How Common Are Personality Disorders

Study: Samuels et al., 2002 Crawford et al., 2005 Lenzenweger et al., 2007
Instrument Used: IPDE SCID-II IPDE
Sample Size: (742) (644) (5692)
-Paranoid 0.7% 5.1% 2.3%
-Schizoid 0.9% 1.7% 4.9%
-Schizotypal 0.6% 1.1% 3.3%
-Antisocial 4.1% 1.2% 1.0%
-Borderline 0.5% 3.9% 1.6%
-Histrionic 0.2% 0.9% -
-Narcissistic - 2.2% -
-Avoidant 1.8% 6.4% 5.2%
-Dependent 0.1% 0.8% 0.6%
-Obsessive-Compulsive - 4.7% 2.4%
PD Unspecified - - 1.6%
Any PD 9.0% 15.7% 9.1%

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years to determine the prevalence of personality disorders in the general US population.

According to a 2007 study, 9.1% of the US population (about 1 in 11 people) meet the DSM-IV criteria for a personality disorder. Two previous smaller surveys have estimated the percentage between 9.0% and 15.7%.

Sources:

  1. Lenzenweger et al, 2007 - DSM-IV personality disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.
  2. Crawford et al. 2005 - Self-reported personality disorder in the children in the community sample: convergent and prospective validity in late adolescence and adulthood.
  3. Samuels et al, 2002 - Prevalence and correlates of personality disorders in a community sample.
 

Comorbidity Between Personality Disorders

  PPD SPD STPD ASPD BPD AVPD DPD OCPD
PPD 0.77 0.48 0.73 0.76 0.70 0.20 0.59
SPD 0.77 0.96 -0.84 0.56 0.55 -0.84 0.40
STPD 0.48 0.96 0.13 0.34 0.53 -0.86 0.49
ASPD 0.73 -0.84 0.13 0.64 0.05 -0.83 0.45
BPD 0.76 0.56 0.34 0.64 0.54 0.82 0.67
AvPD 0.70 0.55 0.53 0.05 0.54 0.70 0.63
DPD 0.20 -0.84 -0.86 -0.83 0.82 0.70 0.80
OCPD 0.59 0.40 0.49 0.45 0.67 0.63 0.80

The following table shows statistically how likely it is that a person who is diagnosed with one personality disorder will also be diagnosed with another personality disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

The numbers displayed in the table below are a statistical measures of co-occurrence known as "tetrachoric correlations". The more positive the number, the more likely it is that a person will be diagnosed with the second personality disorder listed. The more negative the number, the less likely it is that a person will be diagnosed with the second personality disorder in the table.

Note: This data was compiled from an initial survey of 5692 people in the US. None of the people in the survey sample were identified as meeting the criteria for Histrionic Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Therefore, no comorbidity information is shown for HPD or NPD.

Source: Lenzenweger et al, 2007 - DSM-IV personality disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication

Comorbidity Between Personality Disorders and DSM-IV Axis I Disorders

67% of people who meet the DSM-IV criteria for a Personality DIsorder have been found in a 2007 study to also meet the criteria for at least one of the DSM-IV Axis I disorder. The table below shows the probability that a person who has been diagnosed with a personality disorder will also meet the criteria for each of the following Axis I disorders, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

Comorbidity is a psychological term used to describe the occurrence of more than one diagnosis in a single patient.

Source: Lenzenweger et al, 2007 -

Note that although 67% of the people meeting the criteria for a personality disorder also meet the criteria for an Axis I disorder, the reverse is not true. Only 24.8% of people meeting the criteria for an Axis I disorder also meet the criteria for an Axis II personality disorder.

 

UK 2009-2010 Personality Disorder Hospital Admissions

The chart below gives UK National Health Service 2009-2010 Breakdown of Personality Disorder Diagnoses per hospital admission. Diagnoses are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

Source: UK Department of Health, Hospital Episode Statistics Copyright © 2010, Re-used with the permission of The Health and Social Care Information Centre.  All rights reserved.

It can be seen from the chart that a majority (75%) of all hospital admitted personality disorder diagnoses in the UK are for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) - which is known internationally as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

UK 2009-2010 Personality Disorder Hospital Admissions by Gender

The chart below gives UK National Health Service 2009-2010 Breakdown of Personality Disorder Diagnoses by gender per hospital admission. Diagnoses are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

pds4.png

Source: UK Department of Health, Hospital Episode Statistics Copyright © 2010, Re-used with the permission of The Health and Social Care Information Centre.  All rights reserved.

Primary Diagnosis Admissions Male Female Male % Female %
Paranoid Personality Disorder 236 129 107 55% 45%
Schizoid Personality Disorder 75 37 38 49% 51%
Dissocial (Antisocial) Personality Disorder 368 316 52 86% 14%
Emotionally Unstable (Borderline) Personality Disorder 6,776 1,515 5,261 22% 78%
Histrionic Personality Disorder 42 8 34 19% 81%
Anankastic (Obsessive Compulsive) Personality Disorder 16 11 5 69% 31%
Anxious (Avoidant) Personality Disorder 49 23 26 47% 53%
Dependent Personality Disorder 129 53 76 41% 59%
Other Specific Personality Disorders 103 65 38 63% 37%
Personality Disorder, Unspecified 913 368 545 40% 60%
Mixed and other Personality Disorders 240 140 100 58% 42%
Total Personality Disorder 8,947 2,665 6,282 30% 70%

The data shows that about 70% of in-patient personality disorder cases in the UK are diagnosed in females and 30% in males. Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders are more commonly diagnosed among females while Antisocial, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder are more commonly diagnosed among males.