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Lecture 19

01:830:338 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Personality Disorder, Abnormal Psychology, Psychopathology

Course Code
Professor Lyra Stein

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Chapter 19
Disorders of Personality
Chapter Outline
The Building Blocks of Personality Disorders
Symptoms of personality disorders can be viewed as maladaptive variations within
the domains of traits, emotions, cognitions, motives, and self-concept
Personality disorders as maladaptive variations or combinations of normal personality
Several personality disorders involve maladaptive variations on common motives,
especially power and intimacy
Cognitive processes can become distorted in personal disorders
Several personal disorders include extreme variations in experienced emotion
Most personality disorders include distortion of self-concept
Social relationships, especially interpersonal and sexual behavior, frequently
disturbed or involve maladaptive patterns in personality disorders
Biology forms a building block of several personality disorders
Disorders of personality can provide insight into the normal workings of personality
The Concept of Disorder
Psychological disorder
Pattern of behavior or experience that is distressing and painful to the person
Leads to disability or impairment in important life domains
Associated with the increased risk for further suffering, loss of function,
death, or confinement
Abnormal psychology: Study of mental disorders, including thought disorders,
emotional disorders, and personality disorders
What Is Abnormal?
Statistical definition: Whatever is rare, not frequent, and not statistically
Social definition: Whatever society does not tolerate
Statistical and social definitions are tied to changing social or cultural norms
Psychologists thus look within persons, inquiring about subject feelings and
Psychopathology: Study of mental disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Widely accepted system for diagnosing and describing mental disorders
Because society standards change over time, and because new research
accumulates, the DSM undergoes revision from time to time
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What is a Personality Disorder?
Enduring pattern of experience and behavior that differs greatly from
expectations of a person’s culture
Disorder is usually manifested in more than one of following areas: Thoughts,
feelings, how a person gets along with others, and the ability to control own
Pattern of behavior is rigid and displayed across a variety of situations,
leading to distress in key areas of life such as work and relationships
Pattern of behavior typically has a long history in a person’s life, often back to
adolescence or childhood
Pattern must not be attributable to drug abuse, medication, or other medical
Culture, age, and gender: The effect of context
Must take into account person’s culture, age, gender before defining behavior
as revealing personality disorder
Specific Personality Disorders
The Erratic Cluster: Ways of Being Unpredictable, Violent, or Emotional
Antisocial personality disorder
Little concern for others
Easily irritated and assaultive
Reckless and irresponsible
Glib or superficial charm
Callous social attitudes
Lack of guilt feelings or remorse
Indifferent to suffering of others
Borderline personality disorder
Marked by instability: relationships, behavior, emotions, even images of
Shifting views of themselves
Strong emotions
huge vacillations in both mood and feelings about the self and others
Histrionic personality disorder
Excessive attention seeking and emotionality
Inappropriately seductive or provocative
Physical appearance is often very important
Express their opinions frequently and dramatically, however their opinions
are shallow
Display strong emotions in public
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