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Flashcards in Personality Disorders Deck (27)
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1

What are Personality Disorders?

A group of disorders marked by persistent, inflexible, maladaptive patterns of thought and behaviour that develop in adolescence or early adulthood and significantly impair an individual’s ability to function

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What are the characteristics of a personality disorder?

 Enduring pattern of behaviour that deviates markedly from expectations within the culture Associated with unusual ways of interpreting events, unpredictable mood swings or impulsive behaviour Result in impairments in social and occupational functioning Represent stable patterns of behaviour that can be traced back to adolescence or early childhood Previously characterized as Axis II disorders because they represent long-standing, pervasive and inflexible patterns of behaviour

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What are the primary clusters of personality disorders?

 DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) organised personality disorders into three clusters: Odd/Eccentric Personality Disorders Dramatic/Emotional Personality Disorders Anxious/Fearful Personality Disorders

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Odd/Eccentric Personality Disorders (Cluster A)Disorder Characteristics

ParanoidSuspiciousness and mistrust of others; tendency to see self as blameless; on guard for perceived attacks by othersSchizoidInability and lack of desire to form attachments to others; impaired social relationshipsSchizotypalReduced capacity for close interpersonal relationships, eccentric behavior, and peculiar thought patterns

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Dramatic/Emotional Personality Disorders (Cluster B)Disorder Characteristics

Histrionic Excessive emotionality and attention seekingbehavior; sexually provocative and seductive; theatrical; overly concerned re: own attractivenessNarcissisticGrandiosity and need for admiration;self promoting; lack of empathyAntisocial Disregard for and violation of rights of others;Lack of moral development; deceitfulness;shameless manipulation of othersBorderline Instability in interpersonal relationships, affect,and self-image, impulsiveness; chronic feelings ofboredom; attempts at self-mutilation or suicide

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Anxious/Fearful Personality Disorders (Cluster C)Disorder Characteristics

Avoidant Social inhibition and hypersensitivity to negativeevaluation; shyness; intimate relationshipsdifficult without guarantee of acceptance DependentExcessive need to be taken care of leading tosubmissive and clinging behavior; indecisiveness– need others to make decisions for them orreassure them; to avoid losing approval, neverdisagreeObsessiveExcessive concern with perfectionism,Compulsive order, rules, and trivial details; lack of expressivenessand warmth; difficulty in relaxing and having fun

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What are some conceptual issues with personality disorders?

 Personality Disorders may not be discrete disorders but represent extremes of normal personality (Costa & McRae, 1990) Many of the characteristics of different personality disorders overlap (e.g. impulsivity)

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What are the characteristics of anti social personality disorder?

 The term sociopath or psychopath is sometimes used to describe this personality type APD is now defined mainly in terms of violations of social norms Is highly associated with criminal and violent behaviour Prison populations have between 50-70% of inmates diagnosable with APD (Fazel & Danesh, 2002)

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What are the characteristics of borderline personality disorder?

 Features an enduring pattern of instability in personal relationships and lack of well-defined self-image Fear of abandonment is a central feature which leads to conflict-ridden relationships Associated with regular mood swings and aggressive behaviour Highly comorbid with Axis I disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders

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What Is ‘Disordered’ About Personality Disorders

 People with personality disorders are often referred for treatment because of the consequences of their behaviour: Some are unable to form lasting, close relationships Many often develop comorbid Axis I disorders Their behavioural style may be a risk to themselves or others Many behavioural styles interfere with an individual’s ability to achieve in occupational or educational spheres

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Gender Differences in Personality Disorders

 75% of individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder are female (Widiger & Trull, 1993) Risk of avoidant, dependent and paranoid personality disorder is also greater in women

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Cultural Differences in Personality Disorders

 Little evidence to suggest that the prevalence of personality disorders differs across cultures There may be some ethnic differences – BPD is higher in Hispanic than Caucasian & African Americans (Grant et al., 2004)

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THE AETIOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS

 Because most symptoms of personality disorders differ, there will be no over-arching theory of causation personality disorders One characteristic that is common to all is that their behaviour patterns are enduring, suggesting that inherited or developmental factors are important

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Cluster B: Antisocial Personality Disorder

 Because APD is closely related to criminal and antisocial behaviour attempts have been made to: Identify childhood behaviours that may predict later adult APD Identify the developmental factors that cause APD Ascertain whether there is an inherited component to APD Identify any biological or psychological processes that may be involved in APD

