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Monday, December 22, 2014

9 personality disorders: getting to the bottom of who and why - organized by 3 DSM clusters


Cluster A Personality Disorders

Paranoid Personality Disorder


Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting or deceiving them.

Preoccupied with unjustified doubts about loyalty.

Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used against him/her.

Persistently bears a grudge.

Perceives attacks on character that are not apparent to others.

Recurrent suspicions without justification regarding fidelity of a spouse or partner.

Schizoid Personality Disorder


Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family.

Almost always chooses solitary activities.

Little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person.

Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities.

Lacks close friends or confidants other than first- degree relatives.

Appears indifferent to praise and criticism.

Emotional coldness, detachment or flattened affect.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder


Ideas of reference (excluding delusions of reference).

Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influence behaviors and are consistent with cultural norms.

Unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions. Odd thinking and speech.
Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation.
Inappropriate or constricted affect.

Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric.

Lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives.

Excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments.

Cluster B Personality Disorders

Antisocial Personality Disorder


Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.

Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.

Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.

Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.

Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.

Consistent irresponsibility – i.e. lack of consistent work behavior or honoring financial obligations.

Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

Borderline Personality Disorder


Frantic efforts to avoid real or imaginary abandonment.

A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships categorized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

Identity disturbance: persistent and markedly disturbed, distorted, or unstable self-image or sense of self.

Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self- damaging (spending, substance abuse, binge eating, etc.).

Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats or self mutilating behavior.

Affective instability due to marked reactivity of mood. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
Inappropriate, intense anger or lack of control of anger.

Transient, stress related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

Histrionic Personality Disorder


Uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention.

Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior.

Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.

Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.

Style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail.

Self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion.

Suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances.

Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.

Cluster C Personality Disorders

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact because of fears of criticism, disapproval or rejection.

Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked.

Restraint within intimate relationships due to the fear of being shamed or ridiculed.

Preoccupation with being criticized or rejected in social situations.

Inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy.

Belief that one is socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to other.

Is usually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing.

Dependent Personality Disorder


Is unable to make everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.

Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life.

Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval.

Has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his/her own due to lack of self confidence in judgment or ability

Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point volunteering to do things that are unpleasant.

Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone, because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for oneself.

Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends.

Unrealistic preoccupation with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost.

Perfectionism that interferes with task completion.

Excessive devotion to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships.

Overconscientiousness, scrupulousness, and inflexibility about matters of morality, ethics, or values.

Inability to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value.

Reluctance to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things.

Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others. Rigidity and stubbornness.

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