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healthbound

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What makes a personality disorder what it is?

I can look at the "title" and assume that it is a disorder of one's personality - so maybe my question really is - what is personality?

Are personality disorders considered mental illnesses?

Last dumb question...
Is there a symptom or two that clearly differentiates bpd from other disorders or illnesses? For example, what makes borderline personality disorder different from PTSD? The life threatening (or perceived to be life threatening) event that triggers symptoms?

Thank you.
 

David Baxter

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healthbound said:
What makes a personality disorder what it is?

I can look at the "title" and assume that it is a disorder of one's personality - so maybe my question really is - what is personality?

Are personality disorders considered mental illnesses?
Some definitions:

Mental disorder characterized by inflexible, deeply ingrained, maladaptive patterns of adjustment to life that cause either subjective distress or significant impairment of adaptive functioning; manifestations are generally recognizable in adolescence or earlier. Currently diagnosed personality disorders include paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, histrionic, narcissistic, borderline, avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive.
www.ohpsych.org/Public/glossary.htm

A category of mental disorders, characterized by a long-term pattern of serious behavioral differences that significantly affect the functioning of the individual in personal and social situations.
www.seroquel.com/cons_bip/care/tools/glossary.asp

A nonpsychotic illness characterized by enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about oneself and the environment in ways that are maladaptive. The individual uses inflexible behavior patterns to fulfill his or her own needs and attain self-satisfaction, often at the expense of others and society in general. Results in significant functional impairment and/or subjective distress.
www.dphilpotlaw.com/html/glossary.html

inflexible and maladaptive patterns of behavior
www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn2.1

Personality disorders form a class of mental disorders that are characterized by long-lasting rigid patterns of thought and behaviour. Because of the inflexibility and pervasiveness of these patterns, they can cause serious problems and impairment of functioning for the persons who are afflicted with these disorders
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorder

heakthbound said:
Is there a symptom or two that clearly differentiates bpd from other disorders or illnesses? For example, what makes borderline personality disorder different from PTSD? The life threatening (or perceived to be life threatening) event that triggers symptoms?
First, PTSD is an Axis I diagnosis (like major depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.), not a personality disorder, so it is possible to be diagnosed with both PTSD and borderline personality disorder.

Second, the criteria for borderline personality disorder are as follows:

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
  1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
  2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation (i.e., categorical thinking about other people - devil or angel - best friend or worst enemy)
  3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, Substance Abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
  5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  7. chronic feelings of emptiness
  8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms [/list:eek:]

  1. Of these, I'm not sure that any single one is definitive, although I would say that #2 comes close.
 

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