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Personality disorder

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Personality disorders are a type of mental disorder defined by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5) as "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."

Both genetic predispositions and environmental factors (e.g. childhood sexual/emotional abuse or neglect) can play a role in the development of personality disorders. In a sense, they can be thought of as coping mechanisms taken to the extreme. It is not uncommon for someone to have more than one personality disorder at the same time.

Personality disorders often inhibit a person's ability to function successfully in society, but are, by and large, not harmful to society (with certain exceptions). Megalomania, fear of interaction, belief that one is destined to be something "great", trouble with relationships and unstable self-image are all aspects that can lead to a diagnosis of "personality disorder."

Cluster A Disorders[edit]

Cluster A personality disorders involve eccentricity.

Paranoid Personality Disorder[edit]

Paranoid personality disorder involves a belief that other people are going to try to harm them, that is relatively impervious to evidence to the contrary.

Schizoid Personality Disorder[edit]

Schizoid personality disorder is characterised by inhibited emotions and a preference for being solitary. Someone with schizoid PD may be very detached and unemotional.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder[edit]

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterised by eccentric behaviour and beliefs. The person may realise that they are experiencing delusions, or they may be unsure and decide to follow along with them "just in case." Their odd mannerisms may be perplexing to other people.

Cluster B Disorders[edit]

Cluster B personality disorders often involve dramatic traits.

Antisocial personality disorder[edit]

Antisocial personality disorder (APD or ASPD) is sometimes referred to as psychopathy, with those affected called psychopaths. People with this disorder show little concern for others and experience shallow emotion. They are also prone to lying. Thus these people are likely to become charlatans, shysters, and other deceitful persons. It is estimated that 60-80% of some prison populations consist of people who suffer from ASPD. Symptoms tend to peak during the late teenage years and early 20s. They sometimes improve on their own by a person's 40s.[1]

From 1917 to 1990, U.S. immigration law banned gay people from entering the country, on the grounds that they were psychopaths. Congress intended the term "psychopathic personality" to designate homosexuals as well as persons having psychopathic disorders, as that term is generally understood.[2]

People with ASPD are often difficult to spot and blend in due to their "superficial charm". They may disregard the rights of others and often break the law and are criminals.

Borderline personality disorder[edit]

You know you're borderline when you fluctuate between fearing abandonment and encouraging it.
—Jaen Wirefly[3]

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) involves intense emotions and fear of abandonment. People with BPD may go to drastic lengths to avoid abandonment (real or perceived) and experience tumultuous emotions. These include a profound feeling of emptiness, depression, furious outbursts, fear, shame, and more.[4] People with BPD may act in extreme, manipulative, or otherwise inappropriate ways, and may lack the self-awareness to realize that this is wrong.

The prevailing theory about people with BPD is that their perceptions (e.g. splitting, regarding a person as all good or all bad) and resulting behavior toward those they have devalued is the result of subconscious defense mechanisms, rather than the kind of purposeful malice exhibited by those with ASPD. Indeed, many sufferers of BPD have lost companionship and friendships due to doing what simply believed was the right thing or what they had to do, even if lying or other sorts of destructive behavior is involved.[note 1]

Randi Kreger's Stop Walking on Eggshells and Splitting alleges that BPD can be a reason why people make false allegations of rape and domestic violence, although there is no evidence to support this and they are many people who suffer from BPD who can actually be victims of such things. Rates of false allegations of rape are the same as any other crime.[5] Dana Becker argues, "The BPD diagnosis has been used in court to institutionalize and/or medicate women involuntarily, deny them custody of their children, and have their parental rights terminated. Women diagnosed as having BPD have also frequently been discredited as witnesses in court cases involving rape or sexual abuse."[6]

Some people have voiced concerns about BPD being over-diagnosed in order to dismiss angry or unhappy women. Quinn Capes-Ivy argues, "Could that 'inappropriate anger' be not a disordered way of thinking, but valid female rage against a world which devalues women and things which are thought of as 'traditionally feminine'?"[7] BPD was described by Gillian Proctor as "the latest example of a historical tendency to explain away as 'madness' the strategies some women use to survive oppression and abuse."[8] Jennifer Reimer argues, "The portrayal of 'borderline women' in films in the late 1980s and early 1990s, such as Fatal Attraction, and Single White Female, as well as books like I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me, played a significant role in the stigmatization of so-called 'borderline' women."[9]

Some men's rights writers such as Paul Elam aka a MGTOW asshole argue that people with BPD know what they are doing and often enjoy it, saying to never "breed with a BPD woman."[10] This has generated some pushback, with people arguing that it is dehumanizing and unkind to talk about women with BPD this way.[11]

More recent studies have provided evidence that BPD is at least partly genetic in origin and has measurable biological effects that challenge its classification as a personality disorder. Specifically, people with BPD have been found to show a combination of unusually high levels of activity within the amygdala[12] and reduced prefrontal cortex activity, which would result in disproportionate emotional responses that cannot be regulated effectively.

