Clinical aspects of personality disorder diagnosis in the DSM-5

Francesco Modica


Abstract: Personality disorders represent psychopathological conditions hard to be diagnosed. The Author highlights the clinical aspects of personality disorder diagnosis according to the criteria of the DSM-5. In this study, some of the numerous definitions of personality are mentioned; afterwards, some of the theories on the development of personality shall be. Later on, concepts of temperament, character and personality get analysed. Then, the current approach to personality disorders according to the two models of DSM-5 is reported. The first model is included in the Section II of DSM-5; while in the Section III there exists a proposal for a so-called alternate model. The first one suggests a qualitative or categorical kind of approach to personality disorders, whereas the alternate model proposes a dimensional or quantitative kind of approach and aims to formulate, as well as a diagnosis for general alterations of the personological functioning, even a trait-based personality disorder diagnosis, which can be formulated when a personality disorder is there but doesn't fit criteria for a specific disorder. Ultimately, it can be so claimed: 1) diagnostic criteria of the first model are similar to those of DSM-IV with its respective strenghts and weaknesses, and namely high probability in diagnosis, where  there, of personality disorder, yet insufficient sensitivity in the specification of the disorder; 2) the alternate model, despite criticism, thanks to the possibility of delivering a trait-based personality disorder diagnosis, seems to be more equipped both in the identification of the personality disorder and further specifications.


Clinical aspects; Personality disorders; Alternate Model; DSM-5



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