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Often in the mental health profession it is necessary to describe a person’s personality. This is necessary because personality is often the source of psychiatric problems and because psychiatric syndromes may be engendered by a patient’s premorbid personality. Further, the personality characteristics of an individual may affect treatment approaches. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines personality as: “Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself, and are exhibited in a wide range of important and social contexts” (Deary, Peter, Austin and Gibson, 1998: 647).

The APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th ed. (DSM-IV) is the authoritative text for providing diagnostic guidelines or operational criteria for personality disorders. Clinical syndromes are diagnosed along Axis I, while personality disorders are diagnosed on Axis II. When a disorder is diagnosed along Axis II it represents a condition that is continuous from late adolescence and does not relapse or remit like typical illness syndromes. Personality disorders are characteristic of long-standing, maladaptive traits of a person’s behavior that significantly affect personal and social functioning. The DSM-III-R categorized three main groups or clusters (A, B, and C) of personality disorders. Because dysfunctional personality disorders are hard to neatly typify, more than one diagnosis is allowed as valid along Axis II. This analysis will focus on antisocial personality disorder which is found in Cluster B: “The DSM-III-R scheme recognized 3 broad clusters of personality disorder, containing altogether 11 specific types. Cluster A – of ‘odd or eccentric’ types – includes paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorder diagnoses. Cluster B – of ‘dramatic, emotional or erratic’ types – includes antisocial, borderline, histrionic and narcissistic ...

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ASPD. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:10, April 21, 2019, from