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Are Personality Disorders a Mental Illness?

Personality disorders are widespread but not always seen as a mental disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association indicates that over 10% of adults have such a disorder, based on studies from several countries.

These are huge numbers, yet few people know much about personality disorders and many do not see them as a mental disorder. Information found online is often misleading. Ultimately, many people simply get angry with those with personality disorders, believing that they are just being difficult on purpose and can control their behavior. Likewise, judges generally do not consider them a factor in making legal decisions, because they are considered to know right from wrong. However, these views may be changing.

In this episode, Bill and Megan discuss:

  • what is considered a mental illness or disorder
  • how personality disorders are different from other types of mental illnesses
  • whether personality disorders are a form of mental illness at all, or something more normal
  • the link between personality disorders and important cases, including the Elizabeth Smart case and Unabomber case
  • personality disorders receiving increased awareness in the courts, including an Australian case regarding borderline personality disorder and a California study indicating the presence of narcissistic personality disorder in family court cases

Links & Other Notes

BOOKS

ARTICLES

Our website: https://www.highconflictinstitute.com/

Submit a Question for Bill and Megan

All of our books can be found in our online store or anywhere books are sold, including as e-books.

You can also find these show notes at our site as well.

Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.

  • 00:00 – Welcome to It’s All Your Fault
  • 01:10 – Personality Disorders and Mental Illness
  • 02:43 – What Is a Mental Illness or Disorder?
  • 06:04 – Personality Disorders
  • 09:04 – How Legal Views It
  • 11:01 – The Elizabeth Smart Case
  • 13:40 – The Unabomber Case
  • 17:34 – Medication vs. Skills
  • 19:44 – The Brown Case
  • 24:26 – Narcissistic Personalities in Courts
  • 27:35 – Reminders & End of Season One Note

Further Listening

Each week, Bill Eddy and Megan Hunter will be exploring the five types of people who can ruin your life — people with high conflict personalities — and how they weave themselves into our lives in romance, at work, next door, at school, places of worship, and just about everywhere, causing chaos, exhaustion, and dread for everyone else.

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is viewed globally as the leading expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities.

Bill Zoom
Megan Zoom

Megan Hunter, MBA

Megan Hunter is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Within her role at HCI, she also serves as a leading expert in high conflict personalities in all settings, focusing primarily on the workplace, customer service, government/public service, ombuds, and religious organizations. Her degrees in business and economics combined with her years of experience in the legal arena are a valuable blend for many conflict settings.

Bill Zoom

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and is viewed globally as the leading expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities.

Megan Zoom

Megan Hunter, MBA

Megan Hunter is HCI’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Within her role at HCI, she also serves as a leading expert in high conflict personalities in all settings, focusing primarily on the workplace, customer service, government/public service, ombuds, and religious organizations. Her degrees in business and economics combined with her years of experience in the legal arena are a valuable blend for many conflict settings.