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Essential Books on Personality Disorders

written by: EmilyRose • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 3/5/2011

Personality disorders are a class of personality traits and behavioral tendencies that are pervasive, relatively inflexible and are often associated with impairments in individual functioning. Read on for a list of essential books for each type of personality disorder.

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    Books on Personality Disorders

    Good books on personality disorders give comprehensive overviews of the causes, symptoms and treatments and allow the reader to gain a thorough understanding of the disorder they are researching.

    Personality disorders are commonly categorized into the following subtypes: antisocial, avoidant, borderline, dependent, histrionic, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal. As these disorders differ markedly in their symptoms and treatment, separate resources for each disorder are recommended. Here are some of the most essential books on personality disorders, classified according to the type of personality disorder.

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    Antisocial Personality Disorder

    "Antisocial Personality Disorder: The Nice Guideline on Treatment, Management and Prevention" is the definitive guide for treatment practitioners, individuals with antisocial personality disorder and their carers and loved ones. Published by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health in 2009, the guideline contains advice on the care, treatment and support of people with antisocial personality disorder. It also addresses the care and treatment of children displaying conduct problems and other symptoms of antisocial personality disorder.

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    Avoidant Personality Disorder

    "The Essential Guide to Overcoming Avoidant Personality Disorder" was written by Martin Kantor in 2010. It is for both individuals with avoidant personality disorder and those who are trying to help them. It explores the development and possible causes of the disorder and includes an extensive section on diagnostic criteria and various therapies. This book also includes a self-help guide for individuals with avoidant personality disorder and a guide for treatment practitioners.

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    Borderline Personality Disorder

    "The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide: Everything you Need to Know about Living with BPD" was written by Alexander L. Chapman, PhD, Kim L. Gratz, PhD and Perry D. Hoffman, PhD. It was published in 2007 by New Harbinger Press. This book offers a comprehensive overview of borderline personality disorder, including its possible causes, symptoms and treatment. Various myths are also addressed as well as strategies for coping and suggestions for getting treatment.

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    Dependent Personality Disorder

    "The Dependent Personality" was written by Robert F. Bornstein in 1993 and published by The Guilford Press. It contains a comprehensive overview of dependent personality traits in children, adolescents and adults. The book reviews various theoretical frameworks and addresses what is known about the causes and consequences of dependency. Of value to individuals with dependent personality disorder, their loved ones and carers and treatment facilitators, "The Dependent Personality" is the definitive guide to dependent personality disorder.

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    Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    "Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality" was written by Elsa F. Ronningstam and published by Oxford University Press in 2005. It contains a balanced, comprehensive and up-to-date review of narcissistic personality disorder, using case histories and other examples to illustrate findings. This book also addresses different types of narcissism and issues such as suicide motivation and ideation.

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    Histrionic Personality Disorder

    "Hysterical Personality Style and Histrionic Personality Disorder" by Mardi J. Horowitz is the definitive guide for histrionic personality disorder. Revised in 1991, it is published by Jason Aronson. It includes an overview of the core characteristics, diagnostic issues and the development and treatment of the disorder. Formulated in mind for health practitioners, this book is also relevant for individuals with histrionic personality disorder and their loved ones and carers.

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    Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

    "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: The Facts" is one of the most essential books on personality disorders. Written by Padmal de Silva and Stanley Rachman, it was published by Oxford University Press in 2004. Intended as an information source for individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder and their families and friends, this book can also be used by treatment practitioners and other health care professionals. Information is given about the nature, symptoms, causes and theories about obsessive-compulsive disorder. An overview of therapeutic and pharmaceutical treatments is also given, along with advice for those who may require help. The book also includes a number of case histories and a chapter on obsessive-compulsive disorder in children.

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    Paranoid Personality Disorder

    "Understanding Paranoia: A Guide for Professionals, Families and Sufferers" by Martin Kantor, MD was published by Praeger in 2004. It provides an overview of paranoia, including suggestions for understanding, coping with and treating this condition. Chapters include information and guidance on how to cope with others who are paranoid, self-help for those who are paranoid and plenty of practical advice and examples.

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    Schizotypal Personality Disorder

    "Schizotypal Personality" is a series of chapters edited by Adrian Raine, Todd Lencz and Sarnoff A. Mednick. It was published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. Chapters include reviews of genetics, neurodevelopment, assessment, psychophysiology, neuropsychology and brain imaging. Differing theories about schizotypal personality are presented and suggestions for future research are also discussed. Although this book was developed primarily for treatment professionals, individuals with schizotypal personality disorder may find the comprehensive overview of research helpful.

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    Schizoid Personality Disorder

    Although there are no specific books on schizoid personality disorder, "Understanding Personality Disorders: An Introduction" provides a chapter with a comprehensive overview of this disorder. It was written by Duane L. Dobbert and published by Praeger in 2007. Intended for general readers, this book is also useful for treatment practitioners. The chapter about schizoid personality disorder contains information on the warning signs, diagnostic criteria, differences with other personality disorders and various methods of treatment. Case studies are also included to provide examples of behavior.