One in 20 suffers from personality disorder

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Almost one in 20 people in the UK has a personality disorder, according to a study. The research also found that men were more likely to suffer from disorders than women and that the most common condition was obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Sufferers of OCD, of which there are an estimated two million, include David Beckham, who has admitted he has an addiction to tidiness.

The study, conducted by The British Journal of Psychiatry, found that those who had been in care were more likely to suffer from disorders and were three times more likely to suffer from paranoid or schizoid disorders, where they felt withdrawn or isolated. Researchers interviewed 8,886 people, followed by in-depth discussions with 638 people.

Professor Jeremy Coid of the University of London said he hoped the findings would lead to better preventive treatments, especially for the young. "The question is, where should you divert your resources? Do you put them down the line when people might be showing severe manifestations, or at the earlier stage when you might be able to prevent something happening?

"With this knowledge you might be able to identify high- risk groups at a younger age, such as when people are coming out of care," he said.

The study found that all personality disorders, apart from the schizotypal, where sufferers have some delusions similar to those with full schizophrenia, are more common in men than women.

Antisocial personality disorder was also found to be five times more common in men than women. Disorders such as paranoid personality disorder were also more common among those who were divorced or separated, unemployed or on a low weekly income.

Professor Coid said those suffering antisocial and borderline personality disorders were also more likely to have a criminal conviction, to have been in prison or in care.