A personality disorder refers to a long-term pattern of thinking, behaviour and emotion that is dysfunctional, extreme and inflexible. It causes distress and makes it difficult to function in everyday life. People with personality disorders often find it hard to change their behaviour or adapt to different situations. They may have trouble sustaining work or forming/maintaining positive relationships with others.
There are many different types of personality disorder. Some people with a personality disorder may appear withdrawn, some dramatic and emotional, and others may appear odd or eccentric. The one thing they have in common is that their symptoms are severe enough to affect many different areas of their life.
People often develop the early signs of a personality disorder in adolescence. People with a personality disorder also have high rates of coexisting mental health conditions such as depression, high risk of suicide ideations and substance abuse. Personality disorders are genuine mental health disorders that cause distress.