Personality Disorders Workup

Updated: Nov 22, 2021
  • Author: David Bienenfeld, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

The following tests can be used in the diagnosis of personality disorders:

  • Toxicology screen - Substance abuse is common in many personality disorders, and intoxication can lead patients to present with some features of personality disorders.

  • Screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases - Patients with personality disorders often exhibit poor impulse control, and many act without regard to risk; such behavior can lead to infection with a sexually transmitted disease

  • CT Scanning - Computed tomography (CT) scanning with appropriate blood work can be carried out if organic etiology is suspected

  • Radiography - Radiography can be indicated for injuries from fighting, motor vehicle accidents, or self-mutilation

Psychological testing

Psychological testing may support or direct the clinical diagnosis. [11, 9] The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the best-known psychological test. The Eysenck Personality Inventory and the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire are also used. None of these has been reliably validated against DSM-5 diagnoses.

The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 (SCID-5) can also be used to aid in diagnosis.