Personality Disorders

There are many different personality disorders so just scroll through this page to see common symptoms for each.

Paranoid personality disorder symptoms:

  • find it hard to confide in people, even your friends
  • find it very difficult to trust other people, believing they will use you or take advantage of you
  • watch others closely, looking for signs of betrayal or hostility
  • read threats and danger – which others don’t see – into everyday situations.


Schizoid personality disorder symptoms:

  • be uninterested in forming close relationships with other people, including your family
  • feel that relationships interfere with your freedom and tend to cause problems
  • prefer to be alone with your own thoughts
  • choose to live your life without interference from others
  • get little pleasure from life
  • have little interest in sex or intimacy
  • be emotionally cold towards others


Schizotypal personality disorder symptoms:

  • find making close relationships extremely difficult
  • think and express yourself in ways that others find ‘odd’, using unusual words or phrases
  • behave in ways that others find eccentric
  • believe that you can read minds or that you have special powers such as a ‘sixth sense’
  • feel anxious and tense with others who do not share these beliefs
  • feel very anxious and paranoid in social situations.

Antisocial personality disorder symptoms:

  • put yourself in dangerous or risky situations, often without considering the consequences for yourself or for other people
  • behave dangerously and sometimes illegally
  • behave in ways that are unpleasant for others
  • feel very easily bored and act on impulse – you may find it difficult to hold down a job for long
  • behave aggressively and get into fights easily
  • do things – even though they may hurt people – to get what you want, putting your needs above theirs
  • have a criminal record
  • feel no sense of guilt if you have mistreated others
  • believe that only the strongest survive and that you must do whatever it takes to lead a successful life because if you don’t grab opportunities, others will
  • have had a diagnosis of conduct disorder before the age of 15.


Borderline personality disorder symptoms:

  • feel very worried about people abandoning you, and would do anything to stop that happening
  • have very intense emotions that last from a few hours to a few days and can change quickly (for example, from feeling very happy and confident in the morning to feeling low and sad in the afternoon)
  • not have a strong sense of who you are, and it can change depending on who you’re with
  • find it very hard to make and keep stable relationships
  • act impulsively and do things that could harm you (such as binge eating, using drugs or driving dangerously)
  • have suicidal thoughts or self-harming behaviour
  • feel empty and lonely a lot of the time
  • get very angry, and struggle to control your anger.

When very stressed, sometimes you might:

  • feel paranoid
  • have psychotic experiences, such as seeing or hearing things that other people don’t
  • feel numb or ‘checked out’ and not remember things properly after they’ve happened.


Histrionic personality disorder symptoms:

  • feel very uncomfortable if you are not the centre of attention
  • feel much more at ease as the ‘life and soul of the party’
  • feel that you have to entertain people
  • flirt or behave provocatively to ensure that you remain the centre of attention
  • get a reputation for being dramatic and overemotional
  • feel dependent on the approval of others
  • be easily influenced by others.


Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms:

  • believe that there are special reasons that make you different, better or more deserving than others
  • have fragile self-esteem, so that you rely on others to recognise your worth and your needs
  • feel upset if others ignore you and don’t give you what you feel you deserve
  • resent other people’s successes
  • put your own needs above other people’s, and demand they do too
  • be seen as selfish and ‘above yourself’
  • take advantage of other people.


Avoidant personality disorder:

  • avoid work or social activities that mean you must be with others
  • expect disapproval and criticism and be very sensitive to it
  • worry constantly about being ‘found out’ and rejected
  • worry about being ridiculed or shamed by others
  • avoid relationships, friendships and intimacy because you fear rejection
  • feel lonely and isolated, and inferior to others
  • be reluctant to try new activities in case you embarrass yourself.


Dependant personality disorder:

  • feel needy, weak and unable to make decisions or function properly without help or support
  • allow others to assume responsibility for many areas of your life
  • agree to things you feel are wrong or you dislike to avoid being alone or losing someone’s support
  • be afraid of being left to fend for yourself
  • have low self-confidence
  • see other people as being much more capable than you are
  • be seen by others as much too submissive and passive.


Obsessive compulsive personality disorder:

  • need to keep everything in order and under control
  • set unrealistically high standards for yourself and others
  • think yours is the best way of making things happen
  • worry when you or others might make mistakes
  • expect catastrophes if things aren’t perfect
  • be reluctant to spend money on yourself or others
  • have a tendency to hang onto items with no obvious value.