Personality disorders

What are personality disorders in PTSD?

Personality disorders are enduring patterns of behaviours, thoughts and feelings that deviate from social expectations. Many people exhibit these traits occasionally, but deviations that persist across situations and cause significant distress and impairment are considered disorders.

There are a number of different personality disorders. These include; antisocial personality disorder (disregard for the rights of others); schizoid personality disorder (detachment of social interactions and limited emotional expression); schizotypal personality disorder (discomfort of close relationships, cognitive distortions and eccentric behaviour); paranoid personality disorder (distrust and suspiciousness of others); borderline personality disorder (self-harming, difficulty relating to others); histrionic personality disorder (patterns of attention-seeking behaviour and emotions); narcissistic personality disorder (disregard of others, inflated self-image); avoidant personality disorder (feelings of inadequacy, social inhibition); dependent personality disorder (extreme psychological dependence on others); obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (excessive control, orderliness); personality disorder not otherwise specified (mixed symptoms).

What is the evidence for rates of personality disorders in people with PTSD?

Moderate quality evidence finds around 35% of people with PTSD also have a personality disorder. Cluster C personality disorders (avoidant, dependent, compulsive; 63%) were more prevalent than cluster A (schizoid, schizotypal, paranoid; 29%) or cluster B (histrionic, narcissistic, borderline, antisocial; 27%).

August 2021

Image: ©Marek Uliasz –

Last updated at: 5:06 pm, 15th February 2022
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Personality

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