A personality disorder is a condition in which personality traits are inflexible and cause severe problems in dealing with other people. These traits begin in the teenage or early adult years and remain for life. The passive-aggressive personality refers to people who express their aggression in a passive way.
A person with passive-aggressive personality disorder resists the demands of others. The individual is often unable to come out and refuse to do something. Instead, he or she will put things off, make excuses, or "forget" to do what is asked. These behaviors create many problems in the person's work and social lives.
Symptoms of passive-aggressive personality disorder include: putting things off"forgetting" to do things others askbeing stubborndisliking people who are in charge, or having a bad attitude about themcomplaining frequentlyworking poorly or slowly on purposefeeling unappreciatedblaming problems on othersbeing irritabledisliking the ideas of other people, even if they are usefularguing frequently
The cause of passive-aggressive personality disorder is unknown.
There is no known way to prevent passive-aggressive personality disorder. Parents who provide love and support for their children may prevent some cases.
Diagnosis of passive-aggressive personality disorder is made based on the symptoms. In some cases, psychological testing is used to help make the diagnosis. Other conditions must be ruled out, including depression and drug abuse.
A person with a passive-aggressive personality disorder has problems at work and in relationships with others. The person's behavior makes him or her difficult to deal with.
Passive-aggressive personality disorder is not contagious, and poses no risk to others.
Counseling may help a person with passive-aggressive personality disorder identify and change behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, or individual psychotherapy may be employed to helping the person better relate to others.
Medications may help reduce some symptoms. Medications used to treat depression, called antidepressants, may reduce irritability. Fluoxetine (i.e., Prozac, Serafem) or sertraline (i.e., Zoloft) are commonly used. There is no cure for passive-aggressive personality disorder.
Counseling can increase the person's irritability and anxiety because he or she is forced to confront the negative behaviors. Antidepressant medications may cause sleep disorders, drowsiness, or stomach upset.
A person with passive-aggressive personality disorder often does not follow the treatment plan. Treatment may not be helpful, and does not cure the condition, although it can significantly improve symptoms and behaviors.
Passive-aggressive personality disorder lasts for life. The affected person needs frequent monitoring by a healthcare professional, if he or she will accept it. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare professional.
Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder, National Library of Medicine
Textbook of Psychiatry, Hales, 1994