external image Different-Types-of-Personality-Disorders.jpg


Personality Disorders

By: F. Islam, R. Feng, S. Bobikuganathan, Z. Xia, Y. Qi, M. Patel, S. Iqbal, D. Panagodage





Personality is the unique set of traits and characteristics in an individual that has an effect on the individual’s cognitive, affective and behavioural response patterns to environmental conditions.[1] A personality disorder occurs when these unique combination of traits and characteristics are maladaptive and cause impairments in the person’s ability to function in his/her prevailing environment.[2] These behaviours can lead to extreme distress - in some cases disabilities - and can cause an individual to withdraw from or be dysfunctional in social environments.[3] As a result of one’s inability to appropriately respond to such external stressors, personal issues such as depression, anxiety and distress can harm the individual.[4] Personality disorders can cause individuals to behave eccentrically, dramatically, emotionally, fearfully, and/or anxiously.[5] These deviant traits and response patterns may have numerous causes such as structural changes in various brain regions, dysfunctional receptors and neural pathways, neuroendocrine abnormalities, and other genetic and environmental factors. These disorders span the lives of many individuals, although the symptoms and their severity may change over time.[6]



1. Paranoid Personality Disorder (D. Panagodage)

a. Symptoms of PDD and diagnostic criteria
b. Environmental factors causing PDD : Nicotine addiction drugs and PDD
c. Genetics and heritability in PDD: Genetic link to Schizoid & Schizotypal disorders
d. Structural and chemical changes in a PDD patients’ brain
e. Treatment & current research

2. Schizotypal Personality Disorder (Z. Xia)

a. Symptoms of SPD, the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria and its controversies
b. Similarities between SPD and schizophrenia: heritability and genetic polymorphism
c. Cognitive defect in SPD patients: looking at memory and sensory processing
d. Cortical gray and white matter volume reduction in SPD patients
e. Neurobiological basis for florid psychosis: differentiating between SPD and schizophrenia
f. Social and environmental risk factors
g. Therapeutic methods: pharmacological treatment vs. cognitive behavioural therapy

3. Psychopathy (R. Feng)

a. Symptoms and diagnostic criteria - Factor 1 of Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist
b. Brain areas involved in aggression - hypothalamus and PAG
c. Deficiencies with impulse control - orbitofrontal cortex and ACC
d. Impairments in fear and emotional processing - amygdala
e. Abnormalities in hemispheric lateralization and language processing
f. Successful vs. criminal psychopaths - difference in brain?
g. Case Study: Texas Tower Sniper - Charles Whitman

4. Borderline Personality Disorder (F. Islam)

a. Symptomology and behavioral deviations from norm
b. Abnormalities of and structural changes in frontolimbic networks
c. Neuroendocrine abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis
d. Heredity and specific gene polymorphisms
e. Environmental risk factors and other antecedents of BPD

5. Histrionic Personality Disorder (S. Iqbal)

a. Onset of the disorder (early adulthood)
b. Symptoms and diagnosis based on history, severity of symptoms and psychological evaluation
c. Genetic and environmental factors (childhood experiences)
d. Behaviour abnormalities (personal and social)
e. Treatment (medications and psychotherapy) and current research

6. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Y. Qi)

a. Symptoms and causal factors of the disorder
b. Diagnosis criterion and its limitation
c. Similarity to Borderline Personality disorder and hyperactivity in amygdala
d. Relationship with paranoid personality disorder
e. Relationship with eating disorder
f. Treatment with selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and cognitive therapy

7. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (S. Bobikuganathan)

a. Decline in cognitive functioning and characterization of recurrent behaviours
b. Variations in cortical thickness of temporal gyrus and posterior insular cortex
c. Brain-derived neurotropic levels
d. Role of dopamine signaling pathway
e. Use of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors
f. Moderate functional impairments and cognitive behavioural therapy
g. Exposure-Response Treatment

8. Dissociative Identity Disorder (M. Patel)

a. Causes- Childhood Trauma
b. Symptoms- Behavioral, Physiological, Memory Transfer
c. Diagnostic Method
d. Psychotherapy- Phase Oriented Treatment, Therapy, Other methods
e. Psychotropic Medication
  1. ^ Carducci, B.J. (2009). Psychology of Personality Second Edition. United Kingdom: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
  2. ^ Tyrer, P. (2004). Personality Disorders. Psychiatric Disorders, 29, 26-28.
  3. ^ Zanni, G. R. (2007). The Graying of Personality Disorders: persistent, but different. Consultant Pharmacy, 22(12), 995-1003.
  4. ^ Zanni, G. R. (2007). The Graying of Personality Disorders: persistent, but different. Consultant Pharmacy, 22(12), 995-1003.
  5. ^ Zanni, G. R. (2007). The Graying of Personality Disorders: persistent, but different. Consultant Pharmacy, 22(12), 995-1003.
  6. ^ Zanni, G. R. (2007). The Graying of Personality Disorders: persistent, but different. Consultant Pharmacy, 22(12), 995-1003.