Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders is a particular domain of mental disorders that are characterised by an enduring set of behaviours, cognitions and internal experiences by the client which, across many domains of a persons functioning, fundamentally deviate from the individuals societal cultural norms and expectations.  For the most part, personality disorders develop early, are inherently inflexible, and at times unpredictable/unstable in nature (depending on the personality disorder of course).  The difficult symptoms that characterise personality disorders are often described by those people who love them, are colleagues, and parents/family to be incredibly distressing and difficult to live with. 

For those diagnosed with a personality disorder, they more often than not express to have difficulties in relationships, cognition, emotional dysregulation, and impulse control.  However, this is extremely general and different personality disorders will have different or more prominent features than others. 

Unfortunately, more often than not, those diagnosed/undiagnosed with personality disorders, often adopt coping strategies to cope with the distress that their negative behaviours generate personally, socially and occupationally.  However, for the most part, the coping strategies that they adopt are often maladaptive in nature and therefore if implemented long-term, develop anxiety and depression (Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

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Michelle Barratt is a Fellow of the Clinical College at the Australian Psychological Society.