• An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual's culture. This pattern is manifested in two (or more) of the following areas: (1) cognition (2) affectivity (3) interpersonal functioning and (4) impulse control.
• The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations.
• The enduring pattern leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
• The pattern is stable and of long duration and its onset can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood.
• The enduring pattern is not better accounted for as a manifestation or consequence of another mental disorder.
• The enduring pattern is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., head trauma). (DSM-IV-TR)
There are three types of disorders that affect the personality, called clusters A, B and C. Cluster A has characteristic behaviors that others would consider odd, quirky or eccentric. Some cluster A personality disorders are Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder and Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Paranoid personality disorder is a pervasive trust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent. “Individuals with paranoid personality disorder may be hypersensitive, feel easily slighted and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions that may validate their fears or biases” (Butcher, 2013). Diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV-TR for paranoid personality disorder is:
A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
• 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
The second cluster, Cluster B includes histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial, and borderline personality disorders. Individuals with these disorders tend to be “dramatic, emotional, and erratic” (Butcher, 2013). Antisocial Personality Disorder is a pervasive disregard for the law and the rights of others. (DSM-IV-TR). Antisocial Personality disorder presents in early adolescence and continues into adulthood with a pattern of overt antisocial acts plus traits of impulsivity, irritability and remorselessness. The diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder taken from the DSM-IV-TR:
This diagnosis is reserved for individuals who are at least 18 years old and have had symptoms of this disorder before age 15, and includes three (or more) of the following: