Personality Disorder

Part of MacIntyre Health Series:
Mental Health

This page contains 2 documents:

  • a booklet with contents listed below
  • a summary leaflet


It's not easy to pin down exactly what we mean by the word ‘personality’. It seems obvious, but it can be hard to put into words. This can be because the words we use to describe people tend to have wide meanings – and these meanings often overlap. These words can also cover more than one kind of experience. For example, ‘shyness’ describes the feeling of awkwardness with other people, but also how we behave by being rather quiet in company.

It is also difficult because the way we behave - and appear to other people - can be very different in different situations. You can know a person well at work, but find that they behave quite differently in their private life.

In mental health, the word ‘personality’ refers to the collection of characteristics or traits that we have developed as we have grown up and which make each of us an individual. These include the ways that we:

  • think
  • feel
  • behave


Contents of the mini book

  • What is a Personality Disorder?
  • How common are Personality Disorders?
  • Personality Disorder
  • treatable or untreatable?
  • What causes a Personality Disorder?
  • Different types of Personality Disorder
  • Cluster A: ‘Odd or eccentric’
  • Cluster B: ‘Borderline or emotionally unstable’
  • Cluster C: ‘Anxious or fearful’
  • Support
  • Support: Psychological talking treatments/therapies
  • Support: Physical medication
  • Additional support
  • Living with a Personality Disorder
  • Support groups and external help