Which personality disorders exist? - Chapter 8 (Abnormal Psychology)

Personality is the collection of characteristics that the person has or shows and that distinguishes him or her from others. It is the way we behave, think, believe and feel. These characteristics make us unique.

A personality trait is a complex pattern of behavior, thoughts and emotions that remain constant over a longer period of time, and in different situations.

The 'big five' theory states that there are five different factors of personality traits. Everyone satisfies every factor to a certain extent, and how strongly that per factor is the case determines our personality.

The big five:

  1. Negative emotionality
  2. Extraversion
  3. Openness to new experiences
  4. Compliance
  5. Persistence

Definition and diagnosis of personality disorder

A personality disorder is a long-term pattern of unadopted behavior, thoughts and feelings. Personality disorders usually begin in adolescence, or in early adulthood, and sustain a large part of life. To diagnose a personality disorder in a person under the age of eighteen, the personality pattern must be present for at least a year.

In the DSM-IV, personality disorders are on the second axis. This means that these disorders are seen differently from acute disorders. The disorders on the second axis are chronic and penetrating. The DSM-V has rejected this distinction between disorders on As-I and As-II. Personality disorders are therefore no longer on the second axis in the DSM-V. The DSM-V has divided ten personality disorders into three clusters, based on their similarities. The DSM-V admits that this system is limited, not well validated and does not explain the fact that people often have multiple personality disorders from different clusters. The three clusters of the DSM-V are as follows:

  1. Cluster A is called odd or eccentric behaviours and thinking. In this cluster are the paranoid personality disorder, the schizoid personality disorder and the schizotypal personality disorder. These personality disorders have characteristics of schizophrenia, but patients do not live outside of reality.
  2. Cluster B is called dramatic, erratic and emotional behavior and interpersonal relationships. In this cluster are antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. People with one of these disorders are manipulative, volatile, unconcerned in social relationships and prone to impulsive behavior.
  3. Cluster C has the description anxious and fearful emotions and chronic self-doubt. This includes dependent personality disorder, avoidant
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