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Psychiatric Disorders


Personality Disorders


Common Characteristics

Personality Disorders are mental illnesses that share several unique qualities.  They contain symptoms that are enduring and play a major role in most, if not all, aspects of the person's life.  While many disorders vacillate in terms of symptom presence and intensity, personality disorders typically remain relatively constant.


To be diagnosed with a disorder in this category, a psychologist will look for the following criteria:

  1. Symptoms have been present for an extended period of time, are inflexible and pervasive, and are not a result of alcohol or drugs or another psychiatric disorder.  The history of symptoms can be traced back to adolescence or at least early adulthood.

  2. The symptoms have caused and continue to cause significant distress or negative consequences in different aspects of the person's life.

  3. Symptoms are seen in at least two of the following areas:

    • Thoughts (ways of looking at the world, thinking about self or others, and interacting)

    • Emotions (appropriateness, intensity, and range of emotional functioning)

    • Interpersonal Functioning (relationships and interpersonal skills)

    • Impulse Control

Disorders in this Category

   Antisocial Personality Disorder

   Borderline Personality Disorder

   Narcissistic Personality Disorder


The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient, site visitor, or student and his/her existing psychologist, mental health provider or college instructor.

Copyright 1999-2003, AllPsych and Heffner Media Group, Inc., All Rights Reserved.  Last Updated November 29, 2011

  visitors since September 23, 2002