We all have a personality, which is made up of our usual ways of relating to people, seeing the world, and the ways in which we cope with challenges and difficulties.
Some people who encounter difficulties when they are growing up find that they don’t develop effective coping strategies in life and struggle with relationships. They may also see the world in ways that contribute to unhappiness, constant anxiety or tension or a tendency to emotional meltdown. Often they may find that they get into repeating patterns in their life that are unhelpful. These types of difficulties have usually been around throughout someone’s adult life.
People with a personalty disorder may also be more prone to other types of difficulties such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders or substance misuse. Some people may also use self harm as a way of coping, or struggle constantly with suicidal feelings.
Recently a number of innovative treatment approaches such as mentalization based therapy (MBT) have been developed that can help people with a personality disorder to develop the capacity to understand themselves and other people better, and to find more effective ways of coping with challenges.