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Personality Disorder NOS Symptoms

(Also Known As: Personality Disorder Symptoms, Personality Disorders Symptoms, Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms, Mixed Personality Disorder Symptoms)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the symptoms of Personality Disorders?

Borderline Personality Disorder

The onset of BPD symptoms usually occurs during adolescence or young adulthood and these may continue for a number of years. However, the majority of symptoms decreases as time progresses with some individuals fully recovering. While borderline personality disorder can manifest itself in children and teenagers, therapists are discouraged from diagnosing anyone before the age of 18, due to the fact that adolescents have a still-developing personality. 5

BPD patients almost always appear in a state of crisis. Mood swings are very common and they may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last for hours, or at most a day. Rather than full-blown psychotic breaks, patients may also experience short-lived psychotic episodes referred to as micropsychotic episodes. The manifested symptoms are typically described as circumscribed, fleeting, or doubtful. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. The behavior of patients with BPD is highly erratic and the distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. The painful nature of their lives is reflected in repetitive self-destructive acts, which are manifested through slashing of wrists and performing other self-mutilation to obtain help from others, to express anger, or to numb themselves of overwhelming affect. People with BPD often have highly unstable patterns of social relationships because they feel both dependent and hostile. They can be dependent on those people whom they are very close to and when frustrated, they show enormous anger towards them.

Sometimes people with BPD think or feel that they are unworthy or that they have a terrible personality. They may feel unjustly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms usually appear when these patients feel isolated and lacking in social support, because they cannot tolerate being alone. This therefore may result to frantic efforts to search for companionship to assuage loneliness and avoid being alone, which explains why some may behave promiscuously; complain of chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom or the lack of a consistent sense of identity.

In summary, people with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders.6

Personality Disorder NOS

  • Passive-aggressive personality disorder – People with passive-aggressive personality disorder are described to have convert obstructionism, procrastination, stubbornness and inefficiency. The aforementioned is a manifestation of passively expressed underlying aggression. According to DSM-IV-TR, this disorder is also referred to as negativistic personality disorder. People with this disorder are often found guilty of finding excuses for delays, and finding fault with those on whom they depend; yet they refuse to separate themselves from the dependent relationships. They usually lack assertiveness and they are not sure about their needs and desires. They also fail to ask the proper questions about what is required of them and may feel uneasy when forced to succeed or when their usual defense of turning anger against themselves is removed.

Patients with passive-aggressive personality disorder are less showy, dramatic, affective and openly aggressive as compared to histrionic and BPD patients.

  • Depressive personality disorder – People with this disorder are characterized by life-long traits that are classified under the depressive spectrum. They are pessimistic, anhedonic, duty-bound, self-doubting and chronically unhappy.
  • Sadomasochistic personality disorder –Clinical observations show that there are elements of both sadistic and masochistic behavior usually present in the same person. Sadism refers to the desire to cause others pain either by being sexually abusive or generally physically or psychologically abusive. In contrast, masochism refers to the achievement of sexual gratification by inflicting pain on one’s self. These people seek humiliation and failure rather than physical pain. 7

Could You Have Personality Disorder NOS?

Personality Disorder NOS Topics

Related Conditions

Antisocial Personality Disorder – pervasive behavior, disregard of rights of others, lack of empathy
Avoidant Personality Disorder – pervasive social inhibition, feeling of inadequacy, fear of being criticized or rejected
Borderline Personality Disorder – variable mood, unstable relationship, psychosis
Dependent Personality Disorder - dependence towards others, get others to assume responsibility for major areas of their lives, lacks self-confidence, may experience intense discomfort when left alone for more than a brief period
Histrionic Personality Disorder - exhibits excitability and are highly emotional, manifests a colorful, dramatic, extroverted behavior with the inability to maintain long-lasting attachments.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder - characterized by a heightened sense of self-importance and grandiose feelings of uniqueness
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – obsession to perfection, compulsive personality, obsession, perfectionist, routine and repetitive activities
Paranoid Personality Disorder – long standing suspiciousness, mistrust of others, paranoia, maladaptive behavior
Schizoid Personality Disorder – lack of interest with social relationship, prefer to be in solitary, emotional coldness, indifference
Schizotypal Personality Disorder - odd personality, perceives magical thinking, peculiar notions, ideas of reference, illusions and derealization.