Borderline personalities are unpredictable, self-destructive and often see things in black and white.
Personality disorders affect one in seven adults
By Fred Cicetti
Q. A friend who uses a lot of psychobabble described a new woman in our retirement community as having a “personality disorder.” I would call this woman a pain in the neck. What’s the difference between a personality disorder and just a lousy personality?
A. People with a personality disorder are more than just pains in the neck. They have serious trouble getting along with others. They are usually rigid and unable to adapt to the changes life presents to all of us. They simply don’t function well in society.
People with personality disorders are more likely to commit homicide and suicide, and suffer from social isolation, alcohol and drug addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-destructive behavior such as excessive gambling.
About one in seven U.S. adults has at least one personality disorder, and many have more than one. Personality disorders are usually first noticed around the teen years. However, personality disorders can surface at any time, including old age. About one in ten older adults living at home may have a personality disorder. This figure is even higher among adults living in nursing homes.
Childhood experiences and your genes play major roles in personality disorders. However, personality changes can be brought on in older adults if they have trouble handling the losses of family and friends, other major life changes or their own medical problems.