Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


In the past three decades, few diagnoses in psychiatry have had a more turbulent history than the personality disorders (1). Labels such as inadequate, emotionally unstable, and asthenic personalities entered the official nomenclature and were later withdrawn. Borderline, antisocial and compulsive personality disorders are additions that have become entrenched in the classification of mental disorders. The turmoil maintains its course with a diagnosis of Masochistic Personality Disorder under consideration to join the existing categories of personality disorders in the revised edition of DSM-III (DSM-III-R) (2).

The category of Masochistic Personality Disorder does not exist in the three earlier versions of DSM (3-5) or in the editions of the International Classification of Disease (ICD) (6-9). Nonetheless, the concept of masochism has a lengthy psychiatric history.

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