Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Although the precise cause of personality disorders isn't known, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering personality disorders, including:
- A family history of personality disorders or other mental illness
- Low socioeconomic status
- Verbal, physical or sexual abuse during childhood
- Neglect during childhood
- An unstable or chaotic family life during childhood
- Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder
- Loss of parents through death or traumatic divorce during childhood
Personality disorders often begin in childhood and last through adulthood. There's reluctance to diagnose personality disorders in a child, though, because the patterns of behavior and thinking could simply reflect adolescent experimentation or temporary developmental phases.
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