ICD-10 Classifications

ICD stands for the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or “International Classification of Diseases” for short. It is a comprehensive manual and diagnostic tool created, published and managed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the ICD sets the international standard for healthcare diagnosis.As for the WHO, it is a specialised agency of the United Nations which monitors and supports public health in around 180 countries.

“In the United Kingdom the ICD-10 (the latest edition) is the main reference guide to conditions for mental health practitioners and is a NHS standard. It is referred to alongside recommendations by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).”

British psychotherapists and psychiatrists may also refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for guidance. The DSM is, however, an American manual, and not the officially recommended reference in the UK. The following information is from the ICD-10, which is available online: https://icd.who.int/browse10/2016/en#/F60-F69.

Section F60-F69 – Disorders of Adult Personality and Behaviour

This block includes a variety of conditions and behaviour patterns of clinical significance which tend to be persistent and appear to be the expression of the individual’s characteristic lifestyle and mode of relating to himself or herself and others. Some of these conditions and patterns of behaviour emerge early in the course of individual development, as a result of both constitutional factors and social experience, while others are acquired later in life. Specific personality disorders (F60.-), mixed and other personality disorders (F61.-), and enduring personality changes (F62.-) are deeply ingrained and enduring behaviour patterns, manifesting as inflexible responses to a broad range of personal and social situations. They represent extreme or significant deviations from the way in which the average individual in a given culture perceives, thinks, feels and, particularly, relates to others. Such behaviour patterns tend to be stable and to encompass multiple domains of behaviour and psychological functioning. They are frequently, but not always, associated with various degrees of subjective distress and problems of social performance.

F60 – Specific Personality Disorders

These are severe disturbances in the personality and behavioural tendencies of the individual; not directly resulting from disease, damage, or other insult to the brain, or from another psychiatric disorder; usually involving several areas of the personality; nearly always associated with considerable personal distress and social disruption; and usually manifest since childhood or adolescence and continuing throughout adulthood.

F60.3 Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD – often referred to as Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD)

Personality disorder characterized by a definite tendency to act impulsively and without consideration of the consequences; the mood is unpredictable and capricious. There is a liability to outbursts of emotion and an incapacity to control the behavioural explosions. There is a tendency to quarrelsome behaviour and to conflicts with others, especially when impulsive acts are thwarted or censored. Two types may be distinguished: the impulsive type, characterized predominantly by emotional instability and lack of impulse control, and the borderline type, characterized in addition by disturbances in self-image, aims, and internal preferences, by chronic feelings of emptiness, by intense and unstable interpersonal relationships, and by a tendency to self-destructive behaviour, including suicide gestures and attempts.