Personality Disorders & Difficulties

Sometimes people feel that they have struggled with interpersonal relationships and in other areas of their life for some time.  Some of these people may meet criteria for a personality disorder, which include a cluster of personality traits that negatively impact the person’s life in significant ways.

Someone with a personality disorder has longstanding difficulties with the way they see themselves and other people.  They often experience themselves in a negative way and see others as hostile, cold or uncaring.  They often feel fragile and lack the skills and confidence to cope with life challenges, thus stressful life events can have a devastating and destabilising effect on people with this condition.  They may not “bounce back” from life stresses the way most people around them do, and they may tend to internalise and feel distressed about what others see as trivial or not so significant events.

Personality disorders have been divided into three main groups:

  • odd or eccentric behaviour (e.g. paranoid personality disorder),
  • highly emotional, dramatic and erratic behaviour with particularly intense and problematic relationships (e.g. borderline personality disorder); and,
  • predominant anxiety, avoidance of social situations and a need for considerable support (e.g. dependent personality disorder.)

Many individuals with personality disorders display features of more than one of these groups.  Personality disorders may range from mild to severe.

The diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders requires a dedicated and empathic professional.  If you have concerns about yourself or someone around you, please contact our Principal.