Personality disorders

General or Other | - Others | Personality disorders (Disease)


A personality disorder is a type of mental illness in which a person has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and to people — including himself or herself. There are many specific types of personality disorders.

In general, having a personality disorder means a person has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what is the situation. This leads to significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.

Generally speaking, the personality doesn’t change very much, but it does develop as the person goes through different experiences in life, and as the circumstances change.

Causes and Risk factors

Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. A person may have a genetic vulnerability to developing a personality disorder and a life situation may trigger the actual development of a personality disorder.

Personality disorders usually become noticeable in adolescence or in early adulthood, but sometimes they start in childhood. They can make it difficult for a person to start and keep friendships or other relationships, and he/she may find it hard to work effectively with others. The patient may find other people very scary, and feel very alienated and alone.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The best treatment depends on patient’s particular personality disorder, its severity and its life situation. Often, an appropriate approach is to make sure all the psychiatric, medical and social needs are met. Because personality disorders tend to be chronic and can sometimes last during the adult life, the patient may need long-term treatment.

Several treatments are available for personality disorders. They include psychotherapy, medications and/or hospitalization. ...