Estimated 30.8 million American adults meet standard diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder

An estimated 30.8 million American adults (14.8 percent) meet standard diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder as defined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), according to the results of the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

Sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, the NESARC is a representative survey of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population aged 18 years and older. More than 43,000 American adults participated in the survey. Designed to assess prevalence and comorbidity, or co-occurrence, of multiple mental health disorders, the NESARC is the first national survey conducted in the United States to estimate the prevalence of personality disorders--stable patterns of inner experience and behavior that are inflexible and maladaptive that begin in early adulthood and are displayed in a variety of contexts.

The NESARC found that personality disorders are pervasive in the general population: In 2001- 2002, fully 16.4 million individuals (7.9 percent of all adults) had obsessive-compulsive personality disorder; 9.2 million (4.4 percent) had paranoid personality disorder; 7.6 million (3.6 percent) had antisocial personality disorder; 6.5 million (3.1 percent) had schizoid personality disorder; 4.9 million (2.4 percent) had avoidant personality disorder; 3.8 million (1.8 percent) had histrionic personality disorder; and 1.0 million (0.5 percent) had dependent personality disorder.

The researchers found that risk of having avoidant, dependent, and paranoid personality disorders is greater for females than males, whereas risk of having antisocial personality disorder is greater for males than females. They found no gender differences in the risk of having obsessive-compulsive, schizoid, or histrionic personality disorders. In general, other risk factors for personality disorders included being Native American or Black, being a young adult, having low socioeconomic status, and being divorced, separated, widowed, or never married. With the exception of histrionic personality disorder, all the personality disorders assessed in the survey were associated with considerable emotional disability and impairment in social and occupational functioning.

"The first-time availability of prevalence information on personality disorders at the national level is critically important," said Dr. Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Personality disorders consistently have been associated with substantial impairment and decreased psychological functioning among alcohol and drug abusers."

"The NESARC was crucial in determining the scope of personality disorders confronting the nation and in identifying important subgroups of the population in greatest need of prevention efforts," said lead author Bridget F. Grant, Ph.D., Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, NIAAA.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Eye-tracking measures could help make the right autism diagnosis sooner