Personality Disorders (Education)

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  • A family of 10 disorders specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition; DSM-IV), which are divided into three groups (1) odd or eccentric; (2) dramatic, emotional, erratic, or manipulative; and (3) anxious, obsessive, or fearful. Personality disorders are listed on Axis II in the DSM system, whereas most other disorders are on Axis I. This distinction reflects the fact that personality disorders are chronic and enduring and are essentially maladaptive problems present within the individual's overall lifestyle and personality organization. Research suggests that personality dis orders are highly resistant to both psychotherapy and medication, though recent research has yielded evidence-based psychotherapies for some of these disorders.

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