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    Brief Overview of Personality Disorders

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    Everyone has personality traits that help define who they are and how they view the world. These traits are often exhibited to those around us and they help others see who we really are. Our personality may be what draws other individuals to us, but it can also be what keeps people away from us. When our personality traits begin to impact the way that we interact with the world; in maladaptive ways, or they become debilitating for us, we may be diagnosed with a personality disorder.
    The American Psychiatric Association has created a set of guidelines that must be met in order for someone to be diagnosed with a personality disorder. These guidelines are given in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This article will briefly outline what these guidelines are in order to determine if a personality disorder exists. However, it is very important to understand that a professional needs to make the diagnosis.

    Criteria for a Personality Disorder

    1.) The person’s pattern of behavior, or experiences, is very different from those exhibited by the greater society, or culture that the individual is a part of. They will exhibit these patterns through their thoughts, affect, functions with others, or even in their ability to control their impulses.
    2.) They will show these behaviors in a wide range of situations and they are not willing to change them.
    3.) The behavior and experiences will have a very large impact on the way that they interact with others socially, on the job, or other areas that are important.
    4.) They can be traced back to the person’ early years, or when they were an adolescent.
    5.) The traits are not the cause of a medical condition or the result of substance use.