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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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