Causes of personality disorders

It’s not clear what causes personality disorders. A mixture of factors can mean some people develop personality disorders. These can include:

  • Biological factors – When it is passed on through your genes
  • The environment around you when you were growing up
  • Childhood trauma – These can include neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse

When you are growing up, you learn to cope with emotional changes and make relationships with other people. Children who are abused or neglected often do not learn these things, so they may find it more difficult to manage how they feel when they are adults.

This does not mean that all people who experience trauma will develop personality disorders, but they may be more likely to.

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