Personality Disorders

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1 LP 13BF personality disorders 1 Personality Disorders Personality disorders: Disorders characterized by deeply ingrained, Inflexible patterns of thinking, feeling, or relating to others or controlling impulses that cause distress or impaired functioning. Generally, these maladaptive patterns of thought, emotions, behavior, and interpersonal functioning that are stable over time and across situations, and deviate from the expectations of the individual s culture. Clusters of Personality Disorders:

2 Personality Disorders LP 13BF personality disorders 2

3 LP 13BF personality disorders 3 Personality Disorders Characteristics involved in personality disorders are quite similar to normal variations in personality. In addition, personality disorders involve a cluster of characteristics. Many normal individuals have one or two of these characteristics. Only when they are a cluster and they are consistent across time and situations is where it might be a problem. normal abnormal Usually, personality disorders begin in early childhood or adolescence Most people with other disorders, especially a mood disorder, are often diagnosed with a personality disorder. Many of us have displayed these personality problems. Early personality problems often do not persist into adulthood. People with a personality disorder are extremely difficult to get along with. As a result, these people have unstable work and social histories. Some sufferers are aware of the problem, but unable to change and commonly blame others for their problems.

4 LP 13BF personality disorders 4 A common feature of personality disorders is a failure to take other people s perspective. People with personality disorders often blame others, society, or the universe for their difficulties, distorting their perceptions of the world in a way that makes the personality disorder normal at least to them (page 529). Most people with a personality disorder won t admit to them. This makes diagnosis and treatment difficult.

5 LP 13BF personality disorders 5 Personality Disorders Prevalence of personality disorders: 15% in the general population. About 3% of the general population displays the paranoid personality disorder. Most frequently men are afflicted About 7% (6% men, 1% women) of the general population display the anti-social personality disorder. It is estimated that 10 million Americans have the borderline personality disorder. 75% of them are women. Treatment: Medications have not been effective Psychotherapy is not very effective because people who seek psychotherapy must realize they have a problem and want to change. People with a personality disorder don t realize they have a problem and don t believe they need to change.

6 Major Types of Personality Disorders LP 13BF personality disorders 6 Anti-social personality disorder: A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others; impulsive, irresponsible, deceitful, manipulative, and lacks guilt or remorse. As children, they lie, steal, vandalize, setting fires, initiate fights, skip school, run away from home, and may be physically cruel to others and to animals. By early adolescence they usually drink excessively, use drugs and engage in promiscuous sex. In adulthood, they cannot keep a job, act as a responsible parent, honor financial commitments or obey the law. About 3.6% of the general population has anti-social personality disorder with there being 3 times as many men as women with this disorder.

7 LP 13BF personality disorders 7 Anti-Social Personality Brain imaging suggests that people with antisocial personality disorder do not comprehend the emotional significance of words and images. They have the same emotional response to neutral words (chair, table, stone) compared to emotionally charged words (cancer, rape, murder). Normal Anti-social Chair Table Stone No emotional reaction Cancer Rape Murder Emotional reaction Chair Table Stone No emotional reaction Cancer Rape Murder No emotional reaction

8 LP 13BF personality disorders 8 In one study, 47% of the men and 21% of the women in prison were diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder.

9 LP 13BF personality disorders 9 What factors are implicated in antisocial personality disorder? Childhood stress Substance abuse during childhood and adolescence Disrupted brain chemistry Poor parenting or pathological family environment Parent personality traits Genetic factors

10 Major Types of Personality Disorders LP 13BF personality disorders 10 Paranoid personality disorder: Pervasive but unwarranted distrusts and suspiciousness, even when there is no evidence to support their suspicions. If a waitress miscalculates the total on his check, a person with paranoid personality disorder believes she is trying to rip him off. If a neighbor s trash blows into his yard, the person with the paranoid personality disorder is sure the neighbor dumped it there on purpose. People with paranoid personality disorders are less likely to confide in others. They are afraid that the person is going to use the information against them (tell their competitor, significant other, etc.). They have little social support (see Chapter 16) when dealing with stressors. Paranoid personalities have a strong tendency to blame others for their own shortcomings and often harshly critical of what they perceive as the shortcomings of colleagues, family and friends.

11 Major Types of Personality Disorders LP 13BF personality disorders 11 Borderline personality disorder: Erratic, unstable, relationships, emotions, and self-image; impulsive, desperate efforts to avoid real or imaged abandonment. They are in constant need of reassurances of their self worth, and can suddenly become angry when it doesn t occur. Once a relationship ends, the person with a borderline personality views the former lover or friend as a mortal enemy, though sometimes people with this disorder direct their negative emotions toward themselves by through self-destructive behavior. Threats of self-mutilations (pulling out their hair or making tiny cuts in their forearms) and suicide are common, especially in response to perceived rejection or abandonment Borderline personalities are likely to lack control of their impulses and may gamble, drive recklessly, abuse drugs or be sexually promiscuous. Depression, substance abuse and eating disorders are common. A significant portion of patients with borderline personality disorder have histories of childhood abuse or disturbances in attachment relations. In addition, these people suffer from mood disorders as well.

12 Examples of Anti-social personality LP 13BF personality disorders 12 Lack of critical emotions: empathy, the ability to take another person s perspective; and guilt, the ability to feel remorse for immoral actions. 1. Two teenage boys held a teacher down while a third poured gasoline over him and set him on fire. Fortunately, another teacher intervened in time for a rescue, but the boys showed no remorse. Next time we ll do it right, said the ringleader, so there won t be nobody left around to identify us 2. Dan, according to the psychologist who interviewed him, had an unbelievable set of deceptive ways to deal with the opposition. Character assassination, rumor mongering, modest blackmail, seduction, and bare-faced lying were the least of his talents. He was a jackal in the entertainment jungle, a jackal who feasted on the bodies of those he had slaughtered professionally.

13 Example of a personality disorder LP 13BF personality disorders 13 A 25-year-old gets into trouble with the law repeatedly for stealing and destroying the property of innocent victims. When caught, he shows no remorse and no concern for the harm he has caused his victims. He is extremely charming, however, and easily finds new victims to con. Likely disorder: anti-social personality disorder Characteristics of personality disorder Inflexible, maladaptive patterns of thinking and feeling, and behaving that are stable over time, across situation, and deviate from the social and behavioral expectations of the individual s culture. Characteristics of anti-social personality disorder Blatantly disregards or violates the rights of others; impulsive, irresponsible, deceitful, manipulative, and lacks guilt or remorse.

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