The stigmatisation is high, but this should not stop people from seeking professional help.
Personality disorder refers to adverse patterns of feelings, thinking, and behaviour. It involves observable and internal perception patterns. People living with personality disorder find it difficult to live a normal life.
The Project Air Strategy has developed the Australian diagnosis and treatment guidelines. The guidelines aim at improving and expanding specialist treatment options.
Personality disorder key diagnostic factors
- Odd thinking
- Anger and irritability
- Deep emotional changes
Risk factors to consider
- History of abuse
- Negative parenting interactions
- Family background of schizophrenia
- Disruptive emotional disorder
Only a licensed mental health professional should conduct a diagnosis of personality disorder. Below is a guide to the procedures to follow when diagnosing a patient.
Step 1: Clearly explain the assessment to the client
The diagnostic procedure may focus on painful experiences and past traumas. There are chances that the assessment will provoke a person with a personality disorder. Therefore, it’s important to communicate the goals of the diagnosis to a client. It will help them feel safer.
Step 2: Carry out a semi-structured interview
A semi-structured interview uses a clinically accepted psychometric test. The test gives a specific understanding of people across different personalities. A semi-structured interview examines the presence of clinical disorders. It also checks strengths and the level of chronic risk to the patient.
Step 3: Score the interview and make a formal diagnosis
After the interview, the client takes a break. The mental health practitioner at this point scores the results. The scores are then discussed with a colleague. A formal diagnosis is finally made from the results obtained.
Step 4: Provide feedback to the client
At this point, the patient receives the results of the diagnosis. A caring and loving style of communication is necessary when giving feedback. Diagnostic feedback script and fact sheets are necessary when giving feedback. The documents are available on the Project Air Strategy official website.
After a diagnosis, the next step is treatment. Suggest different treatment options for the person who has a personality disorder.
Various methods are essential in treating personality disorder. The use of cognitive, supportive, interpersonal and behavioural techniques is commonly used. Pharmacological and psychological treatments are only used for specific behaviours, symptoms, or experiences.
Treatment will vary based on the type of personality disorders. The following are the major treatments.
Psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for personality disorder. The procedure helps the patients to understand their feelings, thoughts, and motivations. The insight enables people to manage their behaviour and symptoms. The treatment enhances a satisfying living to the people suffering from the disorder.
There is no specific medicine that treats personality disorder. Medication is only used when targeting certain disorder symptoms such as headaches.
However, antidepressants medicines treat conditions such as depression and anxiety. Medicines together used with psychotherapy work perfectly.
6. Crisis Management
People with personality disorder needs support. They have trouble coping with stressful events. In most stressful situations they develop suicidal thoughts. Their behaviour requires emergency assistance.
In severe cases, hospitalisation is required to prevent the risk of suicide or self-harm. However, this is a temporary solution to enhance the safety of the patient. In normal cases, admission is not necessary for people with personality disorder.
In Australia, you should call the Lifeline at 13 11 14 if you have suicidal thoughts. You can also call on behalf of someone else if you believe they are at risk of suicide. If you need emergency assistance, you can call 000 for police, ambulance or fire services.
Most people in Australia are struggling with an undiagnosed personality disorder. The stigmatisation is high in society. No one wishes to any association with a personality disorder. This is the reason most people don’t seek professional help.