Segments in this Video

Personality Disorders: Introduction (01:39)


Patients share their experiences with harmful behavior towards themselves and others. Personality disorders affect approximately ten percent of the U.S. population. This program will examine obsessive-compulsive, narcissistic, anti-social and borderline disorders.

What is Personality? (01:05)

Dr. Danielle Knafo describes character traits as relatively stable and predictable behavior patterns and ways of thinking and relating to the world.

What are Personality Disorders? (03:26)

It can be difficult to distinguish between a personality exaggeration and a disorder. Hear a description of an obsessive-compulsive patient blaming others for his inability to enjoy life. Personality disorder patients have trouble recognizing their illness.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (05:28)

Narcissists are self-involved and depend on others for validation. Dr. Simon Budman explains concerns a patient would have with aging. View a scene in which an actor plays a narcissistic woman unable to understand her partner's perspective.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Causal Factors (05:46)

Knafo discusses Freudian views on personality development, including psychosexual stages. Object-relations theorists believe early relationships govern people's behavior; others argue that biology also plays a role and identity can still be shaped during adolescence.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (08:07)

Approximately four percent of the U.S. population is antisocial; criminal behavior and substance abuse is common. Inmate Dean Lindstrom describes his thought process while murdering someone. People with antisocial disorder are emotionally and morally underdeveloped and lack empathy.

Antisocial Personality Disorder Causal Factors (06:33)

Patrick O'Shea's childhood was normal but he joined a gang in adolescence. Dr. James Gilligan believes the "tough guy" attitude masks insecurity about masculinity. Childhood trauma is also a factor; those failed by society may fail to develop empathy or morality.

Biological Factors in Antisocial Personality Disorder (03:37)

Lindstrom describes his impulsive violence. Dr. Rex Cowdry discusses neuropsychiatric research into serotonin's role in modulating aggression and abnormal behavior. There is a hereditary predisposition toward property crimes. Children with violent fathers and addictive mothers are more likely to be violent.

Borderline Personality Disorder (07:10)

Common traits include instability and unpredictability, fear of isolation, manipulation in relationships, self-destructive behavior, and anger. Support group members describe their dysphoria—a feeling that everything is bad. Many use self-harm to release emotional pain.

Borderline Personality Disorder Causal Factors (04:00)

Childhood incest is common among Dr. Marilyn Gewacke's patients. Cowdry's research team recreates dysphoric feelings by administering procaine targeting the limbic system. Experts believe both biological and environmental factors are involved in the disorder's development.

Treating Personality Disorders (09:20)

Psychotherapy may help antisocial patients, but more research is needed. Obsessive-compulsive patients can become self-aware and look objectively at their maladaptive character traits. Group therapy allows borderline and narcissistic patients to test new behaviors. Medication can relieve dysphoric feelings.

Credits: Personality Disorders (01:21)

Credits: Personality Disorders

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Personality Disorders

Part of the Series : The World of Abnormal Psychology
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Viewers will meet individuals with narcissistic, anti-social, borderline, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders, including a murderer and a group of women who mutilate themselves, and will learn about the challenges involved in both diagnosis and treatment.

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: FMK160473

Copyright date: ©1992

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.