Chapter 12: Personality Disorders
Defining and diagnosing personality disorders
Characteristics of a personality disorder and differences between
personality disorders and other disorders
Personality disorder – long-standing pattern of maladaptive
behaviors, thoughts, and feelings
Cluster A: three disorders characterized by
behaviors and thinking.
Paranoid P.D., schizoid P.D., and Schizotypal P.D.
Cluster B: four disorders characterized by
erratic, and emotional behavior and interpersonal
Antisocial P.D., histrionic P.D., borderline P.D.,
and narcissistic P.D.
Cluster C: three disorders characterized by
fearful emotions and chronic self doubt.
Dependent P.D., obsessive-compulsive P.D., and
Problems with the DSM categories
4 of them
DSM-IV-TR treats these disorders as categories; each is
described as if it represents something qualitatively
different from a “normal” personality, yet there is
substantial evidence that several of the disorders represent
the extreme versions of normal personality traits.
There is a great deal of overlap in the diagnostic criteria.
Diagnosing a personality disorder often requires
information that is hard for a clinician to obtain.
The personality disorders are conceptualized as stable
characteristics of an individual.
Gender and ethnic biases in construction and application
Over/under-diagnosis in women, over/under-diagnosis in men
Responses and arguments
Histrionic, dependent, and borderline pds, which are
characterized by flamboyant behavior, emotionality, and
dependence on others, are simply extreme versions of
negative stereotypes of women’s personalities—clinicians
quick to diagnose women with these disorders.
Antisocial, paranoid, and obsessive-compulsive pds, which
are characterized by violent, hostel, and controlling
behaviors, represent extremes of negative stereotypes of
men—clinicians quick to diagnose men with these