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

There’s a Bright Side to Personality’s Dark Triad

We know that people high on psychopathy and related traits lurk in the “dark side” of personality, but what about its opposite? Having a “bright side” to your personality may sound positive, but it can create its own shadows in your life. See how you rate on these 13 typical qualities of the colorful (but still dark) personality.

Is the Motivation Behind the Virginia Shootings Contagious?

Paul Mullen, Christopher Cantor and colleagues have published an analysis of possible copy-cat mass slayings, where they argue the influence of one rampage on another may have occurred across continents, and even over many years.

Algorithms Predict Schizophrenia with 100% Accuracy

New algorithms can predict future psychosis with 100% accuracy by detecting disjointed thoughts in speech.

The Benefits of Personality Disorder

By Neel Burton M.D. on August 23, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Everyone suffers for who he is, and, very often, our greatest strength is also the germ of our deepest suffering.

Young Men with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Traits

By Robert Fischer M.D. on August 18, 2015 in Failure to Launch
How do young men with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) traits present, and how can we help them?

Public Faces Vs. Private Thoughts: the Actor's Paradox

Many therapists seem to think that patients behave in their offices in ways typical of how they behave in other social contexts. This is very naive. We all present different aspects of ourselves, and hide other things, depending on the goals we are trying to reach with certain others, or because of loyalty to our family system and its beliefs. We lie even to ourselves.

The Populist Appeal of Trump's Narcissism

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on August 14, 2015 in Shame
To identify yourself as a Trump supporter -- that is, to identify with the man himself on some level -- helps you to feel like a "winner" when you may unconsciously fear that you're a "loser" in this complex and daunting world.

The Field Guide to the Female Psychopath

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on August 10, 2015 in Insight Is 20/20
A recent assessment with a 27-year old female psychopath offers a tragic reminder that female psychopaths can be just as deadly as their male counterparts.

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 Really Makes Narcissists Tick?

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.