Personality Disorder: What is it, what are its symptoms, how is it diagnosed and treated?
Personality disorders such as “borderline”, which are not defined as a disease but make it difficult to adapt to a person’s social and professional life, are actually a condition that occurs in childhood. So can personality disorders be treated? What symptoms are worth paying attention to? Anadolu Health Center Psychiatrist Dr. Cem Hızlan gave important information on the subject…
What is a personality disorder, is it a disease?
We cannot classify personality disorder as a disease according to diagnostic criteria. In fact, this means that some behavioral and personality traits come to the fore at a level that makes it difficult for the person to adapt to his social and professional life.
Is there a specific risk group?
This is a structural problem rather than a risk group. According to some experts, childhood years are effective, or according to some experts, it is shaped by an innate characteristic. Therefore, personality disorder is not a health problem that we catch later.
How is the definitive diagnosis made?
Personality disorder originates from early childhood, but is not diagnosed until the end of adolescence. Because in this period, the personality has not yet been established and after this is completed, an evaluation must be made by looking at the behavior of the person when he reaches adulthood. At this point, examination and clinical findings are taken into account for a definitive diagnosis.
Are there any observed symptoms?
It may not be noticed in childhood, but it may become evident when certain conditions mature. However, different types of personality disorders have different behavioral patterns; Relatively more intertwined, mixed or, on the contrary, vague symptoms may be observed. For example, in some types of personality disorders, anxiety is at the forefront and the person behaves accordingly. Or, as in the personality disorder we call borderline, the person experiences sharp emotional changes instead of the behaviors expected from his/her social position or professional position. This can sometimes even progress to behaviors that may put him or those around him in a difficult situation.
Is our profession a factor that triggers personality disorders?
No, profession does not change a person’s behavioral characteristics. However, the personality structure we have may be suitable for the profession we choose and can stand out more strongly in that profession. Sometimes, unfortunately, we are not given options and we may have to adapt to an environment that is not suitable for our personality structure. This turns into a challenging and exhausting situation. Therefore, it is very important for people to be able to make career choices freely according to their own characteristics.
Can it be treated? Is there any medicine used?
In fact, it would not be correct to say that personality disorders can be treated. Because no person goes to a doctor to transform their personality into another personality. However, if he thinks that his personality traits are harming him, he may want to review this situation, prevent harm, rearrange his life, and move on to a new lifestyle. In this case, psychotherapy is a useful option. No medication is used. However, there may be some secondary symptoms caused by personality disorder; such as anxiety or depression. In such cases, drug treatments can be planned not for the personality disorder, but to control the symptoms it brings.
What should parents pay attention to?
Rather than following a symptom, parents should be interested in their children’s lives as a whole. In our daily lives, we know each other not by symptoms, but by the mutual relationships we establish. If a parent’s relationship with their child is strong and continuous, they will also feel the changes in him/her. Because this way, we know our loved ones better, respect their decisions, and can see more clearly what will be good or bad for them and provide healthier guidance. When we are there for our children, instead of having a coercive attitude towards certain options and blocking their way, we can see that the child’s personality structure will become a structure that he can use better, rather than being a feature that harms him.