Personality Chapter 19.odt

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29 Mar 2012

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Chapter 19
Personality Disorders
The Building Blocks of Personality Disorders
Personality Traits: enduring patterns ....
Only when traits are inflexible, maladaptive, and cause significant functional impairment or
subjective distress do they constitute PDs.
PDs can be thought of as maladaptive variations or combinations of normal personality traits
Relevant to motives, cognitions, emotions, selfconcept, biology, and...
Social Relationships – almost always disturbed (unhealthy) or maladaptive, impaired social
relations are common to all Pds.
What Is Abnormal?
Statistical definition: Whatever is rare, not frequent, and not statistically normal
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 thoughts
Psychopathology: Study of mental disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV): Widely accepted
system for diagnosing and describing mental disorders
Personality Disorders:DSM IV
Personality Disorder: An enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that deviates
markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture (manifested in at least 2 of the
following areas: cognition, affectivity, interpersonal functioning, or impulse control)
New Definition: Personality disorders represent the failure to develop a sense of self-identity and
the capacity for interpersonal functioning that are adaptive in the context of the individual’s
cultural norms and expectations.
What is a Personality Disorder?
Enduring pattern of experience & behavior
differs greatly from expectations of a person’s culture
usually manifested in more than one of: Thoughts, feelings, how a person gets along with others,
and the ability to control own behaviors
rigid, displayed across variety of situations, leading to distress in key areas of life such as work,
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 condition
All personality disorders involve impaired social relations
Categories or Dimensions?
Categorical View
Either the person does, or does not, have PD
Disorders are viewed as distinct and qualitatively different from normal extremes on traits
Dimensional View
PDs are viewed as a continuum that ranges from normality at one end to severe disability or
disturbance at the other end
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