- 1. The unique self; the organized system of attitudes and behavioral predispositions by which one feels, thinks, acts, and impresses and establishes relationships with others. 2. An individual with a particular p. pattern.- affective p. a chronic behavioral pattern in an enduring disturbance of feelings or mood expressed as a form of depression and related emotional features that color the whole of the psychic life.- asthenic p. an older term for a p. type characterized by low energy level, easy fatigability, incapacity for enjoyment, lack of enthusiasm, and oversensitivity to physical and emotional stress. SYN: asthenic p. disorder.- authoritarian p. a cluster of p. traits reflecting a desire for security and order, e.g., rigidity, highly conventional outlook, unquestioning obedience, scapegoating, desire for structured lines of authority.- avoidant p. SYN: avoidant p. disorder.- borderline p. borderline p. disorder.- cyclothymic p. a p. disorder in which a person experiences regularly alternating periods of elation and depression, less severe than seen in bipolar disorder, usually not related to external circumstances. SYN: cyclothymic p. disorder.- dependent p. SYN: dependent p. disorder.- dual p. an older term for a mental disturbance in which a person assumes alternately two different identities without either p. being consciously aware of the other. SEE ALSO: multiple p..- hysterical p. SYN: histrionic p. disorder.- inadequate p. a p. disorder, characterized by personal and social ineptness plus emotional and physical instability, that renders the individual unable to cope with the normal vicissitudes of life.- masochistic p. a p. disorder in which the individual accepts exploitation and sacrifices self-interest while at the same time feeling morally superior or feigning moral superiority, attempting to elicit sympathy, and inducing guilt in others.- neurasthenic p. an obsolete term for a condition characterized by some of the following features : poor appetite or overeating, insomnia or hypersomnia, low energy or fatigue, low self esteem, poor concentration or difficulty making decisions, and feelings of hopelessness. In its most severe form it may become a chronic disturbance of mood called dysthymia (depressive neurosis) in which a depressive mood accompanies the features listed above.- obsessive p. SYN: obsessive-compulsive p. disorder. See obsessive-compulsive p., obsessive-compulsive disorder.- passive-aggressive p. a p. disorder characterized by a pervasive and enduring pattern of behavior in which aggressive feelings are manifested in passive ways, especially through mild obstructionism and stubbornness.- perfectionistic p. a p. characterized by rigidity, extreme inhibition, and excessive concern with conformity and adherence to often unique standards.- schizotypal p. SYN: schizotypal p. disorder.- shut-in p. a rarely used term for a person who responds inadequately to contacts with other people.
* * *1) the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual esp. in relationships with others2 a) the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional tendenciesb) the organization of the individual's distinguishing character traits, attitudes, or habits
* * *n.(in psychology) an enduring disposition to act and feel in particular ways that differentiate one individual from another. These patterns of behaviour are sometimes conceptualized as different categories (see personality disorder) and sometimes as different dimensions (see extroversion, neuroticism).
* * *per·so·nal·i·ty (pur″sə-nalґĭ-te) the characteristic way that a person thinks, feels, and behaves; the relatively stable and predictable part of a person's thought and behavior; it includes conscious attitudes, values, and styles as well as unconscious conflicts and defense mechanisms. See also under disorder, trait, and type.
Medical dictionary. 2011.