Personality Disorders

What You Need to Know

What Is A Personality Disorder?

The word ‘personality’ refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that makes each of us the individuals that we are. These affect the way we think, feel and behave towards ourselves and others.

We don't always think, feel and behave in exactly the same way – it depends on the situation we are in, the people with us and many other things. But we mostly tend to behave in fairly predictable ways.

Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life. Your experience of personality disorder is unique to you. However, you may often experience difficulties in how you think about yourself and others. You may find it difficult to change these unwanted patterns.

One minute I'm up and the next I'm down. It's like being on an emotional rollercoaster but without the fun.
What Are The Signs?

You might be given a diagnosis of personality disorder if all three of these apply:

  • The way you think, feel and behave causes you or others significant problems in daily life. For example, you may feel unable to trust others or you may often feel abandoned, causing you or others unhappiness
  • The way you think, feel and behave causes significant problems across different aspects of your life. You may struggle to start or keep friendships, to control your feelings and behaviour or get on with people at work, for example
  • These problems continue for a long time. These difficult patterns may have started when you were a child or teenager and can carry on into your life as an adult.
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