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Apr 18, 2023

Chris and Jonathan speak to Professor Carla Sharp, the director of both the Developmental Psychopathology Lab and the Adolescent Diagnosis Assessment Prevention and Treatment Center at the University of Houston.

Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. Batman’s rogues gallery. Hollywood loves to both glamourize and stigmatize psychopathology, including personality disorders. But what do we really know about personality disorders? Does histrionic personality disorder even exist? Why is one such disorder called “borderline?” Is psychopathy a real diagnosis? And can we really put people and all their complexities into such clear boxes as the ten official personality disorders?

(2:03) How Hollywood exploits mental illness and how the diagnosing of personality disorders is shifting

(11:00) Psychopaths and the 10 personality disorders

(14:14) What even is a personality disorder?

(19:19) The origin of histrionic personality disorder

(21:00) The difference between schizophrenia and schizoid/schizotypal personality disorders

(23:39) When a personality disorder emerges and the differences between men and women

(27:38) Personality disorders run in families and parents can make a real difference

(35:47) Personality disorders are sometimes misdiagnosed as autism

(37:26) Are people with antisocial personality disorder drawn to surgery? 

(41:03) Why is it called “borderline personality disorder?”

(44:29) Does multiple personality disorder exist?

(47:00) Do personality disorders improve over time?


* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl.

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1) Carla Sharp’s review of personality disorders in the New England Journal of Medicine:

2) The National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder:

3) The Sashbear Foundation:

4) Emotions Matter: