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Mnemonics for the Personality Disorders

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#1 firelizardee


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Posted 14 November 2004 - 09:35 AM


I found a print out whilst tidying up that gave a list of mnemonics for remembering the symptoms for each personality disorder.  Whilst I can™t remember the web site I found this at, the print out does have references.

The mnemonic comes from a work by Pinkofsky (1997).  

Cluster A
Odd, Eccentric Group

Paranoid personality disorder: SUSPECT (4 criteria)

S: spouse fidelity suspected
U: unforgiving (bears grudges)
S: suspicious of others
P: perceives attacks (and reacts quickly)
E: śenemy of friend? (suspects associates, friends)
C: confiding in others feared
T: threats perceived in benign events

Schizoid personality disorder: DISTANT (4 criteria).

D: Detached (or flattened) affect
I: Indifferent to criticism and praise
S: Sexual experiences of little interest
T: Tasks (activities) done solitarily
A: Absence of close friends
N: Neither desires nor enjoys close relations
T: Takes pleasure in few activities

Schizotypal personality disorder: ME PECULIAR (5 criteria).

M: Magical thinking or odd beliefs
E: Experiences unusual perceptions

P: Paranoid ideation
E: Eccentric behavior or appearance
C: Constricted (or inappropriate) affect
U: Unusual (odd) thinking and speech
L: Lacks close friends
I: Ideas of reference
A: Anxiety in social situations
R: Rule out psychotic disorders and pervasive developmental disorder

Cluster B
Dramatic, Erratic Group

Antisocial personality disorder: CORRUPT (3 criteria).

C: Conformity to law lacking
0: Obligations ignored
R: Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
R: Remorse lacking
U: Underhanded (deceitful, lies, cons others)
P: Planning insufficient (impulsive)
T: Temper (irritable and aggressive)

Borderline personality disorder: AM SUICIDE (5 criteria).

A: Abandonment -
M: Mood instability (marked reactivity of mood)

S: Suicidal (or self-mutilating) behavior
U: Unstable and intense relationships
I: Impulsivity (in two potentially self-damaging areas) ;/
C: Control of anger
I: Identity disturbance
D: Dissociative (or paranoid) symptoms that are transient and stress-related   /
E: Emptiness (chronic feelings of)

Histrionic personality disorder: PRAISE ME (5 criteria).

P: Provocative (or sexually seductive) behavior
R: Relationships (considered more intimate than they are)
A: Attention (uncomfortable when not the center of attention)
I: Influenced easily
S: Style of speech (impressionistic, lacks detail)
E: Emotions (rapidly shifting and shallow)

M: Made up (physical appearance used to draw attention to self)
E: Emotions exaggerated (theatrical)

Narcissistic personality disorder: SPECIAL (5 criteria).

S: Special (believes he or she is special and unique)
P: Preoccupied with fantasies (of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or
ideal love)
E: Entitlement
C: Conceited (grandiose sense of self-importance)
I: Interpersonal exploitation
A: Arrogant (haughty)
L: Lacks empathy

Cluster C
Anxious, Fearful Group

Avoidant personalty disorder: CRINGES (4 criteria).

C: Certainty (of being liked required before willing to get involved with others)
R: Rejection (or criticism) preoccupies one's thoughts in social situations
I: Intimate relationships (restraint in intimate relationships due to fear of being samed)
N: New interpersonal relationships (is inhibited in)
G: Gets around occupational activity (involing significant interpersonal contact)
E Embarrassment (potential) prevents new activity or taking personal risks
S: Self viewed as unappealing, inept, or inferior

Dependent personality disorder: RELIANCE (5 criteria).

R: Reassurance required tor decisions
E: Expressing disagreement difficult (due to fear of loss of support or approval)
L: Life responsibilites (needs to have these assumed by others)
I: Initiating projects difficult (due to lack of self-confidence)
A: Alone (feels helpless and discomfort when alone)
N: Nurturance (goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support)
C: Companionship (another relationship) sought urgently when close relationship ends
E: Exaggerated fears of being left to care for self

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: LAW FIRMS (4 criteria).

L: Loses point of activity (due to preoccupation with detail)
A: Ability to complete tasks (compromised by perfectionism)
W: Worthless objects (unable to discard)

F: Friendships (and leisure activities) excluded (due to a preoccupation with work)
I: Inflexible, scrupulous, overconscientious (on ethics, values, or morality, not
accounted for by religion or culture)
R: Reluctant to delegate (unless others submit to exact guidelines)
M: Miserly (toward self and others)
S: Stubbornness (and rigidity)

American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Benjamin, L. S. (1996). Interpersonal diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.
Eysenck, H. J. (1987). The definition of personality disorders and the criteria appropriate for their descriptions. Journal of Personality Disorders, 1, 211 “ 219.
Pinkofsky, H. B. (1997). Mnemonics for DSM-IV personality disorders. Psychiatric Services, 48. 1197-1198.
Take care

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#2 Epic


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Posted 21 December 2004 - 03:20 PM

Awesome without a doubt, thank you! With my memory the way it is these days this is a Godsend. :)
So understand
Dont waste your time always
Searching for those wasted years
Face up... make your stand
And realise youre living in the golden years.

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