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Personality disorders in your Characters

Let me preface this by saying that any information in this article is purely for use as a tool by writers and aspiring authors. It is NOT meant to diagnose ANY mental illness or personality disorder. Its for informational use ONLY. If you have any suspected health concerns, PLEASE seek the advice of a medical professional.

Personality Disorders, as opposed to Mental Illness, can be an excellent tool for crafting a multifaceted character in your story.

"Whats the difference?" You may wonder.

Mental Illness can be caused by neurotransmitter deficiencies or imbalances, genetics and/or environmental toxins. Typically (but not always) start early in life and treatment involves Psychiatric medications.

Personality Disorders, on the other hand, can be caused by genetics AND by environmental influences. Typically (but not always) start during teenage years or early adulthood and treatment involves Psychotherapy. These disorders are mainly characterized by diseased, unsound thinking and patterns of behavior. All of this has a negative impact on the person when it comes to building interpersonal relationships and expanding their social networks.

So what triggers a Personality Disorder? It happens gradually. Most commonly, these start to develop during the teenage years or in early adulthood. This is the time frame when human personalities are most vulnerable to being influenced by elements present in the surrounding environment. Things like social stresses can combine with negative upbringing and poor or lacking social networks i.e. bad or no family ties, few or no friendships.

For more details in the differences between Mental Illness and Personality Disorder, you can visit

There are 10 types of Personality Disorders. According Mantracare.Org, "A personality disorder is a preoccupation with control and order, which is typically accompanied by emotional instability. These conditions create conflict both within oneself and between others, limiting one's ability to relate productively with the world around them."

Since this post is purely to help you craft a character, please visit Mantracare.Org for more detailed information on each of these following disorders.

  1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  2. Borderline Personality Disorder

  3. Dependent Personality Disorder

  4. Histrionic Personality Disorder

  5. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

  6. Avoidant Personality Disorder

  7. Anti-social Personality Disorder

  8. Compartmentalized Personality Disorder

  9. Paranoid Personality Disorder

  10. Schizotypal Personality Disorder

  11. Schizoid Personality Disorder

In crafting your character, make sure to thoroughly research all aspects of their personality. You want your end result not just to be believable, but accurate. Realistic characters help your story to be more immersive and bring your literary world a fascinating perspective, all the while showing respect for the struggles that many everyday people face in the real world.

Happy Writing everyone!

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