the characteristic way that a person thinks, feels, and behaves; the relatively stable and predictable part of a person's thought and behavior; it includes conscious attitudes, values, and styles as well as unconscious conflicts and defense mechanisms. Personality traits
are simple features of normal and abnormal personalities. Personality types
are categories applicable to both normal and abnormal personalities; usually they belong to a coherent typology, such as introvert/extrovert or oral/anal/phallic.
Early Life and Personality. The newborn comes into the world completely dependent on others for satisfying individual basic human needs. Feelings of security in a relationship with the mother, or an adequate substitute, is the cornerstone of mental health in later years.
As children develop, they need to learn and to meet the day-to-day problems of life, and to master them. In resolving these challenges, one chooses solutions from many possibilities. Psychologists have studied how these choices are made and use technical terms to describe them, such as repression and sublimation. The behavior patterns chosen result in certain character traits which will influence a child's way of meeting the world—whether the child will lead or follow, be conscientious or reckless, imitate his or her parents or prefer to be as different from them as possible, or take a realistic, flexible path between these extremes. The sum total of these traits represents the personality.
The Well-Adjusted Personality. A well-adjusted individual is one who adapts to surroundings. If adaptation is not possible, the individual makes realistic efforts to change the situation, using personal talents and abilities constructively and successfully. The well-adjusted person is realistic and able to face facts whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, and deals with them instead of merely worrying about them or denying them. Well-adjusted mature persons are independent. They form reasoned opinions and then act on them. They seek a reasonable amount of information and advice before making a decision, and once the decision is made, they are willing to face the consequences of it. They do not try to force others to make decisions for them. An ability to love others is typical of the well-adjusted individual. In addition, the mature well adjusted person is also able to enjoy receiving love and affection and can accept a reasonable dependence on others.
a temperament characterized by rapid, frequent swings between sad and cheerful moods; see also cyclothymic disorder
a group of mental disorders
characterized by enduring, inflexible, and maladaptive personality traits that deviate markedly from cultural expectations, pervade a broad range of situations, and are either a source of subjective distress or a cause of significant impairment in social, occupational, or other functioning. In general, they are difficult both to diagnose and to treat.
Although individuals with a personality disorder can function in day-to-day life, they are hampered both emotionally and psychologically by the maladaptive nature of their disorder, and their chances of forming good relationships and fulfilling their potentialities are poor. In spite of their problems, these patients refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong and insist that it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Very often their behavior is extremely annoying to those around them.
Personality disorders result from unresolved conflicts, often dating back to childhood. To alleviate the anxiety and depression that accompany these conflicts, the ego uses defense mechanisms
. Although defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves, they become maladaptive in individuals with personality disorders.
The category includes: antisocial personality disorder
, avoidant personality disorder
, borderline personality disorder
, dependent personality disorder
, histrionic personality disorder
, narcissistic personality disorder
, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
, paranoid personality disorder
, schizoid personality disorder
, and schizotypal personality disorder
. Distinguishing one disorder from another can be difficult because the various traits can occur in more than one disorder. For example, patients with borderline personality disorder and those with narcissistic personality disorder both may have a tendency to angry outbursts and may be hindered in forming interpersonal relationships because they often exploit, idealize, or devalue others. The symptoms of a personality disorder may also occur as features of another mental disorder. More than one personality disorder can exist in the same person.
Because patients refuse to admit that there is anything wrong, personality disorders are more difficult to treat than other mental disorders. However, a great deal can be done in many cases, if the therapist can break through a patient's defense mechanisms and help the patient resolve the underlying conflict.
a dissociative disorder
in which an individual adopts two or more personalities alternately. See multiple personality disorder
personality /per·so·nal·i·ty/ (per″sah-nal´ĭ-te) the characteristic, relatively stable, and predictable way a person thinks, feels, and behaves, including conscious attitudes, values, and styles, and also unconscious conflicts and defense mechanisms.
antisocial personality (disorder) a personality disorder characterized by continuous and chronic antisocial behavior in which the rights of others or generally accepted social norms are violated.
avoidant personality (disorder) a personality disorder characterized by social discomfort, hypersensitivity to criticism, low self-esteem, and an aversion to activities that involve significant interpersonal contact.
borderline personality (disorder) a personality disorder marked by a pervasive instability of mood, self-image, and interpersonal relationships, with fears of abandonment, chronic feelings of emptiness, threats, anger, and self-damaging behavior.
cyclothymic personality a temperament characterized by rapid, frequent swings between sad and cheerful moods.
dependent personality (disorder) a personality disorder marked by an excessive need to be taken care of, with submissiveness and clinging, feelings of helplessness when alone, and preoccupation with fears of being abandoned.
depressive personality (disorder) a persistent and pervasive pattern of depressive cognitions and behaviors, such as unhappiness, low self-esteem, pessimism, critical and derogatory attitudes, guilt or remorse, and an inability to relax or feel enjoyment.
histrionic personality (disorder) a personality disorder marked by excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior.
narcissistic personality (disorder) a personality disorder characterized by grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), lack of social empathy combined with hypersensitivity to the judgments of others, interpersonal exploitativeness, a sense of entitlement, and a need for constant signs of admiration.
obsessive-compulsive personality (disorder) a personality disorder characterized by an emotionally constricted manner that is unduly rigid, stubborn, perfectionistic, and stingy, with preoccupation with trivial details, overconcern with having everything done one's own way, excessive devotion to work and productivity, and overconscientiousness.
paranoid personality (disorder) a personality disorder marked by a view of other people as hostile, devious, and untrustworthy and a combative response to disappointments or to events experienced as rebuffs or humiliations.
passive-aggressive personality (disorder) a personality disorder characterized by indirect resistance to demands for adequate social or occupational performance and by negative, defeatist attitudes.
sadistic personality (disorder) a pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning, and aggressive behavior; satisfaction is gained from intimidating, coercing, hurting, and humiliating others.
schizoid personality (disorder) a personality disorder marked by indifference to social relationships and restricted range of emotional experience and expression.
schizotypal personality (disorder) a personality disorder characterized by marked deficits in interpersonal competence and eccentricities in ideation, appearance, or behavior.
self-defeating personality (disorder) a persistent pattern of behavior detrimental to the self, including being drawn to problematic situations or relationships and failing to accomplish tasks crucial to life objectives.
split personality an obsolete term formerly used colloquially for either schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder.
Patient discussion about personality
Q. Do you personally know anyone that's autistic? Right, I agree 1 in 150 is diagnosed with autism. Do you personally know anyone that's autistic?
A. Yes as per the latest statistics in U.S it is 1 out of 150 of kids born has autism. I know 5 kids, all friends of family; all moms were on fertility drugs to get pg. Very sad. Two of the kids are twins and besides being autistic they have cerebral palsy.
Q. Alcoholism becomes a habit in person? How does alcoholism becomes a habit in person?
A. If you think about alcohol all the time and you need it to feel good then it's a problem. If it's just a rare but pleasant action then there is no big disaster.
It may be a problem if the alcohol being the cause of depending (physical or corporial it is not just the same!)
Q. How can persons with autism learn best? The person with autism can’t concentrate on studies? How can persons with autism learn best?
A. Where have you read such a misguiding message? No one can say that the person with autism can’t concentrate on studies. They can be trained through specially-trained teachers, using specially structured programs that emphasize individual instruction; persons with autism can learn to function at home and in the community. Some can lead nearly normal lives.More discussions about personality