Histrionic Personality Disorder[edit]

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) involves a need to be the center of attention. Someone with HPD may go to great lengths to get attention, and feel like they are performing on a stage at all times.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder[edit]

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) involves being highly self-centered. They tend to focus on their status and have an inflated sense of self importance. The main objective is acquiring narcissistic supply, as well as walking/having control over others, and becoming a success in life. You have the Grandiose narc (Donald Trump) and the covert such as (Walter White).

At times, people conflate the words "narcissist" and "abuser." The truth is that not every abuser is a narcissist, and not every (however most) narcissist is an abuser. The condition is highly stressful to have as you consistently seek validation, supply, and you thrive on emotional abuse. NPD is no joke.

Some experts have analyzed Donald Trump's behavior and suggested that he may have NPD.[13][14] Critics have pointed out the iffy ethics of armchair diagnosing public figures,[15] and argued that people with mental disorders might not appreciate being compared to Donald Trump.[16][17]

Gender issues with BPD and ASPD[edit]

Three-quarters of those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder are female. There is some speculation that because of gender stereotypes, a person manifesting certain thought and behavior patterns (e.g. impulsivity, anger, lying, reckless disregard for safety of self and others) is more likely to be diagnosed with BPD if female and antisocial personality disorder if male. A distinction sometimes drawn between BPD and ASPD is that borderlines "act in" by harming themselves while ASPDs "act out" by harming others.[18] Though that doesn't preclude the former from acting violent towards others or the latter from committing self-harm, of course, as illustrated by murderer and alleged kitten killer Luka Magnotta, a young male adult diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

With regard to the criteria, a major distinction between BPD and ASPD is the ASPD requirement "There is evidence of Conduct Disorder with onset before age 15 years." There is sometimes comorbidity between BPD and ASPD,[19] and men who physically abuse women often have borderline and antisocial traits.[20] According to the DSM, another difference between BPD and ASPD is that people with BPD are manipulative to gain the concern and nurturance of caregivers, while people with ASPD are manipulative to gain power, profit, or some other material gratification. Also, people with ASPD tend to be less emotionally unstable and more aggressive than people with BPD.

Anakin Skywalker of the Star Wars prequel trilogy is often held up as an instructive example of how BPD presents in males.[21] As for females, the show Crazy Ex Girlfriend is about a woman with BPD.[22] Interestingly, the show just started off with the main character being... odd, to say the least, but going with whatever behavior would make for the silliest song for a musical sitcom. In the later seasons they brought an actual psychiatrist to consult and determined that the lead character fits BPD to the letter.

Cluster C Disorders[edit]

Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by fear.

Avoidant Personality Disorder[edit]

People with avoidant personality disorder (AvPD) avoid social situations due to extreme anxiety.

Dependent Personality Disorder[edit]

People with dependent personality disorder (DPD) rely on other people to take care of them and make decisions for them in order to feel secure.

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder[edit]

People with obsessive compulsive personality (OCPD) feel the need to micromanage things.

External links[edit]


  1. However, violence and BPD correlating is very, very rare, some even learning to detest it due to the destructive environments they grew up in


  3. Borderline Personality Disorder Quotes
  5. "Some statements may be exaggerations, such as a woman accusing her husband of 'strangling her' when he touched her neck. . . . One woman lied that she had been raped to get her boyfriend's attention when he had not been paying enough attention to her."
  6. Borderline Personality Disorder: The Disparagement of Women through Diagnosis
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder - a feminist critique, the f word
  8. BPD: not just a feminist issue
  9. Borderline Personality Disorder, Feminism, Mentally Impaired?
  10. BPD: Sick, or just crazy asshole?
  11. Pushing Back: Women with Borderline Personality Disorder Deserve Love
  13. ‘Is Trump a psychopath? I’d call him a narcissist’ by Zoe Williams (Tuesday 23 August 2016 13.29 EDT) The Guardian.
  14. Does Trump Suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
  15. Trump's mental health and why people are discussing it
  16. What You Should Think About Before You Tweet #DiagnoseTrump
  17. Why The "Diagnose Trump" Hashtag Hurts People With Mental Illness
  18. 10 Myths about Borderline Personality Disorder Dispelled
  19. "de Barros et al found that while antisocial individuals tend to engage in more property crimes, borderline individuals tend to exhibit more episodes of aggression and physical violence. The authors concluded that criminals with pure antisocial personality are more calculating and exhibit more detailed planning, whereas those with BPD experience more impulsive and explosive episodes of violence. Again, one would assume that combining the two disorders would result in a very criminally combustible outcome."