What are personality disorders?
Each person’s personality has a number of different aspects. We all have parts of our personality that can cause us problems in situations such as relationships. The level of difficulty can range from mild to more severe.
At the more severe end, there is significant distress or difficulty in a number of different aspects of someone’s life and these may be longstanding. It is this level of difficulty that can be termed a ‘disorder’.
There may also be other mental health issues present such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders.
Personality disorders are conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others.
Changes in how a person feels and distorted beliefs about other people can lead to odd behaviour, which can be distressing and may upset others.
Common features include:
- being overwhelmed by negative feelings such as distress, anxiety, worthlessness or anger
- avoiding other people and feeling empty and emotionally disconnected
- difficulty managing negative feelings without self-harming (for example, abusing drugs and alcohol, or taking overdoses) or, in rare cases, threatening other people
- odd behaviour
- difficulty maintaining stable and close relationships, especially with partners, children and professional carers
- sometimes, periods of losing contact with reality
On this page
If your mood is affecting your daily life, you should seek help as soon as possible.
You should visit your GP. If your GP agrees they will refer you to services so you can be assessed and appropriate help considered.
Treatment for personality disorders
How we may help.
²gether offers a wide range of services for a wide range of mental health issues. We try to match people to the services that will be most helpful to them. There is a useful national document that talks about personality disorders and things that might be helpful. The link is below, please be aware that not all services described are available at ²gether.
You can learn more about types of personality disorders and treatments available here
Our teams and services
Where to find us, and which services can help you.
Living with a mental health condition
Information for patients and carers on the wider aspects of living with a mental health condition.
Mental illness can affect many areas of your life. This section has information on many aspects of your daily life, from physical health to work, education and recovery. Select an area below to learn more:
Five Ways to Wellbeing
- Connect with people - your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Speaking to people over the telephone or online can help, but there’s nothing like being in the company of others to boost your mood.
- Get active - take a walk, go cycling, join a dance class, go swimming or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Anything that raises your heart rate – even cleaning the house – can help.
- Keep learning – give yourself a sense of achievement and a new confidence. Why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, learn a new language, or figure out how to fix your bike?
- Give - even the smallest act can count - whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you make new friends.
- Be mindful - be more aware of the present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness ‘mindfulness’ and it can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
These are proven techniques to help boost your general wellbeing and they are things we can all incorporate into our daily lives. If you want to make your mental health and wellbeing a priority, following these steps is a good place to start.
Drugs and alcohol
Support in Gloucestershire
CGL Gloucestershire is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults (including offenders), families, carers and affected others. They provide information, support, advice and treatment options from three main hubs across the county - Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud. They also work from a range of other locations including pharmacies and community venues. https://www.changegrowlive.org/content/cgl-gloucestershire
Support in Herefordshire
Addaction Herefordshire offers information, advice and support for people with drug and alcohol issues every weekday, and on alternative Saturdays. There is a young people’s service for those aged 11+. Their recovery-focused service has bases in Hereford as well as outreach via partner organisations. They aim to support people to overcome their issues and develop the skills necessary to go on to live a fulfilling life in recovery. They also support the families of people with substance misuse issues. www.addaction.org.uk/services/addaction-herefordshire
Money and mental health
Money and mental health are often linked. Poor mental health can make managing money harder and worrying about money can make your mental health worse. This website gives information about the relationship between money worries and mental health, with suggestions on how to address them.
The Money Advice Service is also a good source of information and support around money and debt.
- your name
- date of birth
- any other information which would help locate your file
Please note: there may be a charge for this service. If you think that information in your health records may not be accurate, please notify us in writing.
Pregnancy and mental health
Taking your medication whilst pregnant
If you are on medication, or specific medication has been suggested to you, the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS) website is a helpful resource. This free service gives the most up-to-date, evidence-based information for women and their families. This website is an excellent resource but please still discuss any medication changes with your doctor.
Did you know?
- Smoking is the primary reason for the 10 to 20 year shortened life expectancy for people with a mental health disorder. Smoking causes cancer, cardio vascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- People with mental health conditions consume 42 per cent of all tobacco bought in the UK
- Many think smoking is a mood enhancer - in fact it causes depression, stress and anxiety
- Smokers have a 79 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease
These are just some of the reasons why cutting down or giving up smoking altogether can have a huge impact on improving your health and wellbeing.
How to get help quitting
- If you are one of our service users, ask to speak to a Smokefree Champion or Quit Advisor
- If you live in Gloucestershire, visit hlsglos.org or ring 0800 122 3788
- You can also call the national Smokefree helpline on 0800 022 4332 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm)
- GPs can provide advice and prescriptions for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products and most surgeries have nurses who offer a stop smoking service
- The national Smokefree website includes a wide range of support options and advice
This section will help you to navigate the supported housing and housing sector locally.
Shelter is a comprehensive website for housing advice and as everything can’t be included here, we’d encourage you to look for the relevant section on their website.
Information for professionals
Notes on services, contacts and treatments for healthcare professionals.
Referral information for Gloucestershire GPs and Healthcare Practitioners
Referrals can be made using the same mechanisms as other services.
Referral information for Herefordshire GPs and Healthcare Practitioners
Referrals can be made using the same mechanisms as other services.
News and views
News stories linked to personality disorders or related conditions
I received a phone call to write about my experiences with self-harm, it was ironic because only the night before, in a moment of insanity, I had self-harmed for the first time in 7 months. The first time I started self-harming was at 13 years old, I’m now 23 and in...read more
This is the story of my recovery from an eating disorder. I don’t pretend to speak for all people with eating disorders. I am sharing my own personal experience in the hope that it will provide some insight into what it can be like to suffer from this illness; also,...read more
²gether employee Michelle Allen will run the London Marathon on Sunday April 28 to raise money for our Trust charity. Michelle, who is a clinical audit officer, has been desperately trying to win a place in the ballot for six years. Now, after her name was plucked...read more
I’m a first year student at the University of Gloucestershire training to be a mental health nurse. I’m 6 months in to the course now, and I’m on my second placement. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the research team and I now work on a mixed acute ward which...read more
Hello, my name is Steve and I am a registered mental health nurse. I have been with 2gether for nearly 11 years. Before I got into nursing, I wanted to be a music and drama teacher, but due to various reasons I didn’t have the confidence to go to university, so...read more
I am currently studying Mental Health Nursing at the University of Gloucestershire and am in my first year of the course. I became interested in learning more about how physical and psychological conditions may be interlinked when my sister was receiving chemotherapy...read more
A recruitment fair is taking place to highlight the range of roles available in health and social care across Gloucestershire. The event, at Kingsholm Stadium, in Gloucester, on Thursday 21 February, from 10am until 3.30pm, is being hosted by the county’s health...read more
In thinking about this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week I have been considering what it is children need to experience good mental health. In a recent publication, the Division of Clinical Psychology set out 10 core needs we have as humans (see reference below):...read more
²gether NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to welcome new Non-Executive Director, Sumita Hutchison, to the Board. Sumita, who lives in Bristol, is hoping to use both her personal and professional experience to support the work of the Trust. “We are at an exciting point...read more
This year, young Carer’s awareness day is all about mental health. Nationally there are 800,000 secondary school children with a caring role. That equates to approximately 6 children in every classroom. This can include caring for a parent or a sibling with a mental...read more