1. It can be difficult to distinguish between symptoms of personality disorders and other psychological disorders. What are some key differences between these disorders that can assist a counselor in making an accurate diagnosis?
I would compare Borderline Personaility Disorder ( page 663 in DSM-5) and maybe Bipolar I or Bipolar II ( Page 123 in DSM-5)
You will find personality disorders beginning on page 645 in the DSM-5.
You will find Bipolar 1 and II starting on page 123
Please use this for Reference: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Some personality disorder and psychological disorders have overlapping or similar symptoms. This can make it very difficult to distinguish between the two in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. One personality disorder that I would like to compare is Avoidant Personality Disorder with Social Anxiety Disorder. The American Pyschiatric Association (2013) states,
“There appears to be a great deal of overlap between avoidant personality disorder and social anxiety disorder (social phobia), so much so that they may be alternative conceptualizations of the same or similar conditions. Avoidance also characterizes both avoidant personality disorder and agoraphobia, and they often co-occur.” (p. 674)
Avoidant Personality Disorder is characterized by a pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitive to negative evaluation. These symptoms begin in early adulthood. This diagnosis requires meeting four of the following criteria:
· Fears of criticism, disapproval, and rejection cause the person to avoiding occupation activities involving significant interpersonal contact
· Unwilling to get involved with people unless they are certain that they will be liked
· Preoccupation with criticism and rejection in social situations
· Feelings of inadequacy cause inhibition in new interpersonal situations
· Feeling socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
· New activities that may be embarrassing cause reluctance to take personal risks and engage in new activities
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) is determined by the following criteria lasting for 6 months or more:
· Fear or anxiety about one or more social situations
· Fear of acting in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing; leading to rejection or offending others
· Social situations almost always provoke fear or anxiety
· Avoidance of social situation
· Perceived threat is out or proportion to the actual threat
The diagnostic criteria between these two disorders is very similar. It is important to remember that diagnosing a personality disorder requires an assessment in the level of impairment in personality function and an evaluation of pathological personality traits (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013).
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.