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Personality disorders: new data versus old concepts

Fountoulakis, Konstantinos N; Kaprinis, George S

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: January 2006 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 90–94
doi: 10.1097/01.yco.0000196158.98540.b6
Personality disorders and neuroses

Purpose of review The purpose of this paper is to review the most recent literature on personality disorders.

Recent findings Recent data suggest that individual personality disorder criteria and full diagnosis may remit within 1–2 years. The same line of evidence disputes the separation of axis I and axis II disorders and suggests the presence of a continuum. Neuropsychological, neurobiological and genetic studies favor the presence of cognitive disorders and a non-specific mode of hereditability concerning all externalizing disorders. How to best treat personality disorders remains elusive. The most impressive news in the forensic field concerns the introduction of a new concept, dangerous and severe personality disorder by the UK government, for prevention and treatment purposes.

Summary The most recent data do not adequately support a separate axis II. Future classification may need to move personality disorders to axis I, each under a suitable group of diseases and eliminate the very term ‘personality’ from the nomenclature, since it constitutes an empirically unsupported theoretical invasion in a system supposed to be ‘atheoretical’.

Department of Psychiatry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Correspondence to Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, 53 Chrysostomou Smyrnis Street, 55132 Aretsou, Thessaloniki, Greece Tel: +30 2310 435702; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.