A personality disorder is a persistent pattern of inner experience and behavior that results in enduring emotional distress and may cause difficulties with work and relationships. Personality disorders commonly result from a combination of environmental stress and genetic predisposition. Recent developments in neuroscience, genetics, and brain imaging have provided new knowledge on the course and scope of personality disorders.
Personality disorders are grouped into three clusters based on descriptive similarities.
Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd or eccentric behavior, and include:
- Paranoid Personality Disorder – pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others.
- Schizoid Personality Disorder – detachment from social relationships and restricted emotional range in interpersonal settings.
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder – discomfort with close relationships and cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior.
Cluster B personality disorders are indicated by dramatic, emotional, or erratic behavior, and include:
- Antisocial Personality Disorder – disregard for and violation of the rights of others,
- Borderline Personality Disorder – instability in relationships, self-image, affects, and control over impulses.
- Histrionic Personality Disorder – excessive emotional instability and attention seeking.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder – pervasive pattern of grandiose fantasies or behavior and an excessive need for admiration.
Cluster C personality disorders are marked by anxious or fearful behavior, and include:
- Avoidant Personality Disorder – social discomfort and reticence, low self-esteem, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.
- Dependent Personality Disorder – excessive need to be taken care of, resulting in submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder – preoccupation with perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control, and orderliness.
Books on Personality Disorders
American Psychiatric Publishing (APPI), a division of American Psychiatric Association, publishes textbooks and manuals that explore the latest therapies and techniques used to treat complex personality disorders.
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Personality Disorders reflects the work of more than 70 expert contributors who review the latest theories, research findings, and clinical expertise in the increasingly complex field of personality disorders.
||Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders: A Clinical Handbook collects the work of 22 contributors, each with extensive clinical experience, on the psychodynamic conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of the specific personality disorders as currently described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.|
The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives collects the recent work of Otto Kernberg in severe personality disorders, couples in conflict, and religious experience as he explores the relationship between the psychoanalytic, clinical psychiatric, and neurobiological approaches.
View a complete list of books related to personality disorders.