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Personality Disorders

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It's so hard to tell when the person you live with, your child, your parent or your co-worker is simply rubbing you the wrong way or confusing you. Are they simply difficult to get along with or is it all your fault? Are you taking things too personally because you are sensitive or is it deeper, more insidious than that?

Teasing out the differences between a glitchy communication situation and a real personality disorder is far from easy. Personality disorders are as complex as the human beings they affect and, while they may not appear to be as dramatic as schizophrenia or clinical depression, these disorders can indeed interfere with functioning successfully in every day life.

In fact, the American Psychiatric Association (otherwise known as the APA) defines a personality disorder in the following manner: “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it”.

Not unlike mental illness, many personality disorders crop up and manifest during late adolescence and early adulthood, although some can be traced back to childhood.

So what are the types of personality disorders, the list of personality disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual? Can you take a test to determine of you've got one?

(Actually, you can, and the link is here: http://similarminds.com/personality_disorder.html)

Personality disorders tend to have similarities and as such are grouped together according to their key characteristics.

People with personality disorders which fall into the Eccentric Characteristics category often appear to be extremely different, peculiar and strange to others.

These include:

1. Paranoid Personality Disorder – This person tends to interpret the actions of others as threatening.

2. Schizoid Personality Disorder – This individual is detached from social relationships, and shows a narrow range of emotional expression in various social settings.

3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder – This one is uncomfortable in close relationships, has thought or perceptual distortions, and peculiarities of behavior.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.