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Definition of a Personality Disorder, List of Psychological Disorders

Abstract: Short definition of a personality disorder: A personality disorder is a personality trait that is pervasive and intrusive and leads to distress and impairment.

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Definition of a Personality Disorder, List of Psychological Disorders

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 31 Jul 2008.

What is a personality Disorder? How is personality disorder different from other mental disorders? Give a list of personality disorders.

Answer:

Personality disorders are mental disorder with inflexible, enduring, maladaptive patterns of adjustment to life that cause either subjective distress or significant impairment of adaptive functioning.

The DSM-IV: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association) defines a personality disorder as an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that

  • deviates markedly from the expectation of the individual's culture,
  • is pervasive and inflexible,
  • has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood,
  • is stable over time, and
  • leads to distress or impairment.
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