Diagnosis of Personality Disorder

The diagnosis of personality disorders requires a series of medical exams and tests. Personality disorder tests are conducted and evaluated by trained and experienced psychiatrists. These tests will also ensure that the individual’s symptoms are not linked to a physical ailment. Personality disorder tests include

  • A physical exam to check all vital signs and measure height and weight along with heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Laboratory tests such as blood tests and urine tests are required to check for drug or alcohol use as well as proper functioning of the thyroid.
  • Psychological tests are conducted to explore emotions, feelings, and behavior patterns. These tend to be in-depth examinations and conversations and demand a level of honesty in order to make a proper diagnosis and determine the right course of treatment.
Even with the use of all the physical and psychological tests at a doctor's disposal, it is still difficult to distinguish between various types of personality disorders. A diagnosis of a personality disorder largely depends on how the signs and symptoms of the condition are interpreted and evaluated. This is why it may take several sessions for the psychiatrist to reach a conclusive diagnosis and decide on the required treatment. The subsequent personality disorders prognosis will also depend on the severity of the condition and the efficacy of the treatment.

According to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), to be diagnosed with any type of personality disorder, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Symptoms have to be present for a long period of time
  • Symptoms should not be dependent or the result of drug or alcohol use or any other mental condition
  • Symptoms can be traced back to childhood or adolescence
  • Symptoms cause distress in the person’s life and relationships

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