Health

Printer Friendly Version of this Article

Personality Disorders

Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time and leads to distress or impairment.

Paranoid personality disorder
is a pattern of distrust and suspiciousness such that others' motives are interpreted as malevolent.
  • Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming or deceiving him or her
  • Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
  • Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
  • Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
  • Persistently bears grudges (i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries or slights)
  • Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack.
  • Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner


Schizoid personality disorder is a pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range or emotional expression. 

  • Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
  • Almost always chooses solitary activities
  • Has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
  • Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
  • Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  • Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
  • Shows emotional coldness, detachment or flattened affectivity


Schizotypal personality disorder is a pattern of acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior.

  • Ideas of reference (excluding delusions or reference)
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (i.e., superstitiousness, belief in clairvoyance, telepathy or "sixth sense"; in children and adolescents, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations)
  • Unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions
  • Odd thinking and speech (i.e., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate or stereotyped)
  • Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
  • Inappropriate or constricted affect
  • Behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric or peculiar
  • Lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  • Excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self