disorders Explained: What They Are

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 17, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
A person with a personality disorder can be asymptomatic, but we should still use the label if dysfunction or distress would follow from a reasonably expectable change in the environment.

There Is a New Paradigm for Psychiatry

The hope for a molecular-biochemical explanation for psychiatry is false. It is believed we are on the verge of proving that psychiatry is a brain disease, no different from cancer or diabetes. But there is a paradigm that fully illuminates psychiatry - the ‘Play of consciousness, which is consonant with biology, neuroscience, and evolutution.

10 Ways to Tell if You're Giving Your Relationship a Chance

We all hold beliefs about love and the importance it have for our happiness. This 10-item scale will tell you how realistic or unrealistic you are about what to expect from your closest romantic partners, how responsible you are for other people's happiness, and whether you're driven by the need for approval.

13: A Deadly Number

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
This Friday the 13th is the anniversary of the arrest of a man who'd murdered 13 people, starting on another Friday the 13th.

Attachment Styles Can't Change, Can They?

John Bowlby, the founding father of attachment theory, argued that the attachment style formed in early childhood often continues to shape a person’s behavior far into adulthood, permeating all future liasons. The attachment style of adults, however, need not completely reflect the child’s early interactions with a caregiver. Sometimes it undergoes a radical shift.

Why Residential Rehab Matters in Heroin Addiction

A sweeping 11-year study out of Australia adds fresh understanding to our knowledge of heroin dependence and, in the process, challenges a widely held misconception—that residential rehab doesn’t really do much to help the heroin addict. Instead, the research shows residential rehabilitation may well set the best course to long-term improvement.

Mixed Messages in Your Family? A Quiz You Can Take

By David M. Allen M.D. on February 09, 2015 in A Matter of Personality
A highly prevalent feature in families that produce an offspring with a significant personality disorder is parents who give their children mixed, contradictory messages about how to behave in certain social circumstances. To see how your family stacks up against other families and to find out what issues your family has, I herein provide a self-administered quiz for you.

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.