The Dark Side of Personality
Among non-psychologists, it is common to confuse personality disorders with psychological disorders generally (i.e., psychopathology), when in fact personality disorders are only one variety of psychopathology.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association, 1994) distinguishes disorders like depression and schizophrenia (Axis I disorders) from personality disorders (Axis II disorders).
Although there is a great deal of overlap among these different kinds of disorders (e.g., borderline personality disorder often occurs with depression, and personality disorders often occur together), it is probably worthwhile at least to be aware of the conceptual distinction.
Personality disorders, by definition, are disorders of personality. Consequently, they are typified by early onset and pervasive effects. Nevertheless, there are treatments that can help those with personality disorders learn to cope with their distinctive problems in living.
The following acronyms for the personality disoders (Pinkofsky, 1997) should make them understandable and memorable. The group headings are based respectively on the DSM-IV, the structural analysis of social behavior (SASB; Benjamin, 1996), and the psychoticism - extraversion - neuroticism (PEN) model (Eysenck, 1987). It is because of their relation to theories that have inspired scientific research that personality disorders are included herein.
After this topic is opened by someone, I will post the quick guide or acronyms. Its too long for one post.
Antisocial personality disorder: CORRUPT (3 criteria).
C: Conformity to law lacking
O: Obligations ignored
R: Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
R: Remorse lacking
U: Underhanded (deceitful, lies, cons others)
P: Planning insufficient (impulsive)
T: Temper (irritable and aggressive)
Borderline personality disorder: AM SUICIDE (5 criteria).
M: Mood instability (marked reactivity of mood)
S: Suicidal (or self-mutilating) behavior
U: Unstable and intense relationships
I: Impulsivity (in two potentially self-damaging areas)
C: Control of anger
I: Identity disturbance
D: Dissociative (or paranoid) symptoms that are transient and stress-related
E: Emptiness (chronic feelings of)
Histrionic personality disorder: PRAISE ME (5 criteria).
P: Provocative (or sexually seductive) behavior
R: Relationships (considered more intimate than they are)
A: Attention (uncomfortable when not the center of attention)
I: Influenced easily
S: Style of speech (impressionistic, lacks detail)
E: Emotions (rapidly shifting and shallow)
M: Made up (physical appearance used to draw attention to self)
E: Emotions exaggerated (theatrical)
Narcissistic personality disorder: SPECIAL (5 criteria).
S: Special (believes he or she is special and unique)
P: Preoccupied with fantasies (of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love)
C: Conceited (grandiose sense of self-importance)
I: Interpersonal exploitation
A: Arrogant (haughty)
L: Lacks empathy
Avoidant personalty disorder: CRINGES (4 criteria).
C: Certainty (of being liked required before willing to get involved with others)
R: Rejection (or criticism) preoccupies one's thoughts in social situations
I: Intimate relationships (restraint in intimate relationships due to fear of being shamed)
N: New interpersonal relationships (is inhibited in)
G: Gets around occupational activity (involving significant interpersonal contact)
E: Embarrassment (potential) prevents new activity or taking personal risks
S: Self viewed as unappealing, inept, or inferior
Dependent personality disorder: RELIANCE (5 criteria).
R: Reassurance required for decisions
E: Expressing disagreement difficult (due to fear of loss of support or approval)
L: Life responsibilites (needs to have these assumed by others)
I: Initiating projects difficult (due to lack of self-confidence)
A: Alone (feels helpless and discomfort when alone)
N: Nurturance (goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support)
C: Companionship (another relationship) sought urgently when close relationship ends
E: Exaggerated fears of being left to care for self
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: LAW FIRMS (4 criteria).
L: Loses point of activity (due to preoccupation with detail)
A: Ability to complete tasks (compromised by perfectionism)
W: Worthless objects (unable to discard)
F: Friendships (and leisure activities) excluded (due to a preoccupation with work)
I: Inflexible, scrupulous, overconscientious (on ethics, values, or morality, not accounted for by religion or culture)
R: Reluctant to delegate (unless others submit to exact guidelines)
M: Miserly (toward self and others)
S: Stubbornness (and rigidity)
Schizoid personality disorder: DISTANT (4 criteria).
D: Detached (or flattened) affect
I: Indifferent to criticism and praise
S: Sexual experiences of little interest
T: Tasks (activities) done solitarily
A: Absence of close friends
N: Neither desires nor enjoys close relations
T: Takes pleasure in few activities
Schizotypal personality disorder: ME PECULIAR (5 criteria).
M: Magical thinking or odd beliefs
E: Experiences unusual perceptions
P: Paranoid ideation
E: Eccentric behavior or appearance
C: Constricted (or inappropriate) affect
U: Unusual (odd) thinking and speech
L: Lacks close friends
I: Ideas of reference
A: Anxiety in social situations
R: Rule out psychotic disorders and pervasive developmental disorder
I have some difficulties with the classifications of DSM's...and there is often confusion of diagnostics..wellknown, well at least more and more...So, it's not the Bible of our so complex minds...In my opinion some more simple explanations can be given in the begining...if not trying to use those big words..I'll try breifly here, i don't know if with my bad english it will work, we'll see; : basically, the big groups of mental issues are neurosis and psychosis; each are different in their own functionning, and consequently in their therapy. Very different, and there is where in therapy, many make mistakes of diagnosis...for ex treating somebody suffering of psychotic affections with a methodology of one suffering of neurosis and often, it's damaging.
What both mean in their own perception of self: both are defenses against difficulties of varied sorts, a protection shelf. what characterizes neurosis is that the person, even if suffering of issues, has still a perception of self as a whole; not the person suffering of psychosis, who's perception is being in pieces.
And in between, from one to the other, there are are levels of mixtures, one in another, or separately...Falling into psychosis may happen progressively...paranoia might be a sign, and what other signs occurred before..there are steps..
Also, very true of how we use the terms...there is the word structure, character or personnality..in between something that is fixed, and something that evolves, like a tendency, that will go away, with time..
Of course there is more...but..all is not so black and white as the DMS puts it..there are grey zones....
Oh and both groups have their own type of depression, as some mention this issue a lot on here...
Finally i did not mention perversion...in different degrees...a 3rd big group...and i think that many of the threads opened on this subject describe it...I hope it helps to clarify a bit more...