Understanding Personality Disorders

The DSM series, a psychiatric diagnostic guide, talks about “personality disorders” as a category of mental disorders.

“It’s NPD doc, my lawyer has filed an annulment case against my husband based on that,” said one of my clients, Lolita.

NPD stands for “narcissistic personality disorder,” which is a common ground to claim “psychological incapacity” in legal annulment court cases.

A “personality disorder” is a pattern of relating to and perceiving the world that’s maladaptive, impulsive, and inflexible.

It covers a broad range, involving personal, social, and occupational areas of functioning.

Psychologists typically trace it back to early experiences such as adolescence, that affect one’s thinking, interpersonal functioning, and impulse control.

DSM identifies 3 clusters of personality disorders, namely:

Cluster A:  paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorders. Characteristics- distrust, eccentricity, and emotional detachment.

Cluster B:  anti-social personality disorder, borderline, histrionic, and NPD.  Characteristics - disregard for others, unstable and intense interpersonal relationships, excessive attention seeking, entitlement issues, lack of empathy for others.

Cluster C:  avoidant personality, dependent personality, obsessive compulsive personality disorders.  Characteristics - avoider of social situations, clinging or submissive personality, and preoccupation with details, rules, and order