#37 Dr. John Oldham Explains Personality Styles vs Personality Disorders

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Dr. John Oldham is the Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Oldham specializes in the field of personality disorders and is recognized internationally as a leader in psychiatric medicine receiving numerous awards and honors. Nationally, he has served psychiatric organizations in many capacities during his career, including as past president of the American Psychiatric Association and past president of the American College of Psychiatrists. A prolific writer and educator, Dr. Oldham is the author of The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love and Act the Way You Do. He is also the Senior Editor of the second edition Textbook of Personality Disorders, the editor of the Journal of Personality Disorders and joint editor-in-chief of Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation.

Your personality is the distinctive pattern of your psychological functioning–the way you think, feel, and behave–that makes you definitely you. Styles are your built-in roadmap for coping with life’s challenges. Personality styles are flexible; they can change, though usually not without effort and motivation. This adaptability makes a variety of life experiences and outcomes possible. People suffering from personality disorders, however, commonly find themselves locked into rigid and inflexible life trajectories. They may feel bored, empty, lonely, or angry, and they may be in disruptive relationships. These patterns may persist throughout their lives. Personality is dimensional: as with height or weight, people come in all shapes and sizes and personality variations. What’s the difference between self-confidence and self-aggrandizement? Between liking to do things well and demanding perfection? Somewhere along a continuum, personality traits range from adaptable to rigid and extreme (NPSP25 Personality Styles and Personality Disorders).

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Disclaimer: The information shared in this podcast is not a substitute for getting help from a mental health professional.

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