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  1. Types of personality disorder There are three ‘clusters’ of personality disorders A, B & C. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), a guide to diagnosis, divides personality disorders into three clusters: Cluster A - Odd/eccentric: schizoid, schizotypal Cluster B - Dramatic/emotional/erratic: antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic Cluster C - Anxious/fearful: avoidant, obsessive-compulsive. As well as these there is the controversial label of dangerous severe personality disorder (DSPD) but this is not recognised in clinical terms. Cluster A Paranoid personality disorder The person with a paranoid personality disorder essentially has an ongoing, unfounded suspiciousness and distrust of people. This can make them feel they are being exploited or deceived by others. In addition they can be emotionally detached. When this condition is diagnosed, schizophrenia and psychotic features of mood disorders must be ruled out. Schizoid personality disorder A person with schizoid personality disorder has few social relationships, expresses few emotions (especially those of warmth and tenderness), and appears to not care about the praise or criticism of others. They may appear absent minded and aloof, but are actually very shy. Schizotypal personality disorder Schizotypal personality disorder is characterised by problems with social and interpersonal relationships. A person with this disorder also has cognitive distortions and may appear to be quite eccentric in their behaviour. They often have magical thinking (‘if I think this, I can make that happen’), paranoia, and other seemingly strange thoughts. When schizotypal personality disorder is diagnosed, schizophrenia, mood disorder with psychosis, another psychotic disorder or a persistent developmental disorder need to be ruled out. Cluster B Antisocial personality disorder Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is closely linked with criminal behaviour. People with this personality disorder are often impulsive or reckless, without considering the consequences for themselves or others. They may put their needs above those of others, doing things to get what they want even if that means they may hurt people. Others may regard them as selfish, and they can be prone to outbursts of aggression and violence. A diagnosis of ASPD is not usually given to someone under 18 years old. However, its characteristics can be seen in younger people as conduct problems. Conduct problems can include aggressive or defiant behaviour and unlawful behaviour such as stealing. It is more than teenage rebellion. If young people with conduct problems are treated at an early age, this can prevent more serious problems later on. Borderline personality disorder Borderline personality disorder (BPD) refers to the symptoms being on the borderline between psychosis and neurosis. It is a disorder in which a person has a pattern of unstable personal relationships, and poor impulse control in areas such as spending, sexual conduct, driving, eating, and substance abuse. They may not have a strong sense of who they are. Additionally, the person suffering from BPD fears abandonment and will go to any length to prevent this, often feeling chronic emptiness. There may be s*****al threats, gestures or attempts made by the person with BPD. There may also be self-harm. Their mood may change quickly, often with outbursts of anger. Someone with BPD may also experience hallucinations and delusions. BPD is a controversial diagnosis, and some psychiatrists do not believe it exists. Histrionic personality disorder Histrionic personality disorder is characterised by people who are like to be the centre of attention, are lively and over dramatic. They easily become bored with normal routines, and crave new, novel situations and excitement. In relationships, they form bonds quickly, but the relationships are often shallow, with the person demanding increasing amounts of attention. Narcissistic personality disorder Narcissistic personality disorder involves grandiose (inflated) self-importance and preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success. They are often referred to as being conceited. They can often act selfishly, with a sense of entitlement over others. They generally have a low self-esteem. Cluster C Dependent personality Dependent personality involves passively allowing others to assume responsibility for major areas of ones life, often with a lack of self-confidence or lack of ability to function independently. This leads to the person making their own needs secondary to the needs of others, and then becoming dependent on them. While everyone is dependent on others in some parts of their lives, those with dependent personality disorder are dependent on almost all major areas of their lives and view themselves only through an extension of others. Avoidant personality disorder Avoidant personality disorder is where a person has an extreme fear of being judged negatively by other people and suffers from a high level of social discomfort as a result. They tend only to enter into relationships where uncritical acceptance is almost guaranteed, undergo social withdrawal and suffer low self-esteem. They have a great desire for affection and acceptance, but the fear of rejection can overwhelm this desire. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is characterised by a person who has a decreased ability to show warm and tender emotions, a perfectionism that decreases the ability to see the larger picture and difficulty in doing things any way but their own. Essentially, everything must be just right, and nothing can be left to chance. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is different from obsessive compulsive disorder, which must be ruled out before a diagnosis is made. Dangerous severe personality disorder (not in above clusters) The government first introduced the term ‘dangerous severe personality disorder’ in a consultation paper 'Managing Dangerous People with Severe Personality Disorder' in 1999, which was intended to lead to reform of the mental health legislation. Some specialist services have been set up to deal with these people, most of whom are thought to be serious violent and sexual offenders. The term DSPD has no legal or medical basis and many doctors regard it as a political intervention. From here http://www.rethink.o...ersonality.html