Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Personality Disorder Definition:

A group of disruptive personality traits which become evident by adolescence or early adulthood.

Related Terms: Mental Disorder, DSM-IV, Antisocial Personality Disorder

Schmidt defines personality disorder as follows:

"Disorders of character and patterns of perceiving and relating to the environment and oneself, marked by inflexible traits that cause subjective (personal) distress and/or impairment in occupational or social functioning."

The American Psychiatric Association defines a personality disorder as follows:

"... an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment....

"The personality traits that define (personality disorders) must ... be distinguished from characteristics that emerge in response to specific situational stressors or more transient mental states (e.g., mood or anxiety disorders, substance intoxication)."1

Examples include antisocial personality disorder; avoidant personality disorder; borderline personality disorder; dependent personality disorder; histrionic personality disorder; narcissistic personality disorder; obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; paranoid personality disorder; personality disorder; schizoid personality disorder; and schizotypal personality disorder.

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