Personality Disorder Law and Legal Definition

Personality Disorder or Character Disorders are pervasive chronic psychological disorders or mental illnesses which greatly affect a person’s life. American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines Personality Disorder as “an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it".

Persons with a personality disorder possess several distinct psychological features like disturbances in self-image; inability to have successful interpersonal relationships; appropriateness of range of emotion, ways of perceiving themselves, others, and the world; difficulty in possessing proper impulse control etc. These disturbances come together to create a pervasive pattern of behavior and inner experience that is quite different from the norms of the individual's culture. This is often expressed in behaviors that appear more dramatic than what society considers usual.

Having a personality disorder can negatively affect one's work, family, and social life. While most people can live pretty normal lives with mild personality disorders, during times of increased stress or external pressures the symptoms of the personality disorder will gain strength and begin to seriously interfere with their emotional and psychological functioning.

There are different types of personality disorders. Antisocial personality disorders, Borderline personality disorder, Narcissistic Personality disorder are a few of them.