Essay, Research Paper: Personality Disorders


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There are many types of personality disorders and each one has different
symptoms and characteristics. Some characteristics are shared by different
disorders. People who rebel against their culture or society or who have
outbursts and rages or have trouble with social skills, how they see themselves,
how they cope with being around other people, and how they control their
impulses are characteristics all shared by those who suffer from personality
disorders. Many people who suffer from one disorder usually suffer more than one
at a time but does not believe that they have a problem. It is said that,
⌠Symptoms stem from basic personality traits that develop over a period of
time.■(Mental Health) There are a few basic treatments for people with
personality disorders that work for some, but not for others. Psychodynamic
psychotherapy, or psychoanalytical therapy, focuses on past events and long
repressed feelings. Psychodynamic models integrate the past with the
patient▓s current life. Behavior therapy is used to teach different kinds
of social skills. Cognitive therapy concentrates on changing of negative
thinking. Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines cognitive and behavioral therapy
techniques. Personality disorders affect ten to fifteen percent of the
population. Some affect certain populations more than others. Studies have
suggested that biology plays a part in these disorders. Personality disorders
can be inherited from generation to generation and are a primary result of the
person▓s experience during childhood and adolescence. Borderline
Personality Disorder is the most common personality disorder and affects
approximately 2% of the population (Mental Health). Those that suffer from this
disorder may experience brief periods in which they separate from reality and
often are diagnosed with depression and psychotic disorders. They are unstable
in personal relationships and have an unstable self-image and emotions and have
little control over impulses. They can be self-destructive, but are rarely
violent to other people or animals. Antisocial Personality Disorder is present
in 3% men and 1% women and between 70-80% of the prison population (Mental
Health). By definition, antisocial personality disorder, or ASP, is a lifelong
personality disorder that affects many more men than women and begins before age
15 (Black). It has been studied more than any other personality disorder and can
be characterized by a pattern of disregarding and violating others▓ rights
and safety. Sufferers can be defiant, irresponsible, deceitful, irritable and
aggressive. They may experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex at a very young
age. As a spouse they may be abusive, unfaithful, dishonest and manipulative.
Histrionic Personality Disorder is present in 2-3% of the population and more
common in women (Mental Health). Sufferers can be characterized by a pattern of
seeking attention in strange and unusual ways. They are excessively emotional,
overly trusting and gullible, self-absorbed and are concerned with presentation.
People with this disorder can function with relatively few problems in society.
To be psychosocial implies that personality disorders are a result of
experiences the person has had, particularly during childhood or adolescence.
Physical, emotional and especially sexual abuse has all been implicated as a
cause of personality disorders. Not all abused children develop a disorder and
not all people with a disorder have been abused. It just means that abuse leaves
a person vulnerable to developing a personality disorder.
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