personality" and personalities. Everyone has a personality, their own unique collection of traits and characteristics. The facets of a person's personality may be partly inherited and partly the result of the person's life experiences. In the personality disorder, the person has inflexible traits and patterns of behavior not typical of most people and that cause the person to function poorly in life. Up to 13% of people may have some kind of personality disorder.
"Odd" Personality Disorders: are characterized by odd or eccentric behavior that can include a high degree of suspiciousness or social withdrawal.
Paranoid personality disorder: is characterized by high levels of distrust regarding other people. Believing that others have it in for them, they avoid close relationships. They find proof that their suspicions are justified in the actions of others, which they perceive as either threatening or putting them down in some way. They are highly critical of others, especially at work. They project their own anger onto others. Treatment is difficult because they are unlikely to seek help.
Schizoid personality disorder: these people prefer to be alone to being with others and are not close to anyone, including relatives. They look for jobs where they can work in relative isolation. They have poor social skills and do not respond to either praise or criticism. A significant number have a relative who is schizophrenic and think differently than other people. Typically they don't seek treatment and may resist structured social interactions such as group therapy.
Schizotypal personality disorder: shows the personality distortions of the schizoid personality disorder in more extreme ways. Thinking and perception is markedly distorted and behavior is distinctly odd. They may be very lonely but avoid other people. They may have strange ideations such as believing that random events relate to them in some important way, or that they have magical powers. Disorganized conversation reflects their disorganized thought, and they have short attention spans. Antipsychotic medication may help along with cognitive therapies that raise the client's awareness of distorted thinking and perceptions.
"Dramatic" Personality Disorders: these personality disorders do not distort perceptions of reality, but are excessively emotional or unpredictable, and get in the way of the person's establishing satisfactory relationships with others. Their actions often cause significant problems for those around them. The cause of these disorders is not well understood.
Antisocial personality disorder: people with this disorder are also called "psychopaths" or "sociopaths." Its primary feature is disregard for the rights of other people. People with this disorder can be charming, but the purpose is to manipulate the other person or do whatever else is necessary so the antisocial person can get whatever it is he or she wants at the moment. They frequently tell lies, are impulsive and quick to start fights. They are also often reckless, even when it puts their children at risk. They are not troubled by the pain or difficulties they cause others. Over 3% may have this disorder, which occurs four times as often in men as in women. Many have criminal and substance-abuse histories. Treatment as a challenge because they have no problem with their behavior and see no need to change. If in therapy they may try to manipulate the therapist to get what they want.
Borderline personality disorder: is marked by extreme instability of mood and self-image with significant impulsivity. They show marked mood swings, and their emotions are out of sync with the circumstances in which they occur. They can become quite angry and even violent, and are prone…