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Diseases reference index «Personality disorders»

Personality disorders are a group of psychiatric conditions in which chronic behavior patterns cause serious problems with relationships and work.


The exact cause of personality disorders is unknown. However, many genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role.

Mental health professionals categorize these disorders into the following types:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder


Symptoms vary widely depending on the specific type of personality disorder.

People with personality disorders have difficulty dealing with everyday stresses and problems, and they often have stormy relationships with others. These conditions vary from mild to severe.

Exams and Tests

Personality disorders are diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.


People with these disorders usually do not seek treatment on their own. They tend to seek help once their behavior has caused severe problems in their relationships or jobs, or when they are diagnosed with another psychiatric problem, such as a mood or substance abuse disorder.

Although personality disorders are difficult to treat, there is increasing evidence that both medications and some forms of talk therapy can help many people.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook varies. Some personality disorders diminish during middle age without any treatment, while others persist throughout life despite treatment.

Possible Complications

  • Problems with interpersonal relationships
  • Problems with career
  • Other psychiatric disorders

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider or mental health professional if you or someone close to you has symptoms of a personality disorder.

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