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Personality disorders

Personality disorders are conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person - in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others.

Changes in how a person feels and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and may upset others.

The main symptoms are:

  • being overwhelmed by negative feelings such as distress, anxiety, worthlessness or anger
  • avoiding other people and feeling empty and emotionally disconnected
  • difficulty managing negative feelings without self-harming (for example, abusing drugs and alcohol, or taking overdoses) or, in rare cases, threatening other people 
  • odd behaviour
  • difficulty maintaining stable and close relationships, especially with partners, children and professional carers 
  • sometimes, periods of losing contact with reality

If you are concerned about your own health or if you are worried about a friend or family member then please encourage them to go to their GP in the first instance.  It is worth also reading this helpful advice from the NHS which can be accessed here.

Next In This Section

Postnatal depression

Having a baby can be a joyful but stressful time. It is quite common for new mothers to go through a brief period of low mood in the initial days following the birth. Post Natal Depression is different as it is a much deeper and longer term depression.

Find out more

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