Between 10 and 30% of the world population suffers some personality disorder. Perhaps that is why so many people have written to me concerned about their diagnosis. The question is always the same: do I have a personality disorder?
First of all, we must know that personality traits are persistent guidelines in the way we perceive, relate, think and value the environment that surrounds us and ourselves. These patterns are manifested in a wide range of contexts, that is, we manifest ourselves as we are in the most diverse scenarios.
These personality traits are considered a disorder when they become rigid and maladaptive patterns that cause discomfort to those who suffer from them.
How can we recognize a personality disorder?
– There is a permanent pattern of subjective behaviors and experiences that deviate from what is considered normal in a culture. That is, the person can perceive and interpret himself and the others in a way that is distorted and alien to cultural patterns.
At the same time, they usually present emotional responses ranging from high intensity to very low intensity, in any case, the response is considered abnormal for the culture in which they have grown up. They usually have difficulties establishing satisfactory interpersonal relationships and difficulties controlling their impulses.
– This pattern not only manifests itself in a specific area, but extends to most areas in which the person works.
– This pattern causes great discomfort in the person and affects his performance in areas such as his working activity, his relationships or the school.
– This pattern is stable since its onset is remote, at least to the person’s adolescence or early adulthood.
– These disorders are not attributed to other mental disorders, diseases of neurological origin or drug use.
The types of personality disorders are: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, avoidant and dependent.
Some personality disorders such as antisocial and borderline personality disorders tend to lessen or remit with age, while obsessive-compulsive and schizotypal disorders tend to flare up if specialized help is not sought.
In men predominate paranoid, antisocial and obsessive compulsive disorders, while in women predominate borderline, histrionic and dependent disorders.
APA (2000) DSM-IV Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales. Mason.
Castiglione, G. (2003, Octubre) Alcances de la terapéutica psicofarmacológica en los trastornos de personalidad. Buenos Aires: Décimo Congreso Internacional de Psiquiatría.