Personality disorders versus personality variants

It is necessary to establish a clear distinction between personality disorders and personality variants, and to view the former as true morbid entities. ICD-10 allows us to differentiate, at least theoretically, personality disorders that appear in the chapter on mental disorders from personalities relevant for medicine in Chapter Z. Personality disorders should be characterized by the presence of symptoms, and relevant personalities by their traits. Symptoms are used as diagnostic criteria in a categorical classification, while psychological traits can be classified according to dimensions.

Personality variants relevant to medicine, although not morbid, play an important role in the aetiopathogenesis of illnesses or are important for prognosis and rehabilitation. The study of the variants of personality also reminds the practitioner of the necessity to identify the uniqueness of the patient's personality. (27)

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