What is “Personality?”
The term “personality” refers to the traits, patterns, and behaviors that distinguish a person. An individual’s worldview, emotions, ideas, and attitudes contribute to the unique personality. When someone has a healthy personality, he or she can handle daily stressors and form meaningful relationships. However, someone with a personality disorder struggles with these aspects of life.
What is Personality Disorder?
Personality disorders are mental illnesses that affect a patient’s ability to form and keep interpersonal relationships, adapt to the changing demands of life, and use healthy behavior patterns. People with disordered personalities often feel as though their behaviors are “normal,” but they struggle with their rigid worldviews and social difficulties.
Recognizing a Personality Disorder
Like all mental illnesses, a personality disorder disrupts a person’s life. Patients must meet several criteria before they receive a diagnosis of this kind. The psychologist must see deeply embedded behavior patterns that show that the patient’s perceptions, actions, thoughts, and relations with others are severely distorted.
Personality disorders tend to present in the teenage years, and symptoms continue well into adulthood. By middle age, the signs of the disease tend to be less evident than before.
What Causes a Personality Disorder?
Early childhood events, genetic predispositions, and environmental factors can all play roles in personality disorders. Experts do not entirely agree on the primary reasons that some people develop these illnesses, and the exact causes may vary among patients.