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Personality and Personality Disorder 

Personality and Personality Disorder
Chapter:
Personality and Personality Disorder
Author(s):

Ludger Tebartz

and Van Elst

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199796793.003.0025
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date: 29 January 2022

When Gowers gave his famous lectures on the borderland of epilepsy the concept of personality and personality disorder did not feature in the theoretical framework and repertoire of science. Thus at the beginning of this chapter the history and development of the concepts of person, personality and personality disorder will be described. This description will focus especially on the conceptual dichotomy between primary personality disorder and organic personality disorders, for example in the context of epilepsy. Some personality disorders, for example emotional-unstable personality disorder, are frequent in a primary (psychiatric) context as well as in the context of epilepsy. We then present a case of an apparently primary Borderline Personality Disorder and demonstrate how epilepsy-associated neuronal network instability may produce the clinical picture of a personality disorder. Based on this case description this chapter will present an etiopathogenetic model based on local area network inhibition. It proposes that a mixture of pathophysiological mechanisms and psychoreactive coping styles explain the development of most personality disorders.

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