A “personality” is the collection of ways that we think, feel and behave that makes each of us an individual. Most of the time, our personality allows us to get on reasonably well with other people but for some of us, this isn’t true. If you have a personality disorder, parts of your personality make it hard for you to live with yourself and/or other people. You don’t learn from experience how to change the unhelpful parts of yourself
For whatever reason, parts of our personality develop in a way that makes it difficult for us to live with ourselves and/or other people. It can be difficult to learn from experience and to change those traits – the unhelpful ways of thinking, feeling and behaving – that cause the problems. Unlike the changes in personality that can be caused by traumatic events, or an injury to the brain, these traits will usually have been noticeable from childhood or early teens.
An individual may have a personality disorder if they find it difficult to:
- make or keep relationships
- get on with people at work or with friends and family
- keep out of trouble
- control your feelings or behaviour.
- Or, they are unhappy or distressed and/or find that they upset or harm other people.
Research has shown that personality disorders tend to fall into three groups, according to their emotional ‘flavour’:
Cluster A: ‘Suspicious’
Cluster B: ‘Emotional and impulsive’
Cluster C: ‘Anxious’