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by Kate McLaughlin

Personality Disorders: Changes in 2022

As of January 2022, the way personality disorders are identified and classified has changed. This blog delves into what personality disorders are and why the way they are being identified is changing. Keep reading to find out more.


What is a Personality Disorder?


According to the NHS website, “a person with a personality disorder thinks, feels, behaves, or relates to others very differently from the average person.”

It is important to remember that we all have our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours so just because you think something different to someone else, doesn’t automatically mean you have a personality disorder.


What are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?


Before 2022, psychiatrists used a system of diagnosis which identified ten types of personality disorder. These ten types were grouped into three categories:


  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

Emotional and impulsive:

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder


  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

From 2022, these categories will no longer be used to identify a personality disorder diagnosis.

What Is Changing?


The ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases) is what is used to identify and classify the different types of personality disorders. In 2021, after being reviewed, “it was felt necessary because previous personality disorder classifications had major problems. These included unnecessary complexity, inconsistency with data on normal personality traits, and minimal consideration of severity despite this being shown to be the major predictor of outcome.”

The new personality disorders classification doesn’t use the three categories as mentioned before. Instead, it uses a general description of personality disorder to diagnose patients. This diagnosis can be further specified as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe”.

Patient behaviour can further be described using one or more of five personality trait domains and clinicians may also specify a borderline pattern qualifier:

  • Negative affectivity (associated with neuroticism)
  • Detachment (associated with low extraversion)
  • Dissociality (associated with low agreeableness)
  • Anankastia (associated with high orderliness)
  • Disinhibition(associated with low orderliness)

By changing the way personality disorders are identified and classified, it is hoped that it will lead to greater understanding of the concept of personality disorder and better clinical care. It also simplifies a complicated classification system, into a more evidence-based model.

At JSA Psychotherapy, we offer a wide range of psychology and psychotherapy services, including for those struggling with a personality disorder. Find out more about the services we offer and how we could support you.


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