Personality Disorders
Info on Changes to Personality Disorders
Personality Disorder: Failure to develop a
coherent sense of self or identity and chronic
interpersonal dysfunction – looking for stability
across time and consistency across situations
Two pieces – impairments in personality
functioning and the presence of pathological
personality traits
A revised proposal for the definition of the key elements for
the Levels of Personality Functioning was formulated as
Identity: Experience of oneself as unique, with clear
boundaries between self and others; stability of selfesteem and accuracy of self-appraisal; capacity for,
and ability to regulate, a range of emotional
Self-direction: Pursuit of coherent and meaningful
short-term and life goals; utilization of constructive and
prosocial internal standards of behavior; ability to selfreflect productively.
Empathy: Comprehension and appreciation of others’
experiences and motivations; tolerance of differing
perspectives; understanding of the effects of own
behavior on others.
Intimacy: Depth and duration of positive connection with
others; desire and capacity for closeness; mutuality of
regard reflected in interpersonal behavior.
New Criteria for Six Specific Personality Disorders and
Personality Disorder Trait Specified
In response to feedback from the DSM-5 Task Force, new
diagnostic criteria sets have been developed for six
specific PDs, as well as the category of PD Trait Specified,
which is intended to replace PDNOS in DSM-5.
The six disorders include the five originally proposed for
retention in DSM-5 (Skodol et al., 2011c) and narcissistic
PD, which Web site feedback suggested was the specific
PD with the most clinical utility slated for deletion.
Descriptions of typical levels of impairment in self (identity or selfdirection) and in interpersonal (empathy or intimacy) are included in
the A criteria of the newly proposed diagnostic criteria for the specific
The diagnosis of a “trait-specified personality disorder” requires a rating
of significant impairment in personality functioning, combined with the
presence of pathological trait domains or facets, and is intended to
provide a diagnosis to replace PD not otherwise specified (NOS).
That is, when the presentation does not neatly resemble a specific PD
type, the clinician has the option of diagnosing PD, and tailoring the
description of the PD to fit the specific patient, using the specific
features encoded by pathological traits.
Levels of Personality Functioning Scale is a new assessment instrument.
6 specific PD Types
1) Anti-social (dyssocial)
2) Avoidant
3) Borderline
4) Narcissistic
5) Obsessive-Compulsive
6) Schizotypal
The new personality domains are
intended to describe personality
characteristics of ALL patients whether
they have a PD or not. The assessment
can “telescope” the clinician’s
Recommended reading The New
Personality Self-Portrait.
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