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Personality Disorders

Personality disorders cause enduring patterns of inner experience and behaviour which deviate from expectations of society, are pervasive, inflexible and stable over time and lead to distress or impairment.

U.S. data estimates that 6-9% of the population has a personality disorder. It’s estimated that 50% of prisoners have anti-social personality disorder. General symptoms include difficulty getting along with people, being irritable, demanding, hostile, fearful and manipulative. People’s thoughts, emotions, interpersonal relationships and impulse control are affected. The following are examples of personality disorders:

Borderline – instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and affect; marked impulsivity.

Anti-social – disregard for and violation of the rights of others

Histrionic – excessive emotionality and attention seeking

Narcissistic – grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy

Avoidant – social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, hypersensitivity to negative evaluation

Dependent – clinging behaviour and excessive need to be taken care of

Schizoid – restricted range of emotional expression

Paranoid – distrust and suspiciousness of other’s motives

Obsessive Compulsive – preoccupation with orderliness, perfection and control

Schizotypal – acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive distortions, eccentricities in behaviour

Excerpts from A Report on Mental Illness in Canada

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