Personality Disorders
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Learn about the causes of Personality Disorders & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Personality Disorders within New Zealand.

Therapies which may benefit Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are a group of behavioural disorders or mental disturbances that affect a person's thoughts, manner and ability to interact with others. People with personality disorders often behave in an inappropriate manner as a coping mechanism when having to respond to other people or in stressful situations. Personality disorders often begin during adolescence continuing on through to adulthood.


Causes of personality disorders Personality Disorders | The Wellness Directory

The exact causes of personality disorders remain unclear but as with psychiatric problems there are a number of contributory factors such as parental influence, genetics and social development.

Research involving patients with personality disorders showed the vast majority were abused during childhood and 75% of people diagnosed with a borderline disorder experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse. There is also a strong indication that personality disorders can be inherited.

Personality disorders are often grouped into three types: suspicious, emotional/impulsive and anxious. These groups will then have their own sub-groups displaying different signs and symptoms.


Symptoms of personality disorders

Different personality disorders can be characterised by a variety of signs and symptoms. The main groups and sub-groups and their symptoms are listed below:


Within this group there are three sub-groups which display different traits:

  • Paranoid – suspicion of others, holding grudges towards others and sensitive to rejection
  • Schizoid – inability to make contact with others, preferring to be in own company, developing fantasies and living within them
  • Schizotypal – cognitive problems (thoughts), strange ideas, hearing things, seen as eccentric

Within this group type, an individual may display a number of personality problems. These can include antisocial behaviour whereby the person can be aggressive, uncaring towards other's feelings, easily frustrated and an inability to learn from previous bad experiences.

The person may have an inability to control their emotions and give little thought to their actions. They may also suffer with feelings of emptiness and low self-worth to the point of self-harming. Someone who is emotional/impulsive may develop relationships quickly but just as easily lose them. They can also suffer with paranoia, depression and delusions.

An emotional/impulsive person may also be histrionic and tend to over-dramatise situations or events. They can be self-centred with strong emotions which fluctuate quickly and also worry about their appearance. An emotional/impulsive can be narcissistic and crave success, status and power. They will exploit others for personal gain and be attention seekers.


There are three sub-groups to this type displaying various characteristics:

  • Obsessive-compulsive – indecisive, striving for perfection, obsessional thoughts and behaviour, sensitive to criticism, judgemental
  • Avoidant – feeling inferior to others, a need to be accepted, tense, anxious, sensitive to criticism
  • Dependent – needs others to make decisions, difficulty coping with daily activities, feelings of hopelessness and incompetence

Diagnosis of personality disorders
A personality disorder is a complex emotional and psychological problem that requires professional intervention by a trained mental health expert. It can be difficult for the person affected to realise or admit they have a problem and it may require family or friends to get them to seek help. In the first instance, a GP will make an initial assessment and then refer you to a specialist.


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