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Personality Disorder Basics

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The Basics of Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is defined as a deeply ingrained, maladaptive pattern of behavior that typically begins in adolescence and continues throughout adulthood creating emotional pain and interpersonal difficulties.

There are 10 or 11 types of personality disorders referenced by mental health professionals. The two main references for classifications of any mental health diagnosis are the World Health Organization (WHO)’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) and the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th revision (DSM-5).

Types of Personality Disorders:

  1. Paranoid personality disorder
  2. Schizoid personality disorder
  3. Schizotypal personality disorder [In ICD-10, it is a subtype of Schizoid. In DSM-5, it is a separate type.]
  4. Antisocial [or Dissocial] personality disorder
  5. Borderline personality disorder or Emotionally unstable personality disorder
  6. Histrionic personality disorder
  7. Narcissistic personality disorder [Listed in ICD-10 as a subtype of Other specific personality disorders]
  8. Obsessive-compulsive personality [or Anankastic] personality disorder [Distinct from Obsessive-compulsive disorder]
  9. Anxious [or Avoidant] personality disorder
  10. Dependent personality disorder
  11. Personality disorder, unspecified [or not otherwise specified]

Reference: DSM-5

and ICD-10 which uses a slightly different classification for NPD, please see

Or see this reference document from ICD-10, look for diagnostic category F60 on pages 36 and 154:

Personality Disorders: Awareness and Prevention

Except for two personality disorders, not a lot of published research is available related to causes or etiology, prevention and treatment.

The two personality for which more research is available are Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). These disorders are now studied in depth, especially borderline PD. Good data is known about their origins, risk factors and treatment. PDAN offers further articles on these two personality disorders, that address our primary mission of prevention. Naturally, the place to begin this prevention is in children.

The lists of diagnostic codes from DSM-IV (previous edition of DSM-5) is available in Wikipedia. The codes have not changed in DSM-5. With the advent of the DSM-5 in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association eliminated the longstanding multiaxial system for mental disorders used in DSM-IV. Personality disorders are now listed on the same axis with all mental and other medical diagnoses; See DSM-IV reference and DSM-5 reference.

The DSM-5 is available online from American Psychiatric Publishing. As far as we know, the DSM-5 is not available for free online.

Learn more from PDAN:

Can Personality Disorders Be Prevented?

Can Personality Disorders Be Cured?


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Important: This site has been provided for information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for clinical therapy.

The opinions contained on this website remain those of the contributing authors.