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Flashcards in Quiz #3: Personality Disorders Deck (37)
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-Set of deeply ingrained enduring patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving
-Shaped by biology “temperament” and social learning


Personality Disorders

A set of patterns or traits that hinder a person’s ability to maintain meaningful relationships, feel fulfilled and enjoy life


Characteristics of Personality Disorders

-Onset adolescent and early adulthood
-Pervasive and inflexible; continuous
-Leads to distress and impairment
-They are unable to adjust and adapt to the demand or expectations of others or situations


Personality Disorders: Essential element of diagnosis is that it is

Fixed and long-lasting


Personality Disorders: Even with treatment,

It is not possible to completely change someone’s personality but can improve symptoms, distress, general functioning


Key Features of Personality Disorders

-Individual has few strategies for relating
-Inflexible, maladaptive approach to relationships and environment
-Needs, perceptions, and behavior foster vicious cycles; promote unhelpful patterns, provoke negative reactions from others
-Unstable, fragile coping skills
-Lack of resilience in stressful situations


Personality Clusters: Cluster A

personality disorders of odd or eccentric nature (paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal personality disorders)


Personality Disorder Clusters: Cluster B

disorders of erratic, dramatic, or emotional nature (antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic personality disorders)


Personality Disorder Clusters: Cluster C

disorders of anxious or fearful nature (avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive personality disorders)


Use table 24-2 (page 464-465) as a study aid!



Common Maladaptive Responses of Cluster B Personality Disorders




-Behavior in which people treat others as objects and form relationships around control issues
-Manipulators are goal- or self-oriented, not other-oriented



Involves egocentric attitude, fragile self-esteem, constant seeking of praise and admiration, and envy


Antisocial Personality Disorder

-Diagnosis is applied when individual consistently ignores social rules
-Is manipulative, exploitative, or dishonest
-Lacks remorse for actions
-Involved in criminal activity


Features of Antisocial Personality Disorder

A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years.
B. The individual is at least age 18 years. 
C. There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years. 
D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of Schizophrenia or a Manic episode


Features of Antisocial Personality Disorder: There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following: 

(1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest 
(2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure 
(3) impulsivity or failure to plan ahead 
(4) irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults 
(5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others 
(6) consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations 
(7) lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another 


Borderline Personality Disorder Prevalence

-Diagnosed in 1 – 6% of general population
-Most prevalent personality disorder (8 – 20%) in mental health settings
-Diagnosed more often in women than men (Sociocultural expectations and role stereotypes may contribute to diagnosis in women and evidence to suggest that victimization / trauma as a child is linked to BPD)


Borderline Personality Disorder Characteristics

-Impulsive aggression is the hallmark of borderline personality disorder, and it plays a pivotal role in the borderline person’s self-mutilation, unstable relationships, violence, and completed suicides
-Behaviors not consciously planned – defense against fear of loneliness
-Pathological fear of separation and intensive sensitivity to perceived personal rejection
-Ineffective and harmful self-soothing habits – cutting, promiscuous sexual behavior, and numbing with substances (May result in unintentional death)


What is an unusual feature of borderline personality disorder?

-Splitting which is an inability to view both positive and negative aspects of others.
-View someone as either a wonderful person or as a horrible person


Borderline Personality Disorder is manifested by

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.


Features of Borderline Personality Disorder: Indicated by five or more of the following

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).
2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. This is called "splitting."
3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in (5).
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms


Narcissistic Personality Disorder

-Involves egocentric attitude, fragile self-esteem, constant seeking of praise and admiration, envy
-Many successful people are narcissistic


Problems associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

-When person does not gain status he/she thinks is deserved or tries to have interpersonal relationships
-Frustration caused by lack or loss of recognition may be expressed by anger, depression, substance abuse, or other manipulative behaviors


Features of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements) 
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love 
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions) 
4. Requires excessive admiration 
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations 
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends 
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others 
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her 
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes


Other Personality Disorders (Cluster B): Histrionic

-Extremely emotional and attention-seeking
-Self-centered and demanding
-Uses theatrical gestures and mannerisms and exaggerated, grandiose language to describe ordinary events
-May continually change their appearance, opinions, and beliefs in order to attract and impress people


Other Personality Disorders (Cluster A): Schizoid

(S) Solitary lifestyle
(I) Indifferent to praise or criticism
(R) Relationships of no interest

(S) Sexual experiences not of interest
(A) Activities not enjoyed
(F) Friends lacking
(E) Emotionally cold and detached


Other Personality Disorders (Cluster A): Schizotypal

(U) Unusual perceptions
(F) Friendless except for family
(O) Odd beliefs, thinking, and speech

(A) Affect – inappropriate
(I) Ideas of reference
(D) Doubts others – suspicious
(E) Eccentric – appearance & behaviors
(R) Reluctant in social situations, anxious


Other Personality Disorders (Cluster A): Paranoid

Longstanding distrust and suspiciousness of others based on belief that others want to exploit, harm, or deceive the person


Paranoia Characteristics

-Hypervigilant and anticipate hostility
-May provoke hostile responses by initiating a “counterattack”
-Difficult to interview because are reluctant to share information
-Anxious about being harmed
-Project – blame others for their shortcomings


Other personality disorders (Cluster C): Avoidant

-Low self-esteem associated w/ functioning in social situations
-Feel inferior to others
-Reluctant to engage in unfamiliar activities w/ new people
-Hypersensitive to negative criticism, rejection or shame