Personality Disorder Awareness Network (PDAN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of personality disorders, alleviating the impact of personality disorders on families, and preventing the development of personality disorders in children.
PDAN currently focuses on personality disorders that have significant effects on families through emotional dysregulation, and for which a good amount of scientific research is already available: namely Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Emotional dysregulation can be defined as a pattern of emotional responses over time, usually 1+ year, that are poorly modulated and do not fall within the conventional range.
The organization’s goals are:
- To provide children with tools to help them develop healthy emotional regulation skills and healthy relationships
- To prepare parents to be aware and educated about personality disorders
- To reduce the impact of these emotional styles on children, partners and sufferers
- To prevent or mitigate the development of personality disorders in children who may have a biological predisposition to personality disorders, and/or who are living with a parent or guardian whose behavior may be affecting the children toward developing emotional dysregulation.
PDAN currently focuses its awareness and prevention work for “at-risk” children (primarily ages 7 to 14):
- Who have parents with personality disorders, or
- Who are in high-conflict separated or divorcing families, or
- Who have symptoms or diagnosis of ADHD, or
- Who have experienced trauma (a credible threat on a person’s sense of survival), or
- Who live in foster care or have had changes in adoption.
PDAN provides information:
- To children and parents of children in the above “at risk” categories
- To family members and relationship partners of people with personality disorders
- To people who have personality disorders
- To professionals who are treating sufferers, their partners, and/or their children.
PDAN delivers information through:
- Publication of children books and e-books
- Web content and email newsletters
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media outlets)
- Online videos and YouTube channel
- Workshops and live presentations
- Online courses and teleconferences
- PDAN, Personality Disorders Awareness Network, is dedicated to the prevention of personality disorders. Our understanding of personality disorders is rooted in a bio-psycho-social model. Personality disorders may develop due to biological and genetic reasons. Some data suggest a strong genetic predisposition for personality disorders. Also, family members with other mental disorders (such as Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and Substance Abuse) are correlated with a higher risk for developing personality disorders. Biological reasons, such as brain functioning related to impulse control and emotional regulation, may be a causal factor in the development of personality disorders. Much information is emerging, and we hope more research will shed greater light on personality disorders.
- While we understand the role of biological and genetic influences, PDAN is dedicated to intervening in the psycho-social, or environmental, realm. While there is no known “cause” for personality disorders, there are some clear risk factors. A risk factor can best be defined as an environmental condition or behavior that increases the possibility or likelihood of developing a particular problem. Thus, a risk factor is not a sole cause, but its presence increases the possibility of developing a health problem.
- Known risk factors for borderline and narcissistic personality disorders include childhood trauma (such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse), significant neglect, or separation/abandonment from a parent. Another clear risk factor is the presence of a personality disorder in one or both parents. Also, parents who have other mental disorders are a risk factor for children developing personality disorders. PDAN’s mission is to address the needs of children who have been exposed to these risk factors so that we can work with schools, foster agencies, child welfare departments, hospitals, religious institutions, mental health professionals, and other places to provide education, resources, and assistance.