Personality Disorders


What is personality disorder?

Personality disorders are mental health conditions that affect how people manage their feelings and how they relate to other people.The word ‘personality’ refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that makes each person the individual that they are. People don’t always think, feel and behave in exactly the same way. It depends on the situation they are in, the people with them, and many other things. Disturbances of feeling and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and which other people may find upsetting.

How common are personality disorders?

In England, it is estimated that around 1 in every 20 people has a personality disorder. However, many people have only mild conditions so only need help at times of stress (such as bereavement).

Why is it important to get treatment?

A person with a personality disorder is at a higher risk of suicide or hurting themselves than other people because they are more likely to do impulsive or dangerous things.  Medication and talking treatments, such as counselling, can help a person to lead a normal life.

Different types of psychological therapies have been shown to help people with personality disorders. It is important to get the right therapy.


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms on this page, please visit your GP as soon as possible.