Personality Disorder

Recognising Personality Disorder

How to recognise that you or someone close to you has a Personality Disorder:

  • Do you have a lack of a clear sense of ‘self’? – not being sure about who you are, what they are really like, possibly a distorted view of self in a very negative or conversely positive direction
  • Do you lack a good sense of ‘others’? – not sure about others, lacking trust and not understanding how people in general function
  • Do you have difficulties in your relationships with others? – for instance, with intimate partners, children, family or friends; are you in an abusive or abusing relationships
  • Do you struggle to get along in society in general? – do you find it difficult to maintain a job? deal with finances?  gain for education? stay out of trouble? Do you have  difficulties with substances (alcohol, illegal drugs)?
  • Do you sometimes struggle with controlling destructive behaviour (to self or others)? including self-harm, addictions, or other impulsive behaviours
  • Did problems start early in life and disrupt many domains across your life? Did you suffer early childhood trauma & neglect, abandonment

It is when the difficulties are long-term, and are present in most circumstances, disrupting the person’s life and those of others, that it can be seen as a problem requiring formal assessment, possible diagnosis of Personality Disorder and help from Mental Health Services.

More information and advice for people with Personality Disorders from the Royal College of Psychiatrists

An explanation of Personality disorders from MIND

Therapy and Treatment

If you think some of these descriptions fit with your problems, or you are struggling to cope and feel that you are in need of help, your GP can assess you and refer you to the local mental health team at Chapel Street Assessment and Treatment Services (ATS) Chichester.

Help offered by the Mental Health ATS

Care co-ordination: This is provided for people with personality disorders from lead practitioners in the ATS, who can provide advice and support with issues such as housing, social care, employment. Lead practitioners work alongside clients and their carers to develop a care plan.

If you have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)/Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) you will initially be offered skills training and emotion management 

You may be offered a 20 week group treatment programme  STEPPS.

Families and carers may be invited to participate in the programme to help support you with your progress.

You may be offered individual evidence-based psychological therapy if it is thought to be helpful in your case e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mentalisation, Interpersonal Therapy 

Support and Resources

Apps and self help resources Self HelpGet Self Help; Help with Insomnia

Relaxation, Meditation and Mindfulness Calm appHeadspaceFinding Peace in a Frantic WorldGuided Meditations from Tara Brach

Psychological Therapies - You can self-refer or your GP can refer you to Time to Talk

GP Referral to the Assessment and Treatment Service (ATS) is at Chapel Street in Chichester. Referral is needed when depression or anxiety is not responding to GP-based treatment or if the problem is more severe or complicated or where the illness is causing the person to be a risk to them selves or others.

Relationship Difficulties RELATE


  • for people who have survived sexual violence Lifecentre
  • for people who are bereaved CRUSE
  • for help with alcohol or substance misuse CGL

Organisations that support people with mental health problems Richmond FellowshipCoastal West Sussex MIND

Support for CarersCarers Support West Sussex  

Ask at the practice if you are a Carer for someone and would like a Carer's Health Check 

Samaritans Phone 116 123, what ever you are going through, any time any day, for free support.

Recovery college courses are available to help you with your recovery.

Help in a Crisis

For telephone support and information from the Sussex Mental Healthline ring 0300 5000 101 (Available 24 hours, seven days a week in West Sussex).

The Sussex Mental Healthline is a telephone service offering support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems including stress, anxiety and depression.

  • The service is also available to carers and healthcare professionals.
  • You do not need an appointment.
  • They are a service available to anyone concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend.
  • They provide support for people experiencing distress.

Please note this is a limited service, if you are in urgent need of help please visit urgent help in a crisis.