WHO Guide to Mental and Neurological Health in Primary Care
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Homepage :: Adult disorders :: Personality (behavioural) disorders :: Diagnostic features

Diagnostic features

  • Maladaptive patterns of behaviour, thinking and control of emotions.
  • Disturbance is enduring and not limited to episodes of mental illness.
  • Disorder leads to considerable personal distress and/or significant problems in occupational and social functioning.
  • Early manifestations (eg conduct disorder) may appear in childhood, but Personality disorder should not be diagnosed in someone under the age of 18.

ICD-10 recognizes nine subcategories of Personality disorder, each with its own set of diagnostic criteria. They fall into three groups:

  • Group A: Paranoid and schizoid; characterized by oddness, difficulty mixing with others and paranoid thinking
  • Group B: Dissocial, emotionally unstable (impulsive type and borderline type) and histrionic; characterized by problems with impulse control, affect regulation and relationship instability
  • Group C: Anankastic, anxious and dependent; characterized by anxiety, excessive dependency on others and obsessional behaviour.

Last edited: 4/12/2003

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