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Personality Disorder Assessment

Personality Disorder Assessment

Maladaptive personality structures or traits that cause impairment of everyday activities over a lifetime are considered psychiatric conditions known as personality disorders. This differs from other mental illness in that it lasts for a lifetime rather than presenting with periodic episodes. Achieving personality disorder assessment requires the use of psychological testing, taking psychiatric history, and interaction with professionals in health care situations.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

Mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as their guideline when attempting to diagnose this disorder. It provides specifications about the criteria used for diagnosis purposes. In order to be diagnosed with personality disorder, the person must meet the criteria spelled out in these guidelines.

Personality Disorder Assessment

It is very difficult to arrive at a full diagnosis of personality disorder because the criteria must be met over the lifetime of the individual in question in various situations. Part of the assessment involves taking an extensive psychiatric history, which includes various traumatic events and social interaction throughout the person’s life. Personality disorders vary drastically on the level of psychosocial functioning.


Individuals suffering from personality disorders often have other mental illness problems. They are commonly depressed and involved with substance abuse.

Types of Personality Disorders

Personality disorders can be divided into similar types of disorders. The first is termed Cluster A and includes a variety of strange behaviors and mannerisms. Included in this category are paranoia, schizoidism, and schizotypal.

Cluster B involves the inability to control social functioning and impulses. This includes antisocial behaviors as well as borderline personality disorder.

Cluster C personality disorders are described as being excessively dependent upon rituals or other people. This includes avoidant and dependent or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

When doing personality disorder assessments they must specify which type of personality disorder is being represented.


Before treatment can be prescribed, a personality disorder assessment test must first be applied. In the event that a full diagnosis has been made, treatment often begins with psychotherapy and it is typically the most effective as well as most widely used treatment for these disorders. Using cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, healthcare professionals are frequently able to help the individual adopt healthier behaviors as they change their unhealthy thinking patterns.

By using interpersonal psychotherapy, they are able to create better everyday functioning habits and build new social skills. Medical intervention is typically part of the regimen for treating co-morbid disorders such as substance abuse and depression for the overall betterment of the patient. Cymbalta and other prescribed medications have been seen to offer relief from the symptoms of personality disorder. It is no longer acceptable that those who suffer from this condition just be passed off as struggling with bouts of depression or are relegated to being misfits in normal society.