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Mental And Personality Disorders


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Guest ASchwartz

Hi and Welcome,

Personality are a form of mental disorders. When we refer to Personality Disorders we are referring to behaviors and moods that endure over many years and do not seem to change or respond to experience and learning. For example, some one who has learned that explosive anger may get attention will continue to respond explosively long into adulthood even though they fail at getting what they want. People with Personality Disorders are often unaware of their behaviors and that is why they just keep doing things the same failing ways.

Hope this helps,


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Personality disorders are a variety of mental disorder. So, in this sense, you can think of mental disorders as an umbrella term, that covers and contains other terms.

The DSM (the book where all the mental disorders are described) breaks down mental problems into two categories which are labeled Axis I and Axis II. Personality disorders are part of Axis II, while most other disorders are listed as part of Axis I. This is becuase there is an important distinction between personality disorders and most other mental disorders: Axis I disorders involve something (an illness or a syndrome or condition) which has happened to a person who is otherwise a developmentally normal adult. Axis I disorders involve something added to an otherwise normal person. So, Depression is an Axis I disorder, becuase it happens to someone who was not always depressed, but then suddenly came down with depression. Likewise, anxiety and schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, and eating disorders, etc.

In contrast, Axis II disorders involve something missing or something that didn't grow quite right for whatever reason. Sometimes that thing that is missing is missing for some as yet poorly understood biological reason and sometimes it is as a result of abuse or neglect or similar sorts of conditions, but in all cases something that is necessary for developmentally normal (age appropriate) personality is not quite there.

Treatment for personality disorders efforts to get a maturation process going to "grow" what is missing. Treatments for Axis I disorders involve efforts to compensate for what has been "added" to the picture which is causing disturbance.

Hope that helps. It's a little dense, I guess but I can't think of an easier way to say it right now.


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