Personality Disorders

What is a personality disorder?

Personalities Disorders or “disorders of the self” are long-term and pervasive. They affect every aspect of your life from your relationships to your moods to even your sense of your own identity.

Someone with a personality disorder or an impaired real self are unable to accomplish the task of finding a “fit” with their environment and are compelled to resort to self-destructive behavior patterns, evidence of a false self, that protects them from feeling “bad” at the cost of a meaningful and fulfilling life. The false self, unable to experiment, induces a lack of self-esteem as the person has to settle for rigid, destructive behavior that avoids life’s challenges but leads to feelings of failure, lost hopes and unfulfilled dreams and despair. These behavior patterns, officially called “personality disorders”, are not only increasingly prevalent among people seeking professional help today but also reflect major psychological themes in American culture at large: fear of abandonment, emphasis on the self to the exclusion of others, difficulties in intimacy and creativity and the assertion of the real self.

One of the more prevalent personality disorders is Borderline Personality Disorder. In BPD, there is a pattern of difficulty in relationships, poor self-image, unstable moods and impulsivity. Often, there is also a possibility of angry outbursts, promiscuity, substance abuse, mood swings and suicidal threats. An intense fear of abandonment is often part of BPD.

Another prevalent personality disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is when people exaggerate their own worth, are preoccupied with themselves and have no empathy. They often have difficulty with relationships and jobs, cannot take criticism, are envious of others, crave compliments and use others for their own means.

The good news is that these disorders can be treated in some and significantly improved in others. The psychological struggles that dominate and constrict the lives of some people and to a lesser degree confront us all, have their origins in unresolved developmental hurdles. When these hurdles are successfully overcome and worked through, we can achieve a healthy real self and can live and share our lives with others in a healthy, meaningful and fulfilling way.


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Mark Blough, Psy.D


Kathy Blough, Psy.S  
Psychotherapist & Holistic Health Counselor


Address:2350 Washtenaw
Suite 8
Ann Arbor, MI 48104