Personality: what is it?
A combination of how you THINK, FEEL and BEHAVE.
“Personality refers to a distinctive assemblage of traits—characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. It derives from a mix of inborn dispositions and inclinations along with environmental factors and experiences. Although personality can change over the course of time, one’s core characteristics tend to remain steady over a lifetime.” (Psychology Today)
Personality is YOU – the real identity behind your physical appearance. It is how you ‘come over’ to others, As people get to know you, it is your personality they are learning about.
Personality disorders: what are they?
When some aspect of our personality causes a problem, we may be said to have a personality disorder (PD).
These are more common than you may think, with 1 in 20 people having some form of personality disorder. Many people manage their ‘symptoms’ well.
Types of personality disorder
The American Psychiatric Association group PDs into three clusters as follows:
Cluster A – ‘odd or eccentric PDs’ – People who find it hard to relate to others, who may feel that they are a bit odd or eccentric.
Example: Schizotypical Personality Disorder – poor social skills, behaving in unusual ways.
Cluster B – ‘dramatic, emotional or erratic PDs’ – those who find it hard to control their emotions, other people find them unpredictable.
Example: Narcissistic Personality Disorder – need others to look up to them, inflated sense of own importance.
Cluster C – ‘Anxious or fearful PDs’ – strong feelings of anxiety and fear – other people find them to be ‘withdrawn’.
Example: Avoidant Personality Disorder – painfully shy, socially inhibited, very sensitive to rejection.
Symptoms of personality disorders
A diagnosis of a PD may be given if a person has all three of these:
- Their personality causes problems in day-to-day life
- Their personality causes problems in several areas of life
- The problems are long lasting
Symptoms of PDs can be hard to control and may lead to depression or anxiety. So other MH problems may overlay a PD.
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Here’s an information sheet you can add to your file or use as a handout