Interpersonal difficulties or personality disorder

Do you…

  • Frequently become overwhelmed by negative feelings like anger, distress, anxiety or worthlessness?
  • Cope with intense emotions by doing something impulsive that you later regret like taking drugs, binge eating or drinking, spending lots of money, acting promiscuously?
  • Feel a sense of emptiness or confusion about your sense of identity?
  • Have difficulty maintaining stable relationships with family and friends?

What is personality disorder?

The word “personality” refers to the set of long-standing behavioural and mental traits that each individual has. Personality disorders are characterised by a marked difference in these traits, for example in the way that a person thinks, feels, behaves and relates to others compared to most other people in the population.

People with personality disorders often find it difficult to manager their emotions and relationships; they often experience negative thoughts about themselves and others and have difficulties controlling their impulses. All of these difficulties can cause distress and can disrupt social, personal and occupational functioning to different levels of severity.

How common is it?
What can I do about it?

Please speak to your GP about the treatment options that may be available to you. iCope is usually not the best service to help with these difficulties but your GP should be able to direct you to alternative support.

Useful reading

McKay, M., Wood, J.C., & Brantley, J.(2007). The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

NHS website

Mind website



Acknowledgement of references