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Flashcards in Personality Disorders Deck (31)
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Inflexible, maladaptive, and rigidly pervasive pattern of behavior causing subjective distress and/or impaired functioning; person is usually not aware of problem; usually presents by early adulthood

Personality disorder


Prevalence of personality disorders

Affect 10-15% of adult US population

[most common ones are schizotypical, antisocial (men), and histrionic which reach up to 3% prevalence]


DSM criteria for personality disorders

Enduring pattern on inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from expectations of individual’s culture — manifesting in 2 or more of: cognition, affect, interpersonal functionin, and/or impulse control

Enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations

Leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

Pattern is stable and of long duration and onset can be traced back to adolescence/early adulthood

Pattern is not better accounted for by another mental d/o

Not due to direct physiological effects of substance or head injury, etc


T/F: personality disorders are usually diagnosed prior to age 18

False — People under 18 who fit criteria of personality disorder are usually not diagnosed with one, although they may be dx with a related d/o. In order to diagnose an individual under 18 with a PD, symptoms must be present for at least 1 year


List the personality disorders included in “Cluster A”

Paranoid personality disorder

Schizoid personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder

[Cluster A is considered the “weird, odd, eccentric” disorders]


Personality disorder characterized by irrational suspicions and mistrust of others

Paranoid personality disorder

[may think that others are exploiting or deceiving them, friends and associates are untrustworthy, info confided in others will be used maliciously, hidden meaning in remarks/events others perceive as benign, spouse or partner is unfaithful; at increased risk for agoraphobia, major depression, OCD, and substance abuse]


Personality disorder characterized by lack of interest in social relationships, seeing no point in sharing time with others; appear indifferent to the praise or criticism of others and often seem cold or aloof; lacks close friends or confidants other than first degree relatives. Marked by little pleasure or interest in activities

Schizoid personality disorder


Personality disorder characterized by odd behavior or thinking, ideas of reference, odd beliefs or magical thinking, vague/circumstantial/stereotyped speech, excess social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity, idiosyncratic perceptual experiences or bodily illusion

Schizotypal personality disorder


List the 4 personality disorders included in “Cluster B”

Antisocial PD

Boderline PD

Histrionic PD

Narcissitic PD

[Cluster B includes the dramatic, emotional, or erratic disorders]


Personality disorder characterized by pervasive disregard for the law and rights of others; may include repeated violations of the law, pervasive lying and deception, physical aggressiveness, reckless disregard for safety of self or others, consistent irresponsibility in work and family environments, and/or lack of remorse

Antisocial personality disorder


Personality disorder characterized by extreme “black and white” thinking, instability in relationship, self-image, identity and behavior; may involve frantic efforts to avoid expected abandonment, unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, impulsivity in at least 2 areas that are potentially self-damaging, recurrent suicidal behaviors or threats of self-mutilation, affective instability, chronic feelings of emptiness, inappropriate and intense anger, transient paranoia or dissociation

Borderline PD


Personality disorder characterized by pervasive attention seeking behavior including inappropriate sexual seductiveness and shallow or exaggerated emotions

Histrionic PD


Personality disorder characterized by pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy

Narcissitic PD


T/F: Antisocial personality disorder is 3x more common in women and involves learned behaviors

False — Antisocial PD is 3x more prevalent in men and has a genetic basis


Borderline PD is 3x more common in _______ (women/men)



What personality disorder:

Very manipulative by nature, immature personality traits (“teddy bear sign”), requires a need to set rigid boundaries when treating them; are often victims of sexual or emotional abuse, and have a high rate of comorbid depression

Borderline PD


What personality disorder is associated with tendency to vague and impressionistic speech, and a seemingly indifferent detachment while describing dramatic physical symptoms as well as particular association with somatoform d/o?

Histrionic personality disorder


What personality disorders are included in “cluster C”?

Avoidant PD

Dependent PD


[these are the anxious or fearful disorders]


Personality disorder characterized by difficulty making decisions without guidance and reassurance, difficulty expressing disagreement with others, discomfort or helplessness when alone, and unrealistic preoccupation with fears of being left to fend for themselves?

Dependent PD


Personality disorder characterized by social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction?

Avoidant personality disorder


Personality disorder characterized by rigid conformity to rules, moral codes, and excessive orderliness, but preoccupations interfere with their efficiency despite their focus on tasks; often stingy as well as stubborn



How is avoidant personality disorder different from schizoid PD?

In avoidant PD, they desire relationships with others


OCDP is more common in _____ (women/men)



Personality disorder characterized by the presence of 2+ distinct identities or personality states; more common in women and associated with hx of sexual abuse

Dissociative identity disorder


Nonpharmacologic treatment options for personality disorders

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Group pscyhotherapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Pt and family education


What is the treatment of choice for borderline personality disorder?

Dialectical behavior therapy

[Manual-based therapy is on the development of coping skills to improve affective stability and impulse control and on reducing self-harm]


What class(es) of medications are typically avoided when treating pts with personality disorders?



What medications may provide some relief to pts with manifestations of personality disorders?


Anticonvulsants like valproic acid — impulse control

Atpyical antipsychotics for pts experiencing transient psychotic periods


Homicide is a potential complication in personality disorders, particularly _____ and ______

Paranoid; antisocial


Cluster ___ and ____ personality disorders tend to become less severe and intense in middle age and late life, while cluster ____ characteristics tend to become exaggerated in later life

A; B; C