Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Personality Disorders

  • Bram Sizoo
  • Ernst Horwitz
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_1548-3


Short Description or Definition

Personality disorders in autism refer to comorbidity (co-occurring psychiatric disorders). In medicine, comorbidity is relatively straightforward because it mostly concerns well-defined disease entities with known causes (e.g., a fractured leg co-occurring with diabetes). In psychiatry, however, disorders are defined as clusters of signs and symptoms (syndromes), with complicated and uncertain causal pathways. As a consequence, psychiatric disorders show a considerable overlap. This makes it difficult to decide whether symptoms have to be ascribed to either disorder A or disorder B (differential diagnostics) or to both A and B (comorbidity). This issue is important for achieving diagnostic clarity and for managing treatment.

This chapter deals with the dilemma posed when signs and symptoms point to a personality disorders (PD) as well as to an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PsychiatryCenter for Developmental DisordersDeventerThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryGroningen University Medical CenterGroningenThe Netherlands