People’s personalities reflect their unique behavioural and mental traits. Personality disorders refer to rigid, maladaptive patterns of thoughts, behaviours and emotions that are consistent across many situations and very different from behaviours accepted within one’s cultural and societal context.
The patterns seem to develop early and often cause distress and even disability. As with other diagnoses, behaviour and traits must cause significant disruption in one’s personal and social functioning to be classified as a personality disorder.
Trying to classify personality disorders is problematic. Many experts believe social, sociopolitical and economic considerations render this classification of disorders very subjective and therefore not useful.