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Personality disorders

Understand personality disorders and the possible accompaniments.

Personality disorders - definition and symptoms

Personality disorders – definition

There are ten specific personality disorders, with different diagnostic criteria:

  • the paranoid personality which is characterized by a suspicious distrust of others whose intentions are often interpreted as malicious.

  • the schizoid personality which is characterized by a detachment from social relationships and a restriction of the variety of emotional expressions.

  • schizotypical personality, characterized by acute discomfort in close relationships, by cognitive and perceptual distortions and eccentric behaviour.

  • the anti-social personality is characterized by contempt and a violation of the rights of other individuals.

  • borderline personality is characterized by marked impulsivity and instability in interpersonal relationships.

  • the histrionic personality, which is characterized by excessive emotional responses to situations and a quest for permanent attention.

  • the narcissistic personality, which is expressed in fantasies or grandiose behaviours, a need to be admired and a lack of empathy.

  • the avoidant personality is characterized by social inhibition, by the feeling of not being up to par and hypersensitivity to the negative judgment of others.

  • dependent personality, characterized by submissive and “sticky” behaviour linked to an excessive need to be taken care of.

  • the obsessive-compulsive personality is characterized by a concern for order, perfection and control.

Symptoms of personality disorders

The symptoms of personality disorders vary widely from one personality type to another. However, we can cite the following signs:

  • mood swings

  • risky, impulsive or destructive behaviours

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • fear of loneliness or abandonment

  • persistent feeling of emptiness, hopelessness,

  • self-hatred

  • suicidal thoughts

  • substance addiction

  • anxiety

It is important to note, however, that symptoms can vary significantly from one individual to another.

Personality disorders - key figures and data

There are a few figures on personality disorders. However, the WHO estimates that 2-3% of the global population suffers from it. According to the American Psychiatric Society, there is an average of up to 50% of antisocial personality disorder in the prison population.
Adults aged 15 to 44 account for 78% of hospitalizations for personality disorders in the United States.

Personality disorders - risk factors

Women are generally more affected than men by personality disorders. Furthermore, subjects who suffered from abandonment, difficult separation, emotional deficiency, mistreatment or trauma during childhood, are more likely to develop personality disorders (the disorder of borderline personality, mainly borderline).

There also seem to be inherited genetic predispositions to the development of personality disorders.

What accompaniments for subjects suffering from personality disorders ?

Appropriate treatment can relieve and help patients with personality disorders. Support generally involves the prescription of antidepressants and anxiolytics aimed at alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Antipsychotics may also be prescribed in some cases (confusion of thought).

Drug treatments are combined with psychotherapy allowing the patient to better understand his own functioning, which ultimately helps him better manage his emotions.

In some cases, treatment for this type of disorder may require hospitalization.