Counseling/Personality Disorder Cheat Sheet

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Personality Disorder[edit | edit source]

Personality describes characteristic ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. A personality disorder describes a personality that is not necessarily disorganized, but has a way of being that is maladaptive. Personality disorders are divided into three groups or "clusters":

         Cluster A: is odd or eccentric personality disorders
         Cluster B: dramatic, emotional, or erratic personalities
         Cluster C: fearful and anxious personalities

The diagnosis of personalitiy disorders is highly controversial due to the lack of reliability in research and replication.

(Diagnostic Criteria, Polythetic Format, Personology and Psychiatry)

Cognition[edit | edit source]

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Impulse control
  • Affect

Characteristics of Personality Disorders[edit | edit source]

  • Inflexible traits
  • Maladaptive behavior
  • Long-standing
  • Pervasive
  • Difficult to treat
  • Ego syntonic

Types of Personality Disorders[edit | edit source]

  • Schizoid
  • Paranoid
  • Schizotypal
  • Narcissistic
  • Histrionic
  • Borderline
  • Antisocial
  • Avoidant
  • Compulsive
  • Dependent
  • Depressive
  • Negativistic

Schizoid[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster A
  • Odd beliefs and “magical thinking” that influences behavior and is inconsistent with cultural norms
  • Odd, constricted affect; inappropriate or flat affect
  • Apathetic, remote solitary, indifferent
  • Little need for attachment
  • Not aware of feelings
  • Few drives or ambitions
  • withdrawn, emotional suppression, spouses complain of lack of intimacy
  • Develop anxiety, somatoform reactions, brief reactive psychosis

Avoidant[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster C
  • Hesitant, self-conscious, embarrassed
  • Fears rejection, anxious
  • Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact because of fears of criticism, disapproval, rejection, etc
  • Inept, inferior, unappealing, lonely
  • Hypersensitive to evaluation
  • Profound feelings of inadequacy
  • Sensitive to signs of disapproval
  • Use fantasy as defense (if only…)
  • Risk for developing social phobia

Depressive[edit | edit source]

  • Somber, pessimistic, fatalistic, brooding
  • Valueless, guilty, impotent
  • Worthy of criticism and contempt
  • New scale, not a lot of validity
  • Gloomy, passive, quiet, pessimistic
  • Down, hard to please, defeatist
  • Difficulty expressing anger
  • High scores could be due to major depression or dysthymia

Dependent[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster C
  • Difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from other
  • Difficulty expressing disagreement or saying “no” because of fear of loss of support/approval
  • Helpless, incompetent, submissive
  • Irresponsible, weak, fragile
  • Submissive, acquiescence, concerns about being abandoned, fears of rejection, self-blame, insecure
  • Co-morbid with depression and anxiety

Histrionic[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster B
  • Uncomfortable in situations where s/he is not the center of attention
  • Dramatic, seductive, shallow
  • Interactions with others characterized by inappropriate sexual, seductive, and/or provocative behavior; very flirtatious
  • Attention seeking, exhibitionistic, “attractive”, “charming”
  • Colourful
  • Center of attention
  • Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • Shallow emotions

Narcissistic[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster B
  • Has a strong sense of entitlement; tend to be interpersonally exploitative or manipulative
  • Believes that s/he is special/unique and can only be understood or associate with other special or high-status people
  • Egotistical, arrogant, entitled, grandiose
  • Feelings that s/he is “Admirable”, “superior”
  • Egocentricity, independence, grandiosity, feelings of superiority
  • Self-centered, entitled, constant praise
  • Bubble bursts… prone to depression, paranoia, substance abuse

Antisocial[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster B
  • Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
  • Deceitfulness, repeatedly lying, use of aliases or cons for personal gain
  • Impulsive, irresponsible, deviant, unruly
  • Lack of remorse, indifferent, or rationalizes behaviors
  • Non-reflective, self-serving
  • Disrespectful, free, independent
  • Motivated to avoid control and domination
  • Aggressive, hostile, reckless
  • Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
  • Competitive, blunt, intimidating
  • Prone to legal, vocation and marital difficulties

Sadistic[edit | edit source]

(Not official PD, diagnosis – PD NOS)

  • Hostile, abrasive, cruel, dogmatic
  • Explosive, intimidating, dominating
  • opinionated and close-minded
  • Dominating, mean, cruel, aggressive
  • Top Dog persona
  • Publicly “ok” – successful
  • Private “monster”
  • Type A personalities

Compulsive[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster C
  • Pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency
  • Restrained, conscientious, respectful
  • Rigid, conventional, regulated
  • Reliable, efficient, productive
  • Organized, perfectionistic, impatient, good morals, obedient behavior, suppression of emotions
  • Overly conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, and values
  • Fears disapproval
  • Might be a style
  • NOTE: This is different from true Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Negativistic[edit | edit source]

  • Resentful, skeptical, discontented
  • Resisting, inefficient
  • Angry, moody, irritable, sullen

Passive-aggressive negativistic[edit | edit source]

Not official, PD NOS

  • Twisted, conflicted personalities
  • Irritable, hostile, negativistic
  • complaining, disgruntled
  • feel unappreciated, pout
  • disillusioned
  • Vacillate from compliance to oppositional
  • predictor of loss of control over emotions
  • Indicator of serious psychiatric illness

Self-defeating (Masochistic)[edit | edit source]

  • effacing, servile, blameful
  • Defeatist, self-condemning
  • Self-sacrificing, deserve to suffer
  • Martyr-like, endures abuse
  • Look for victimization
  • Not a well-validated scale
  • Not official anymore – PD NOS

Paranoid[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster A
  • Guarded, defensive, distrustful
  • Feeling “persecuted”
  • Suspects, without a sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him/her*Hypervigilance
  • Sensitivity
  • Rigid and argumentative
  • Annoyance with others
  • Grandiosity
  • Edgy defensiveness
  • Secretive
  • Preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty and trustworthiness of friends/associates

Schizotypal[edit | edit source]

  • Eccentric, bizarre, absent
  • Peculiar, odd, disconnected
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Self-absorbed in own thoughts
  • Ideas of reference
  • Detachment, social isolation
  • Self-conscious and anxious

Borderline[edit | edit source]

  • Cluster B
  • Borderline between merely neurotic and fully psychotic
  • Unpredictable, manipulative, unstable
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Identity disturbance/lack of strong identity; unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Fears abandonment
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Moody, contrary
  • Unstable mood, anger, guilt, dependency seeking, Impulsive, self-damaging
  • Suicidal
  • Constantly seek approval
  • Prone to brief psychotic reactions
  • Poor sense of self and boundaries