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Mental Disorders

Summary of What is a Personality Disorder

Simone Hoermann, Ph.D., Corinne E. Zupanick, Psy.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

In summary, the defining features of a personality disorder are: a) distorted thinking, b) problems with emotional regulation, and c) problems with impulse regulation) that all work together to contribute to the fourth and most important core feature of personality disorders, d) interpersonal difficulties. When people have distorted ways of thinking about themselves and others, have difficulty regulating their emotions, and have trouble regulating their impulses, it only makes sense that these problems will go on to affect the way they enter into, and behave in relationships. Likewise, these problematic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect the way they handle conflict with others; and the way other people will react to them.