Many people stand out in everyday life because of the strong expression of individual characteristics: They are more orderly, more anxious, more confident or more suspicious than the “average person”.
But only when the dominance of individual characteristics is so strong that there are social disorders and personal sufferings, the doctor speaks of a personality disorder. Each characteristic character “derails” in the sense of a personality disorder.
Many patients with personality disorder have traumatic experiences, particularly abuse, violence, sexual abuse, or severe family neglect.
The personality disorder usually becomes noticeable in early adulthood – often when teenagers are leaving the house. At some point the person notices that her/his life is not moving forward: Partnerships fail, colleagues turn out to be “malicious”, their own life goals (professional qualification, secure job, family) are not achieved. The subsequent problems can be depression, anxiety disorders, addictions, eating disorders and self-injuiry.