Did you know there are eleven personality disorders?

Did you know there are 11 personality disorders?

We often hear about the antisocial personality but there are actually eleven personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). They are divided into clusters A, B and C.

Published by the American Psychiatric Associat...

Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-IV-TR. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Personality Disorders

Cluster A

Individuals with these disorders often appear odd and eccentric. These can usually (but not always) be seen in people who have some type of chronic psychotic disorder (e.g. Schizophrenia).

1. Paranoid Personality Disorder will display a pattern of distrust and suspiciousness that others motive are interpreted as malevolent (malicious).

2. Schizoid Personality Disorder will display a pattern of detachment from social relationships, and a restricted range of emotional expression.

3.  Schizotypal Personality Disorder will display a pattern of acute discomfort in close relationships, cognitive or perceptual distortions, and eccentricities of behavior.

Cluster B

Individuals with these disorders often appear dramatic, emotional, or erratic.

4. Antisocial Personality Disorder will display a pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.

5. Borderline Personality Disorder will display a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity.

6. Histrionic Personality Disorders will display a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking.

7. Narcissistic Personality Disorder will display a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy.

Cluster C

Individuals often appear anxious, fearful, needy, or preoccupied.

8. Avoidant Personality Disorder will display a pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.

9. Dependent Personality Disorder will display a pattern of submissive and clinging behavior related to an excessive need to be taken care of.

10. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder will display a pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control.

11. Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified The individual meets the general criteria for a personality disorder and traits of several personality disorders are present, but the criteria for any specific personality disorder are not met. Or, the individual personality patterns meet the criteria for a personality disorder, but the individual is not included in the classification (e.g. passive-aggressive personality disorder).

Everyone connects crimes to the anti-social personality. Let’s take a minute and examine the criteria for this type of personality.

The Anti-Social Personality is the USA version of what other professionals describe as the sociopath and psychopath. This type of personality fits about 54% of American’s. In fact the terms sociopath and psychopaths are not even listed in the USA version as a mental health diagnosis. The anti-social personality does NOT totally fit into Dr. Hare/Checkley’s versions of the psychopath.

Pic of the DSM-IV English: My wife reading in ...

Pic of the DSM-IV English:  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Specifics for Anti-Social Personality Disorder according to the DSM-IV-TR.

 A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:

•   Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.

•   Deception, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.

•   Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead.

•   Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.

•   Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.

•   Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.

•   Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

B) The individual is at least 18 years old. Children cannot be diagnosed as ASPD. Childhood diagnosis similar to ASPD are; Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorders.

C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.

D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

Writers Note:

In America, we have always struggled with giving people labels.  The American Psychiatric Association who wrote the DSM(4) resisted using the terms sociopath and psychopath because they reflect a negative image.

I say if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it a duck.

A new version of the DSM(5) is expected out in May 2013. With the United States holding the highest of any other country in world for serial murders, my hope is they will include a more realistic version of what Checkley and Hare have described.

Any one of these personality disorders types could be used for a character in your book. All you have to do is look at the symptoms to get the picture of characters in your mind . The human experience is fascinating and those with an abnormal psychology can make the best villains.

You could have a disorganized killer from Cluster A, who leaves evidence everywhere. The calculating killer or cult leader from Cluster B, whose charisma radiates others to do his deeds. Or a psycho-stalker girlfriend from hell using Cluster C. Even better…have all three! LOL!

Hope I’ve ignited a image in your mind for your next character in your book!

Happy writing,

Diane Kratz


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Orders, fourth addition DSM-IV-TR published by: American Psychiatric Association (2000), pgs-93-102, 127-130, 685-729.

Blog Edited by DeAnn Sicard

40 thoughts on “Did you know there are eleven personality disorders?

  1. Larissa Reinhart says:

    I love your posts! I taught a high school psychology class for a while and this was my favorite unit. So fascinating.

  2. Creepy but great! Thanks for all this information. I’m running through the list of people I know and trying to decide whether they’re Cluster A or B….

