Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are not characterized by specific symptoms or syndromes, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression or panic attacks, but from exasperated presence of some rigid personality characteristics.

The personality (or character) has been defined in many ways, but we can say that they are the set of characteristics, traits representing the way in which each of us responds, interacts, perceives and thinks about what it happens.

It can be also said that personality is a stable way that each of us has built with his own experiences and the way to relate with others and with the world.
The traits that compose it (personality) are the characteristics of his style in relation to others, thus for example there is the feature of dependence on others or suspicion or seduction or self-love.

Normally, these traits must be sufficiently flexible depending on the circumstances. In some cases it will be useful to be more passive and dependent than usual, while in others it will be more functional to be seductive.

Personality disorders are characterized by rigidity and by the inflexible presentation of these traits, even in the less desirable situations. For example, some people always tend to present themselves in a seductive way regardless of the situation in which they are, hence making the situation difficult to handle. Other people, however, tend always to be so dependent on others and are unable to take their own decisions.

These traits usually become so familiar that people themselves do not realize those stable, rigid and inappropriate behaviors from which others negative reactions are provoked  but instead, they feel the victims of the situation and “feed” their disorder .


Borderline disorder is a personality disorder described as a prolonged disturbance of personality function in a person. It is characterized by depth and variability of moods and instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, behavior and a more general abnormality in the perception of sense of self.

The borderline personality disorder is defined today as a disorder characterized by excessive and variable emotional experience and instability regarding the identity of the individual. One of the most typical symptoms of this disorder is the fear of abandonment. The borderline subjects tend to suffer from collapse of self-confidence and mood and then they fall into self-destructive or distructive behaviors in their interpersonal relationships. Some people may also suffer from acute depressive moments probably for a short time, eg a few hours, and extremenly alternate their normal behavior.

Sometimes it is observed in these patients the tendency of oscillation between opposite poles of opinion; a thought that is “black or white thinking” or cognitive “splitting” (“feel” or believe that something or a situation has to be classified only between opposite possibility. For example, the classification “friend” or “enemy”, “love” or “hate”, etc). This splitting is not intended but is immediately identified by a structured personality that maintains and amplifies certain primitive mechanisms of defense.

The characteristic of patients with Borderline disorder is a general existential instability. Their life is characterized by intense emotional and turbulent relationships, ending abruptly. The disorder often has very serious effects causing “crashes” at the work life and in the relationships of the individual.

The disorder appears in adolescence and conceptually has common aspects with the common crises of identity and humor that characterize the transition to adulthood, but it happens on a major scale, resulting in extensive and prolonged functioning that affects fully the individual’s adult personality.