List of Personality Disorders

This is a holding page for what I hope to be a glossary of personalities and behaviours. Please note,  it is not assuming members of society who may have one or some of these orders are criminals or even have criminal tendencies, but purely to help us understand what makes some people tick.

To get started here is what some see as the Bible of Psychiatric Disorders, the American Psychiatric Associations groups or clusters on mental Disorders, known as the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders )

American Psychiatric Association

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (currently the DSM-IV) lists ten personality disorders, grouped into three clusters in Axis II. The DSM also contains a category for behavioural patterns that do not match these ten disorders, but nevertheless exhibit characteristics of a personality disorder. This category is labelled Personality disorder not otherwise specified.

Cluster A (odd or eccentric disorders)

Not to be confused with Type A personality.

Cluster B (dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders)

Not to be confused with Type B personality.

  • Antisocial personality disorder: a pervasive disregard for the rights of others, lack of empathy, and (generally) a pattern of regular criminal activity.
  • Borderline personality disorder: extreme “black and white” thinking, instability in relationships, self-image, identity and behaviour often leading to self-harm and impulsivity. Borderline personality disorder is diagnosed in three times as many females as males.
  • Histrionic personality disorder: pervasive attention-seeking behaviour including inappropriately seductive behaviour and shallow or exaggerated emotions.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder: a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Characterised by self-importance, preoccupations with fantasies, belief that they are special, including a sense of entitlement and a need for excessive admiration, and extreme levels of jealousy and arrogance.

Cluster C (anxious or fearful disorders)

Appendix B: Criteria Sets and Axes Provided for Further Study

Appendix B contains the following disorders.


Some types of personality disorder were in previous versions of the diagnostic manuals but have been deleted. This includes two types that were in the DSM-III-R appendix as “Proposed diagnostic categories needing further study” without specific criteria, namely Sadistic personality disorder (a pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning and aggressive behaviour) and Self-defeating personality disorder (masochistic personality disorder) (characterised by behaviour consequently undermining the person’s pleasure and goals).The psychologist Theodore Millon and others consider some relegated diagnoses to be equally valid disorders, and may also propose other personality disorders or subtypes, including mixtures of aspects of different categories of the officially accepted diagnoses.


17 thoughts on “List of Personality Disorders

  1. Robbo this simply explained typology you have presented here is very helpful to the average person who has litttle understanding of these things. Thank you.


  2. I can shorten the name for all of these so called disorders – wankers. No excuse for bad behaviour unless you’re genuinely brain damaged.


    • And you’re one of the reasons why offenders will never reintegrate properly back into society Anna. Such a cavalier attitude towards a very serious problem. I do hope you’re not working in a role where you have any influence on a persons life.


  3. that is a real unfair anna!! alot of these disorders are uncontrollable and bought on by life circumstances, events etc thats jst a really naive, single minded and sadistic way of lookin at them maybe you need some checking out!!!


      • Yeah pete, that so true. Good thinking! I once said to someone who told me he had bipolar (he was a bikie/person who’d been through a lot) that, bipolar was just an excuse for bad behaviour. He hung himself that afternoon. How do you think my head feels after that. No good Anna.


  4. Pete, all personality disorders are learned, dysfunctional, maladaptive behaviours. We ALL have personality styles, i.e little bits of several of these personality disorders that make up who we are. But a minority of the population develop 1 or sometimes more full-blown personality disorders and associated maladaptive behaviours, usually but not always, due to difficult circumstances in childhood, neglect, abuse etc. So they are in fact controllable if the person accepts they have a PD (they usually don’t, it’s usually everyone elses fault) and they are prepared to undergo intensive, long-term psychotherapy to address their PD. It is a learned behaviour, but not a mental illness.
    GC, Bipolar disorder, however, is a serious mental illness. It is not learned bad behaviour like a PD. Sure, people with Bipolar might occasionally behave badly, so do people with diabetes, cardiac disease, and people with blue eyes. In short, we all behave badly from time to time, some people more often than others. But Bipolar is an illness that cannot be controlled without medication, and sometimes is difficult to control even with medication, like diabetes, epilepsy, cardiac disease, major depression, schizophrenia. People with serious mental illness suffer enough stigma already. They cannot ‘help’ their illness. They cannot control it when they are ill. They cannot engage with a psychotherapist and learn to ‘deal’ with their illness and make it go away, like a person with a personality disorder can. The difference is choice. A person with a personality disorder has a choice about whether they want to learn how to deal with their maladaptive behaviour and learn new ways of behaving more appropriately. A person with mental illness doesn’t. They have it for life.


    • Not quite right, Bipolar is treatable. Treatment is often more effective if treated with medication and therapy.
      Personality disorders often leave the person with a severe lack of insight into their behaviours, without an understanding of the consequences etc. and if you look at the DSM-IV you will see that most PD’s do not respond to treatment and therapy. This is no excuse for bad behaviour though.


  5. All disorders including bipolar have many components that will affect the behaviour of anybody affected. Behaviour is dependant on biological, psychological and socialogical factors(ie alcohol drugs). The Biopsychosocial model is the accepted name for assessing the factors affecting a person’s well being. Many of these disorders have common symptoms and it is hard to classify a person, this is usually done over a period of observing behaviour. To explain the highs and lows of a bipolar person to people that have not lived the experience – The brain has negative and positive receptors, when it is not producing enough positive receptors a person will enter a depressed stage, when it is not producing enough negative receptors a person will enter a manic stage. Medication tries to balance the receptors. However medicine is only part of the solution.


  6. You can sometimes have empathy for people with these disorders – until they hurt one of your family. For me in future I would run a mile – in fear for one and to be safe for the other.


  7. Hi KM, a lot depends on all the variables present in each individual case, there are a lot more suport networks available these days for carers as well as a lot more information. There have been massive advances over time but there are never any guarantees. The sad thing is there are many people that prey on people with illnesses too.


  8. Hi Katiesmon,
    There is a lot more support these days for people with disorders, there are even programs that care for the carers. It’s about recognizing symptoms and knowing how to deal with them. Running will definitely eliminate the problem for you but there are ways to understand what to expect and how to cope. It’s never easy but can be manageable to an extent


  9. How dare you all judge!!!!! I was a victim of sexual assault as a child, I didnt ask for it…I suffer now with BPD…Because of my horrible past …U you guys judge me because of my disorder..!!!! You go thru what I did and see how u turn out…I didnt do drugs, sex or anything thats listed BPD…What a load of shit..Its just another term people like to label


    • If you don’t have the symptomology of Borderline Personality Disorder the why have you been diagnosed? You should look at ditching the label as it is counterproductive to your recovery. What happened to you was awful but you shouldn’t let it define you and you shouldn’t let peoples ignorance bother you so much.


  10. all are terms i cn appreciate i think i could be BPD as well – abuse by parents and bullying I am out there workig and enjoying life though – but the info help put into perspective. Able dont look at BPD as a label – look to get help to place the rape behind you but making you a stronger person


  11. To the person who writes this column, I agree with you, put there is more that goes on in the prision, like the gurads, they much like cop killers & gang members, its amazing what goes on in the prison system, I can’t really say much more, I would love to unveil this story to you, because some of the scumbags, get away with it, and work at the prisons, put i could put a young man life in danger, who as done silly little things, where these prison guards are the ones who watch & get money, from the gang members behaviour, they are big bullies, who threaten families & live very will on other people money inside the prison, I would love to be a prison guard and bring them down


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