Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) versus Personality Disorder – the real causes!

What’s the difference between these two common disorders? In my clinical practice, I’ve noticed two things, which differentiates the two; one is created by environmental circumstances and the other is developed, over the course of one’s childhood experiences in their lifetime.

Thus; one is psychological or sociological! The other is biological!

A personality is something integral to every human being. Without a personality what are we? An empty shell existing? Every person has a personality, its people who have been abused during life’s that get labelled with this disorder. However, lets look at PTSD, a similar condition that is often misunderstood and labelled as PD? In the psychiatric community, this disorder isn’t so prevalent because people are labelled with PD, without full understanding of what causes either condition, as opposed to the true nature which is caused by – Trauma!

Personality disorder is labelled as such, because of childhood abuse. Yet isn’t abuse another name for – trauma?

PD has ten subcategories, cluster A is more ego eccentric, flamboyant and relates to the mental aspect, cluster B is emotionally driven and relates to people who have experienced emotional damage and cluster C tends to form from buried trauma’s and this relates to, or is driven by, anxiety. All these ten sub groups are identifiable and diagnosed, by behaviour! Which is why they are becoming so popular in todays culture.

Behaviour is the unconscious voice of the ego, which has many different mechanisms that help to hide the true feelings of the said person.

An alternative name that is now gaining momentum for behaviour in Cluster B is the re defined label of borderline and this has now been re-named as two sub groups, emotionally stable (EU) and emotionally unstable (ES)!

On the other hand, PTSD is diagnosed from an event that was traumatic by external circumstances, and doesn’t stipulate if the cause came from childhood, it could come from anytime during one’s life.

Therefore, PD is a trauma that is diagnosed for someone who suffered during development?

One is from a dysfunction from the intimate environment and the other is from a traumatic event from the external environment. They both have the same fundamental causes underneath, and that is TRAUMA!

From birth to 7 years old, we develop attachments. If these attachments are damaged in some way, the child then goes into the second phase of development, with an unconscious handicap, which is aged 7 – 14.

If the trauma is biological by nature, meaning born with a chemical imbalance in the brain, the disorder develops into what’s known as Conduct Disorder. (CD). If the disorder is trauma related, i.e., from an environmental stimulus, the child has a post traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD)

  • One needs a psychiatric treatment = CD
  • The other needs a psychological treatment = (PTSD)

If the child with PTSD is given the wrong diagnosis, such as a label of CD, for a trauma, the brain will misfire and the trauma will repress itself. In later life, this trauma will surface in a mental health diagnosis such as depression, bi-polar, etc.

With the growing diagnosis for personality disorders there needs to be a clear disparity between the two.

If the child has a biological dysfunction, such as a damaged attachment or no attachment bond, they go on to develop full blown personality disorder, which is near impossible to treat once they pass age 21!

  • Attachment disorder 0-7
  • Conduct Disorder 7-14
  • Emerging Personality disorder 14 -21
  • After that; its dysfunctional until it is addressed and healed.

The age between 7 -14 is crucial in helping young people with their mental health and ensuring the correct pathway has been established to ensure recovery.


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