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Personality disorder.Ways of determining?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1835 Questions
I would like to know how I determine if I have a personality disorder.
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Mental Health
Follow-up: Personality disorder.Ways of determining? 24 minutes later
Actually I thought this would be a lot more interactive and quicker so please disregard my question.


Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 20 hours later

Thanks for your query.

We help you understand the problems better through this Question and Answer model than a quick interaction model like Live Chat. Please try to interact with me through these emails and you will certainly find your questions answered at the end.

Though there is a 'Live Chat with a Doctor' service you have opted for the better one indeed.

Let me address your query.

Important points of your query:
•     Age 45 year
•     Curiosity about personality assessment

Although your question is short, but it is difficult and complex to answer online. Anyway before giving information related to its assessment I want to give information related to personality disorders so that you can understand the complexity of its assessment and concurrent assessment of psychiatric disorder during examination.

Definition: Personality disorders as enduring subjective experiences and behavior that deviate from cultural standards, are rigidly pervasive, have an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, are stable through time, and lead to unhappiness and impairment. When personality traits are rigid and maladaptive and produce functional impairment or subjective distress, a personality disorder may be diagnosed

Personality disorder subtypes classified in DSM-IV-TR are: schizotypal, schizoid, and paranoid (Cluster A); narcissistic, borderline, antisocial, and histrionic (Cluster B); and obsessive-compulsive, dependent, and avoidant (Cluster C).

Cluster A includes three disorders with odd, aloof features, such as paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal.

Cluster B includes four disorders with dramatic, impulsive, and erratic features, such as borderline, antisocial, narcissistic, and histrionic.

Cluster C includes three disorders sharing anxious and fearful features, such as avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive.

Many persons exhibit traits that are not limited to a single personality disorder. When a patient meets the criteria for more than one personality disorder, clinicians should diagnose each. Personality disorders are coded on Axis II of DSM-IV-TR.

Personality disorder is a common and chronic disorder. Its prevalence is estimated between 10 and 20 percent in the general population, and its duration is expressed in decades. Persons with personality disorder are frequently labeled as aggravating, demanding, or parasitic and are generally considered to have poor prognosis.

Personality disorder is also a predisposing factor for other psychiatric disorders (e.g., substance use, suicide, affective disorders, impulse-control disorders, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders) in which it interferes with treatment outcomes of other psychiatric disorder and increases personal incapacitation, morbidity, and mortality of these patients.

Persons with personality disorders are far more likely to refuse psychiatric help and to deny their problems than persons with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Personality disorder symptoms are alloplastic (i.e., able to adapt to, and alter, the external environment) and ego-syntonic (i.e., acceptable to the ego). Persons with personality disorders do not feel anxiety about their maladaptive behavior. Because they do not routinely acknowledge pain from what others perceive as their symptoms, they often seem disinterested in treatment and impervious to recovery.

Personality assessment:

•     Done by clinical psychologist or trained psychiatrist
•     It may take several days to make final diagnosis.
•     Following tests are used to assess personality which is administered by trained psychologist: Clinical interview, Sentence completion test, Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Minnesota-Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and several other tests
•     Type of test and number of test depend on your therapist experience and expertise

Hope this answers your query.

Wishing you good health.

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