Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

The Abnormal Personality

abnormalAbnormal personality functioning: A personality disorder is a developmental defect. It is an enduring and inflexible pattern of behavior that effects social and occupational functioning.

A personality disorder impacts the way the patient perceives himself, events and others (cognition), his/her range, intensity, appropriateness, and lability of mood (affectivity) and it influences interpersonal functioning and impulse control (behavior).

Knowing if a personality disorder, abnormal functioning, has influence on patient behavior enables us to understand, predict and ideally control any inappropriate behaviors that arise, including non-compliance.

Thus, if we know a patient is a (socially) avoidant personality, a paranoid personality, a dependent personality, a negativistic personality or an anti-social personality, or even an amalgam of several personality disorders, we are able to predict how the patient will respond to the stressors and demands of his/her illness or injury.

Conversely, if we do not have a formal measure of their personality functioning, we jump through hoops, trying to adjust our own behaviors to suit them, a process that is destined to failure.

The earlier we assess personality functioning, and abnormal variants, the sooner we have reasonable understanding and control over the health management process.


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