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Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder Symptoms & Diagnosis


If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to passive-aggressive personality disorder. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.

Symptoms include:

  • Contradictory and inconsistent behavior. An individual with passive-aggressive personality disorder may appear enthusiastic to carry out others’ requests, but he or she purposely performs in a manner that is not useful and sometimes even damaging.
  • Intentional avoidance of responsibility. Some behaviors that may be used to avoid responsibility include:
    • Procrastination – to delay or postpone needlessly and intentionally
    • Deliberate inefficiency – purposefully performing in an incompetent manner
    • Forgetfulness
  • Feelings of resentment toward others
  • Stubbornness
  • Argumentative, sulky, and hostile, especially toward authority figures
  • Easily offended
  • Resentful of useful suggestions from others
  • Blames others
  • Chronically impatient
  • Unexpressed anger or hostility


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, including mental health history. Then, the doctor will most likely refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist.

To locate mental health services in your area, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s “Locate Services” website at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/HealthInformation/GettingHelp.cfm .

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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