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Personality Disorder

Personality Disorder is thought to affect about 2% of the population – and three quarters of people given this diagnosis are women. There are at least nine different types of personality disorders. The most common type of personality disorder is Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder – Borderline and Impulsive type. They are a group of mental health difficulties characterised by long-lasting rigid patterns of thoughts and behaviour.


It is very difficult to list all symptoms as each personality disorder has its very specific group of disabling traits and symptoms.  In Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder the most overwhelming symptoms are that of impulsivity, unstable but intense relationships, self destructive behaviour (as seen in self harm, suicidal gestures, drug and alcohol misuse), poorly controlled temper, persistent feeling of emptiness and suspiciousness/paranoia around others behaviour towards them.


The core treatment for a personality disorder is psychological support and understanding. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Schema Focused Therapy are the two main evidence based treatment programmes for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. In most cases, personality disorders may be present in the co-morbid mental illness like depression, anxiety and possible psychotic symptoms.  In these circumstances, the treatment may include the use of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications.

Useful Websites

  • Personality Disorder This website provides information, resources and learning opportunities on Personality Disorder (PD) as well as supporting the development of the National Personality Disorder Programme.
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