What are Personality Disorders?

According to the DSM IV (a tool used to help practitioners) a personality disorder is:

generalized, inflexible patterns of inner experience and behaviour. These patterns significantly differ from cultural expectations and begin in adolescence or early adulthood. Personality disorders are long-term, maladaptive patterns of perception, emotional regulation, anxiety, and impulse control.

Words like ‘maladaptive’ and ’emotional disregulisation’ can be upsetting when you first hear them, especially if they are used in relation to you personally. Read more about labels here.

Many of us at Upbeat feel that from the moment we recognise what we’re struggling with – things tend to get a bit better. Understanding ourselves is part of learning to cope with our world, the people in it and how they interact with us.

The DSM categorises personality disorders into three ‘types’.

Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal

Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic and Narcissistic

Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive