Sometimes people develop personality traits, ways of dealing with life that cause them problems in one or other of life’s domains. Often, but not always, the problematic ways of dealing with things develop after experiencing childhood trauma of some kind. Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about oneself and the environment.
When a personality disorder is present, personality traits are maladaptive and inflexible, and cause the person problems in dealing with others, with one’s own internal experience, and with the environment around them, causing significant subjective distress and functional impairment.
Personality disorder was in the past thought to be a condition extremely resistant to treatment, but we now know that the human brain has a great capacity for growth and change, and we can use specific techniques to address maladaptive personality traits, helping to make life less difficult, and more peaceful for the person concerned.