Personality Disorders

personality disorders

Do you have very intense emotions that change quickly?
Do you find it very hard to maintain relationships or friends?
Do you contemplate self harm or have suicidal thoughts?
Do you struggle with trusting people?
Do you feel empty and lonely?

How we can help…

There are many different types of personality disorders with their own diagnostic criteria.  It is also possible to meet the diagnostic criteria for more than one type of personality disorder.  Feelings and behaviours associated with personality disorders are often extremely difficult to live with.  It is recognised by NICE* that some types of talking therapy can potentially prove useful in supporting people through therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). 
If you have a clinical diagnosis and are looking for support or whether you need to talk to someone prior to confirmation of a diagnoses we are here to support you.  Please contact us to arrange an assessment.

Personality Disorders – Adults

People who have significant difficulties in how they relate to themselves and others, and who have trouble coping day to day, can receive a Personality Disorder diagnosis. Being given such a diagnosis does not mean that there is something wrong with who you are. Everyone has parts of their personality which can cause them difficulties. For those who have been given a Personality Disorder diagnosis, the intensity of these difficulties is much greater and they often need extra support to manage them. There are 10 types of personality disorder which psychiatrists have separated into three categories:
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
Emotional & Impulsive:
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

If you do not meet the criteria for any of the above you may be given a diagnosis of personality disorder not otherwise specified. Your experience of living with a personality disorder is unique to you. Personality disorders are seen by some to be a controversial diagnosis and not everyone agrees with them. For a person who is living with a personality ​disorder diagnosis, the feelings and behaviours they experience and enact can be distressing and very difficult to live with. It is for them to make sense of their diagnosis and use the terms that they identify with.

*Personality Disorders – Young People

According to NICE guidelines, personality disorders are usually not formally diagnosed until a person turns 18. However, they note that features of a Personality Disorders may be identified before a young person is 18. NICE* also note that most adults who are diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder often show symptoms in late adolescence or early adult life. Diagnosing teenagers with any type of personality disorder is controversial, as many experts argue that our personality is not fully formed until, at least, the age of 18. The most common personality disorder to be identified during adolescence is a borderline personality disorder. Some indicators that your child may be struggling with an emerging borderline personality disorder are:
Emotional Dysregulation:
A young person may struggle to express and manage their emotions. Adults help children to manage what they are feeling by helping them to name the feeling and showing them how to soothe themselves. If a child’s feelings aren’t validated by the adults in their life they may become emotionally overwhelmed and unable to cope.
Self destructive behaviour:
If a young person does not know how to manage difficult and overwhelming emotions in a healthy way they may seek out alternatives. This can lead to self- destructive behaviour such as self-harm, misuse of drugs and alcohol, risky sex or reckless thrill seeking.
If you are concerned that your child is struggling with an emerging personality disorder talking elephants can help. We provide a range of psychological interventions which can help young people to regulate their emotions in a healthy way. Research has shown that the earlier interventions and support are put in place the better the prognosis. In regards to borderline personality disorder, research has shown that 50% – 60% of adolescents go into remission if they receive the correct support in a timely manner.
If you are a parent who has a Personality Disorder diagnosis and is struggling to cope with the impact this is having on your children talking elephants can help. We can provide psychological interventions, support and guidance to help you and your family overcomes the difficulties and challenges that this may bring.