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PSYC 3390 (102)
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Week 8.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 3390
Professor
Mary Manson

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Chapter 11 - Personality Disorders (pg. 378-398) Clinical Features of Personality Disorders - Personality; the set of unique traits and behaviors that characterize the individual - Personality disorder; certain traits that are so inflexible and maladaptive that one is not able to perform adequately at least some of the varied roles expected of them by their society - Personality disorders were formerly known by psychodynamic theorists as character disorders - According to DSM-IV-TR criteria for diagnosing a personality disorder, the person’s enduring pattern of behavior must be pervasive and inflexible, as well as stable and of long duration. It must also cause either clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning and be manifested in at least two of the following areas: cognition, affectivity, interpersonal functioning, or impulse control - Epidemiological Studies; designed to establish the prevalence of a particular disorder in a very large sample of people living in the community Difficulties Doing Research on Personality Disorders - Misdiagnoses probably occur here more than in any other category of disorder - Diagnostic criteria for personality disorders are not as sharply defined as for most Axis I diagnosis categories, so they are often not very precise or easy to follow in practice - With the development of semistructured interviews and self-report inventories for the diagnosis of personality disorders, certain aspects of diagnostic reliability have increased substantially - However, there are substantial reliability and validity issues with these diagnoses, and the diagnostic categories are not mutually exclusive because people often show characteristics of more than one personality disorder - One major problem in studying the causes of personality disorders stems from the high level of comorbidity among them, this adds to the difficulty of untangling which causal factors are associated with which personality disorder - UBC twin study that began in 1991 included measures of the personalty traits that are thought to underlie personality disorders as well as categories defined in DSM-IV-TR and it is now recognized that genetic contribution to personality disorders is probably mediated by the genetic contributions to the most primary trait dimensions most implicated in each disorder - Many maladaptive habits and cognitive styles have been hypothesized to play important roles for certain disorders - Disorders may originate from disturbed parent-child relationships, early emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, various social stressors, societal changes, and cultural values have also been implicated Categories of Personality Disorders - Cluster A: Includes paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. People with these disorders often seem odd or eccentric, with unusual behavior often ranging from distrust and suspiciousness to social detachment - Cluster B: Includes histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial, and borderline personality disorders. Individuals with these disorders share a tendency to be dramatic, emotional, and erratic. - Cluster C: Includes avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. In contrast to the other two clusters, anxiety and fearfulness are often part of these disorders. - Depressive and passive-aggressive personality disorders are also listed in DSM-IV-TR in a provisional category - Paranoid personality disorder; individuals have a pervasive suspiciousness and distrust of others, leading to numerous interpersonal difficulties. They see themselves as blameless to the point of ascribing evil motives to others. Most of the time they are in clear contact with reality and are not psychotic, although may experience transient psychotic symptoms during periods of stress. - Schizoid personality disorder; individuals are usually unable to form social relationships and lack interest in doing so, typically do not have good friends, unable to express their feelings and are seen by others as cold or distant. They are not very emotionally reactive and rarely marry or experience strong positive or negative emotions, but rather show a generally apathetic mood. - Schizotypal personality disorder; individuals are excessively introverted and have pervasive social and interpersonal deficits but additionally have cognitive and perceptual distortions and eccentricities in their communication and behaviour. Usually maintain contact with reality but highly personalized and superstitious thinking is characteristic and they may experience transient psychotic symptoms under high stress. Often believe they have magical powers, have odd speech, and paranoid beliefs. - Histrionic personality disorder; excessive attention-seeking behavior and emotionality are key, tend to feel under-appreciated if they are not the center of attention and their lively, dramatic, and excessively extroverted styles often ensure that they can charm others into attending to them. May attempt to control their partner through seductive behavior and emotional manipulation but they also show a good deal of dependence. Usually are considered self-centered, vain, and excessively concerned with the approval of others. - Narcissistic personality disorder; individuals show an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with being admired, and a lack of empathy for the feelings of others. Overestimate their abilities and accomplishments, while underestimating the abilities and accomplishments of others. Their sees of entitlement is frequently a source of astonishment to others, behave in stereotypical ways to gain recognition, often think they can be understood only by other high-status people, finally their sense of entitlement is also associated with an unwillingness to forgive others for perceived slights, and
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