Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I have a personality disorder?"
I'm not really sure what the phrase ?personality disorder? means but my doctor suggested I might have one. This scares me! What exactly does this term mean, and what can do if it is true?
Personality disorders are a set of complex personality conditions which lead to significant impairment in social functioning. Basically, they result when a given person has behaviors which significantly deviate from normal societal expectations. The various individual personality disorders all involve a set of behaviors which define them. For example, a "histrionic" personality disorder involves exaggerated emotional responses and inappropriate attention seeking behavior. If your regular doctor thinks that you might have a personality disorder, then it is definitely worth following up on this. The first step would be to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist for a formal evaluation. They will be able to help confirm or rule out the diagnosis. If the diagnosis of a personality disorder is confirmed, then they will also be able to recommend appropriate therapy. Unfortunately, medications are not effective for personality disorders, unless there is another psychiatric disorder (such as anxiety or depression) along with the personality disorder that can be treated with medications. However, various types of therapy, such as psychotherapy, have been effective in helping individuals suffering from these conditions to gain insight into the condition and to develop coping strategies which improve their abilities to interact socially. Book an appointment with your doctor today!
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