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Personality Disorder Message Board

Personality Disorder Board Index

Q. How many personality disorders does the DSM describe? And what are they?

I am going to phrase my answers in casual layman’s language. Now I want you to know that I am just referring to symptoms, not people! People can have some lousy behaviors, but those behaviors are not THEM. If you have had one of the following labels applied to you, please know it is a label for a behavior/personality style; it is not you. No matter what label you may have gotten, you are a pretty decent person with some issues that peak and may continue to peak until you find ways of dealing with them. Having said that some of these symptoms/behaviors are not nice and I can be blunt about them.

A. The DSM IV-TR ( Diagnostic and statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) describes the following 10 disorders in the body of its text:
Cluster A: Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal. This group is characterized by eccentric behaviors, and hold others at arms length for various reasons.
Cluster B: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic This group is outgoing,. All members of this group are clearly narcissistic. They all have trouble keeping appropriate boundaries and tend to use others, each in its own way.
Cluster C: Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive. This group is known as “the anxious ones” They range from giving up all power to others (dependent) to wanting to have total control over others’ details. (OCD pdo is different from O-C disorder. OCD pdo is much more about details and control than having to repeat things over and over as in OCD proper.

In addition to these ten, there is the catchall pdo: Personality Disorder NOS (301.9) This is listed in the DSM for those who do not clearly fit one of the above, but have enough PDO traits to mention it.


Passive-Aggressive pdo is mentioned in Appendix B of the DSM_TR. This pdo is about NOT doing the stuff one is supposed to do. Sabotage through the stab in the back, rather than face-to-face.

Depressive PDO. These people are pessimistic and nothing you say, and NO med can influence their attitude. This pdo is also in appendix B of the DSM-TR

Adding these two disorders brings us up to 13 personality disorders.

The next two pdo’s were mysteriously dropped from appendices of the DSM-TR but may still be worthy of honorable mentions in the overall list: They were listed for many years in appendices of previous DSM’s and are worthy of thought:

Self-defeating (masochistic pdo) Set themselves up to fail and/or be hurt, physically, mentally, you name it.

Sadistic pdo. These are folks who do not mind stepping on heads metaphorically or torturing people psychologically and/ or physically. This pdo seems to be a prerequisite for serial rapists and murderers.

I would be interested in finding out why these two pdo’s were dropped.

Any corections, additions to above?

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