Personality Disorder

We all have individual personality traits, specific ways we think and behave which make us unique. Personality traits become a personality disorder when the pattern of thinking and behaviour is extreme, inflexible and maladaptive. They may cause major disruption to a person’s life and are usually associated with significant distress to the self, family or friends.

There are different types of personality disorders which usually begin in childhood and persist into adulthood. Like most mental health issues, the causes appear to be a complex combination of genetic factors, biochemical factors, and individual, family and environmental factors.

Signs of Personality Disorder

If you or someone you know experiences these type of behaviours it could be a sign of personality disorder:

  • Wide mood swings.
  • Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  • Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures or threats, or self-harming behaviour.
  • Impulsive and self-destructive behaviour.
  • A pattern of unstable relationships.
  • Persistent unstable self-image or sense of self.
  • Fear of abandonment.
  • Periods of paranoia and loss of contact with reality.

Treating personality disorders

The range of treatments for personality disorders is growing and the earlier the treatment the more effective it is likely to be. For borderline personality disorder, psychological therapies which Psychologists Southern Sydney (PSS) provide are the main treatment approach.

At PSS we offer many forms of therapy including Didactic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) which is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that targets mood instability and impulsivity. DBT which teaches people how to manage their emotions, and re-learn ways to react to people and situations. An important aim of treatment for people with borderline personality disorder is managing self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

We are open six days a week for bookings throughout the day and after hours, also Saturdays. Private Health and Medicare Rebates are available on the spot. To find out more about our services or to book a session at PSS please call 02 8381 5867.

Further helpful contacts

If it is an emergency please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or go to your nearest hospital

More information regarding personality disorder is also available at or


Psychologists Southern Sydney

St George & Sutherland Shire Counselling and Psychology Services