What sorts of symptoms should I look out for?

Personality disorder symptoms comprise of a mixture of core personality traits (such as a sense of personal inadequacy), and secondary characteristics. Secondary characteristics can be further sub-divided into symptoms (such as anxiety) and behaviours associated with these traits (such as a tendency to avoid social situations). The sorts of characteristics which might indicate the presence of personality disorder could therefore include some of the following:

  • Frequent mood swings
  • Very hostile attitudes towards others
  • Difficulty controlling behaviour
  • High levels of suspiciousness
  • An absence of emotions
  • Stormy relationships
  • Callousness
  • Very superior attitudes towards others
  • Little interest in making friends
  • Intense emotional outbursts
  • A need for instant gratification
  • Alcohol or substance misuse
  • Consistent problems with employment
  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Constantly seeking approval
  • Preoccupation with routine.

It’s not PD unless a number of these symptoms have been present for a considerable length of time and in a range of different contexts