Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder What is passive aggressive personality disorder? If you have passive aggressive personality disorder (PAPD), you seem to go along with what people want even though it upsets you. You tend to see others as nosy, demanding, and pushy. You do not express your feelings directly, but instead find ways to try to punish or control others. How does it occur? This disorder usually starts in the early adult years. The causes are unknown. Experts believe that PAPD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. What are the symptoms? If you have this disorder: You tend to be sullen and contrary without actually disagreeing. You put things off or deliberately do them wrong. You avoid responsibility by blaming others or claiming that you forgot. You are easily offended and complain regularly. You may be enthused for a short time, but then go back to being dissatisfied, critical, and envious. You are often resentful. You feel angry often but do not express it openly. You may appear to be pleasantly social but then make critical or cruel comments. You resist suggestions or help from others. How is it diagnosed? Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms, relationships, and substance abuse history. You may have lab tests to rule out medical problems. You may be referred to a mental health therapist to rule out depression or other mental health problems. You may be asked to complete a personality test. How is it treated? Several kinds of therapy may be helpful: psychodynamic therapy behavior therapy cognitive therapy cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). CBT helps you identify and change views you have of yourself and the world that are not realistic. This therapy helps you recognize negative ways of thinking and the consequences of negative behaviors. You will learn new thought and behavior patterns that lead to more positive experiences. Medicine is not used to treat this disorder, but may help if you also have problems with anxiety or depression. You may be hospitalized if you are suicidal. When should I seek help? If your symptoms are seriously interfering with your daily life, seek help from your health care provider or a mental health professional. Treatment can make a big difference in the quality of your life. Without treatment this disorder will be lifelong.
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