The DSM-V criteria for personality disorders rests on a criteria system that rates a patient's personality functioning levels and identifies the pathological personality traits that the patient possesses, notes Seven County Services. The DSM-V criteria also advocates two approaches; a categorical approach, where a person has a disorder or does not, and a dimensional approach, where a person has a personality that reaches slightly into the realm of personality disorder, according to Seven County Services and Psychology Today.
When looking at the patient's personality functioning levels, psychologists will rate the level of functioning in four areas: identity, self-direction, empathy and intimacy. Identity involves the patient's ability to know himself. He should possess a strong sense of self in order to gain a high score. The self-direction criteria involves being able to set goals and follow standard societal rules of conduct. Empathy involves understanding and considering other people's experiences with compassion. Intimacy involves the ability to develop strong relationships with sensitivity and mutual cooperation, according to Seven County Services.
When looking at the pathological personality traits, the psychologist must examine what personality traits are present that match up with various personality disorders. One of the most common personality disorders is known as borderline personality disorder. This disorder includes emotional turmoil, intense emotions that last too long, instability, impulsivity and mood swings that cannot be stabilized, notes the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Psychologists will examine and consult with a patient in order to determine whether or not they possess these pathological personality traits that match the borderline personality disorder.