Personality Disorder (Public Page)
Below is a current definition of Personality Disorder (from the World Health Organisation):
Personality disorder is characterized by problems in functioning of aspects of the self (e.g., identity, self-worth, accuracy of self-view, self-direction), and/or interpersonal dysfunction (e.g., ability to develop and maintain close and mutually satisfying relationships, ability to understand others’ perspectives and to manage conflict in relationships) that have persisted over an extended period of time (e.g., 2 years or more). The disturbance is manifest in patterns of cognition, emotional experience, emotional expression, and behaviour that are maladaptive (e.g., inflexible or poorly regulated) and is manifest across a range of personal and social situations (i.e., is not limited to specific relationships or social roles). The patterns of behaviour characterizing the disturbance are not developmentally appropriate and cannot be explained primarily by social or cultural factors, including socio-political conflict. The disturbance is associated with substantial distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
Or here is a more accessible definition:
People have different ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. We refer to the sum of these things as a ‘personality’. Personality shapes the way we view the world and others, and how others view us. Most people’s personalities are relatively fixed by adulthood. One can think of personality traits as sitting along different scales. When one’s personality traits are at the extreme ends of these scales, and this becomes problematic, one might be diagnosed with a Personality Disorder. This diagnosis means that one may struggle to cope with relationships, emotions, and finding a direction in life. One’s beliefs and ways of coping with day-to-day experiences may be different from most people, and difficult to change. For example, using self-harm or substance misuse to cope. Emotions may be experienced as confusing or overwhelming. Other mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, may develop alongside Personality Disorder-related difficulties. Current research suggests that Personality Disorders are quite prevalent. Around one in 20 people live with issues which could be diagnosed as a Personality Disorder.
Our services can provide treatments for people with a Personality Disorder diagnosis. We do this by working with you to build up a picture of the kind of life you want to lead (work, friends, family, recreation), and then thinking about how you could overcome the barriers to achieving this kind of life. We will make a care plan with you, of how you can achieve this, with a time scale for how long you will be using a service and, if necessary, arrangements for obtaining further support after your discharge.
What you tell us will remain confidential within the Trust except when we have good reason to believe that you, or others, might be at risk of harm, or we are legally obliged to do so. In such circumstances, we may have to talk with other agencies about our concerns but we will try to let you know if we intend to do this. We will keep an electronic record of our work with you and we may write to the person who referred you about our work with you. You will always be given a copy of any letters we write concerning your care.