Personality Disorders

 

Personality disorders are conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person, in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others. Changes in how a person feels and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and may upset others.

Common features include:

  • being overwhelmed by negative feelings such as distress, anxiety, worthlessness or anger
  • avoiding other people and feeling empty and emotionally disconnected
  • difficulty managing negative feelings without self-harming or, in rare cases, threatening other people
  • odd behaviour
  • difficulty maintaining stable and close relationships, especially with partners, children and professional carers
  • sometimes, periods of losing contact with reality

Several different types of personality disorder are recognised. They have been broadly grouped into one of three clusters – A, B or C.

Cluster A personality disorders

  • A person with a cluster A personality disorder tends to have difficulty relating to others and usually shows patterns of behaviour most people would regard as odd and eccentric. Others may describe them as living in a fantasy world of their own.
  • An example is paranoid personality disorder, where the person is extremely distrustful and suspicious.

Cluster B personality disorders

  • A person with a cluster B personality disorder struggles to regulate their feelings and often swings between positive and negative views of others. This can lead to patterns of behaviour others describe as dramatic, unpredictable and disturbing.
  • An example is borderline personality disorder, where the person is emotionally unstable, has impulses to self-harm, and has intense and unstable relationships with others.

Cluster C personality disorders

  • A person with a cluster C personality disorder struggles with persistent and overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety. They may show patterns of behaviour most people would regard as antisocial and withdrawn.
  • An example is avoidant personality disorder, where the person appears painfully shy, socially inhibited, feels inadequate and is extremely sensitive to rejection. The person may want to be close to others, but lacks confidence to form a close relationship.

Reviewed June 2019 by the East Kent Mental Health Commissioning Team. For content suggestions, updates or information please email: EKmentalhealth.commissioning@nhs.net.

Specialist Adult mental health services in Kent are provided by the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust KMPT. Referral  to KMPT is by letter.

The KMPT service runs from Ash Eton, Radnor Park Avenue, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5HL. | Tele: 01303 227501. For more information go to the KMPT Personality Disorder page.

Tier 1: Community Mental Health Support:

  • Live Well Kent: Live Well Kent can help you improve your mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is a free service for anyone over 17. Call: 0800 567 7699 | E Mail: info@livewellkent.org.uk | Website: www.livewellkent.org.uk | Leaflet: SKC Live Well Kent Leaflet
  • IAPT / NHS Talking Therapy: IAPT is available for the treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression. These therapies are available for people aged 17+.  This service is free at the point of access and people can refer themselves into the service. For the South Kent Coast CCG IAPT  leaflet: SKC CCG IAPT Provider Leaflet

Tier 2: Support based in Primary Care

  • IAPT / NHS Talking Therapy: IAPT is available for the treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression. These therapies are available for people aged 17+.  This service is free at the point of access and people can refer themselves into the service. For a list of South Kent Coast CCG IAPT Providers leaflet: SKC CCG IAPT Provider Leaflet .
  • The Mental Health Social Work Service: The mental health social work service works with individuals aged 17-65 years with mental health needs and social care issues. It also provides a service to carers. The service supports people to enhance their independence and achieve social care goals. It is a single service across primary and secondary care.Tel: 03000 416161 Mon – Fri 8.30-17.00 | Out of hours - 03000 419191 | Email: mentalhealthreferrals@kent.gov.uk | Leaflet: Mental Health Social Work service| Referral Form: MH Social work referral form

     

Tier 3: Specialist Mental Health Services

Specialist Adult mental health services in Kent are provided by the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust KMPT. Referral  to KMPT is by letter.

The KMPT service runs from Ash Eton, Radnor Park Avenue, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5HL. | Tele: 01303 227501. For more information go to the KMPT Personality Disorder page.

Have a question or query?

Get in touch