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Childhood & Adolescent Behavioural Precursors of APD

 The best predictor of APD is a diagnosis of conduct disorder during childhood Adolescent smoking, alcohol use, illicit drug use, police trouble and sexual intercourse before 15-years are strong predictors of APD Some theorists also suggest that ADHD is a predictor of APD (but see next slide)

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Developmental Factors - APD

 Antisocial behaviour may be learnt from parents (Paris, 2001) Parents may reinforce antisocial behaviour (Capaldi & Patterson, 1994) Lack of parental love may nurture antisocial behaviour (Gabbard, 1990) Inconsistent parenting may be important during the development of APD (Marshall & Cooke, 1999)

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Genetic Factors – APD

 APD appears to run in families Twin studies suggest higher concordance rates in MZ than DZ twins (Lyons et al., 1995) Incidence of APD in an adopted child is better predicted by APD in the biological than adopted mother (Ge et al., 1996)

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Cognitive Models - APD

 Individuals with APD may possess dysfunctional schemas that determine their antisocial reactions (Young et al., 2003) When responding to important events, individuals with APD may switch quickly and unpredictably between schemas to make their behaviour seem erratic (Horowtiz et al., 2001)

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Physiological & Neurological Factors – APD

 Individuals with APD exhibit physiological characteristics that may explain their APD: Have significantly lower levels of anxiety and lower levels of physiological reactivity Respond to emotional stimuli with slow autonomic arousal and low levels of EEG activity Frequently fail to exhibit fear learning in aversive classical conditioning procedures (Lykken, 1995)

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Risk Factors for BPD

 A history of difficulties in childhood, including childhood physical, verbal and sexual abuse, childhood neglect or rejection, inconsistent or loveless parenting, and inappropriate parental behaviour (e.g. substance misuse or sexual promiscuity) Academic underachievement, low intelligence and poor artistic skills

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Biological Theories of BPD

 Evidence for a genetic component (twin studies indicate concordance rates of 35% and 7% for MZ and DZ twins respectively) (Torgersen et al., 2000) 44% of individuals with BPD belong to a broader bipolar disorder spectrum Individuals with BPD have a number of brain abnormalities e.g. dysfunctions in brain dopamine  Neuro-imaging techniques reveal abnormalities in a number of brain areas

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Psychological Theories of BPD

 Object Relations Theory argues that individuals with BPD have received inadequate support and love from important others, resulting in an insecure ego which is likely to lead to lack of self-esteem and fear of rejection. Splitting A defence mechanisms in which aspects of others which are evaluated in a polarised fashion. As with APD, individuals with BDP may acquire a set of dysfunctional schemas that maintain their erratic and emotional behaviour (Young et al., 2003)

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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

 Developed in the 1990s by Marsha Linehan, particularly for the treatment of BPD Based on a biosocial theory of BPD (Linehan, 1993, cited in Palmer, 2002) Dialectical refers to contrasting views or positions taken by the client Emphasis on integrating opposing behaviours & on interconnectedness Brings together aspects of CBT and principles of Zen Buddhism e.g. acceptance Aims to foster the development of emotional regulation & tackle areas of skills deficit Linehan published Cognitive Behaviour Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder in 1993 Outpatient delivery Intervention lasts around one year Individual sessions, group skills training sessions and telephone support, plus weekly consultation group 4 modules  Emotion regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness

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Schema Therapy

 Developed by Young, Klosko & Weishaar (2003) Schema theory outlines three specific stages: Clients need to be convinced that their maladaptive schemas are actually a cause of their symptoms Attempts to identify and prevent schema avoidance responses Examination of the life events that have given rise to maladaptive schemas

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Schema Domains & Early Maladaptive Schemas

 Disconnection & Rejection Mistrust/abuse  Abandonment/instability Defectiveness/shame Emotional deprivation Social isolation/alienation Impaired Autonomy & Performance Failure Dependence/incompetence Enmeshment/undeveloped self Vulnerability to harm or illness

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Schema Domains & EMSs

 Impaired Limits Entitlement/grandiosity Insufficient self-control/self-discipline Other-Directedness Subjugation  Self-sacrifice Approval seeking Overvigilance & Inhibition Punitiveness Emotional inhibition Negativity/pessimism Unrelenting standards

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Schema Responses/Coping Styles

 Avoidance Overcompensation Surrender