One’s personality consists of enduring patterns of perceiving, behaving, relating to and thinking about the environment, others and oneself. These patterns are exhibited across numerous different contexts. A personality disorder is considered when certain personality traits are severely inflexible and maladaptive across a wide range of situations, causing distress and impairment of social, occupational and role functioning. Persons with personality disorders have an increased risk for concurrent psychiatric conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy with a clinical psychologist is the first-line treatment for personality disorders. Therapy helps a person learn new ways of thinking, relating and behaving. Medication prescribed by a psychiatrist may be used as an adjunctive treatment or to treat concurrent psychiatric conditions.
Borderline personality disorder is one of the most common personality disorders and is characterised by extreme mood changes, difficulties with regulating emotions, impulsive behaviours, an unstable self-image and unstable relationships.
Personality difficulties may arise as a result of a medical or neurological condition, such as a stroke or injury to the frontal lobes of the brain. This represents a change from the person's previous personality pattern and may present as impulsivity, aggressive outbursts, disinhibition, mood instability, apathy, suspiciousness or poor judgement.