    • dianekratz says:

      I’m in Cluster C I think because I counted how many times I edited this before I posted. Twenty! Can you guess which one? Thanks for stopping by Margaret!

  3. Avery Flynn says:

    Really interesting stuff. Thanks for the primer!

  4. dianalayne says:

    this could not have come at a better time–thanks!

  5. Terri Snetehn says:

    Great article, Diane! I’m very curious about the dependent personality disorder. Is there anywhere I can get more layman’s info?

  6. You have definitely lit some fires, Diane! I’m also comforted to note that I’m not the only writer who prefers to read her research books while horizontal. Faith

  7. Jo-Ann Carson says:

    Awesome Post. Thanks for all the information and organizing it sooo well. I’m imagining a lot of deviants in my future work.
    Really, it was great and helpful
    Best Wishes

  8. Misty Dietz says:

    Ahhhh!…I feel like I have a disorder just trying to keep all these disorders straight! LOL
    Awesome, organized list, Diane. This is a great springboard for the imagination. 🙂

  9. C. K. Crouch says:

    Hey Diane, I read an article the other day that could tie into this and it is down right scary. Here is the link for it.

    Thanks for all the helpful information. I can see the perfect things to use for a villain. I also noticed several that fit my sister. I was like that’s my sister.

    • dianekratz says:

      I read this article too. It very good and it makes an excellent point. Children can not be diagnosed with even anti-social personality until they are 18 years old. And one the criteria for the ASP as an adult is they had a conduct disorder as a child. I have counseled some pretty disturb youngsters. I’d love to say therapy helps them, but I’ve seen no prove of this. Time will tell. I hope I’m wrong. We need a better understanding of these types (sociopaths/psychopath) of personalities so we can treat them successfully. I see someone I know (including myself) in these personality types too. Thanks for stopping by Kathy and sharing the link with everyone else. Good read!

  10. […] Are you interested in deviants? Diane Kratz wrote a great post of the eleven personality disorders, on her site about criminal […]

  11. katsheridan says:

    The alarming number to me is that 54% of Americans fit the profile for psychopath. Over HALF!! I look around and realize that HALF the people I’m looking at are psycopaths??? And then I realized there were actually a few in the family. This is sad and horrifying.

    Also, really good fodder for writing novels!

    • dianekratz says:

      54% of Americans fit into anti- social personality. This does not make them psychopaths. ASP does NOT fit into Hare/Cleckley’s definitions of a true psychopath. This is what I’m hoping will change in the May 2013 revision. My next post will be on the difference between ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases) psychopath and APA (American Psychiatric Association)version of ASP. It is confusing! The DSM does NOT recognize the labels sociopath/psychopath and they are not listed inside the current version-at all! ASP is used generically and that’s why we have 54%. By not wanting to give people labels APA have actually given ASP the label psychopath because Hare compares his criteria of the psychopath to the American version of ASP. Did I make it as clear as mud? Thanks for stopping by and leaving a message Kat.

  12. pibarrington says:

    Excellent post Diane! (until I realized I exhibit numerous traits listed, lol)

  13. Oh, wow, Diane! Great post. This is fascinating and terrifying. I’m afraid I know a lot of ducks. 🙂 I’m bookmarking this for futire research.

  14. granbee says:

    I really appreciate all this information. This certainly informs my intecessory prayers for individuals I know who exhibit any of these symtpoms. This is much better that just screaming silently, “Why are we humans so screwed up?”

    • dianekratz says:

      The debate over your question has been going on for years Granbee. Environment vs. Biology, some think it’s a choice. Truth is, we just don’t know for sure. Everyone is different. Prayers are always good for everyone. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  15. What a fabulous post this has been recently. I am grateful for you and count on more number of posts honestly. Thank you very much.

  16. Sherry Isaac says:

    Okay, Diane. I know this is a serious site, and I regard the knowledge you share here as a valuable and reliable resource. However,

    I read Cluster A–each and every condition in Cluster A–with the theme to How I Met Your Mother in my head.

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