A personality disorder is characterized by certain features that present challenges to socialization, as well as emotional and behavioral regulation. Your personality is your unique way of feeling, behaving, and interacting with the world. Although your interests and the circumstances of your life may change over time, your personality remains relatively static. Experts agree that your personality is set by the time you are about 18 years old.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 9% of the population has at least one personality disorder. There are 10 personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.
Diagnosis of a personality disorder has to be made by a mental health professional and generally isn’t made until an individual is 18 years old. There is stigma attached to personality disorders, which may delay treatment in individuals living with a personality disorder. However, there are gentle and compassionate treatment options out there, including therapy (psychoanalytic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy are commonly used), group therapy, lifestyle modifications, and medication.