Personality Disorders

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What is a personality disorder?

Personality is vital to defining who we are as individuals. It involves a unique blend of traits — including attitudes, thoughts and behaviors — as well as how we express these traits in our interactions with others and with the world around us. A personality disorder is a mental health condition that involves long-lasting, all-encompassing, disruptive patterns of thinking, behavior, mood, and relating to others.

Most people who have these disorders don’t seek treatment immediately, even if personality disorder treatment program options are available for them. The is likely because people with a personality disorder may not even recognize their troubling behaviors or the negative effect they have on others.

If you are, or a person you know is, displaying behaviors that highly interfere with the ability to function normally in work or relationships, don’t hesitate to contact us at to get information on how you can help yourself or someone you love.

 

There are 10 types of personality disorders, grouped into 3 clusters.

Cluster A

Cluster A personality disorders involve unusual and eccentric thinking or behaviors. These include:

  • Paranoid personality disorder: The main feature of this condition is paranoia, which is a relentless mistrust and suspicion of others without adequate reason for suspicion. People with paranoid personality disorder often believe others are trying to demean, harm or threaten them.

  • Schizoid personality disorder: This condition is marked by a consistent pattern of detachment from and general disinterest in interpersonal relationships. People with schizoid personality disorder have a limited range of emotions when interacting with others.

  • Schizotypal personality disorder: People with this condition display a consistent pattern of intense discomfort with and limited need for close relationships. Relationships may be hindered by their distorted views of reality, superstitions and unusual behaviors.

Cluster B

Cluster B personality disorders involve dramatic and erratic behaviors. People with these types of conditions display intense, unstable emotions and impulsive behaviors. 

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD): People with ASPD show a lack of respect toward others and don’t follow socially accepted norms or rules. People with ASPD may break the law or cause physical or emotional harm to others around them. They may refuse to take responsibility for their behaviors and/or display disregard for the negative consequences of their actions.

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD): This condition is marked by difficulty with emotional regulation, resulting in low self-esteem, mood swings, impulsive behaviors and subsequent relationship difficulties.

  • Histrionic personality disorder: This condition is marked by intense, unstable emotions and a distorted self-image. For people with histrionic personality disorder, their self-esteem depends on the approval of others and doesn’t come from a true feeling of self-worth. They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed by others, and may display dramatic and/or inappropriate behaviors to get attention.

  • Narcissistic personality disorder: This condition involves a consistent pattern of perceived superiority and grandiosity, an excessive need for praise and admiration and a lack of empathy for others. These thoughts and behaviors often stem from low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.

Cluster C

Cluster C personality disorders involve severe anxiety and fear. They include:

  • Avoidant personality disorder: People with this condition have chronic feelings of inadequacy and are highly sensitive to being negatively judged by others. Though they would like to interact with others, they tend to avoid social interaction due to the intense fear of being rejected.

  • Dependent personality disorder: This condition is marked by a constant and excessive need to be cared for by someone else. It also involves submissiveness, a need for constant reassurance and the inability to make decisions. People with dependent personality disorder often become very close to another person and spend great effort trying to please that person. They tend to display passive and clinging behavior and have a fear of separation.

  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD): This condition is marked by a consistent and extreme need for orderliness, perfectionism and control (with no room for flexibility) that ultimately slows or interferes with completing a task. It can also interfere with relationships. This is a separate condition from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is classified as an anxiety disorder. While people with OCD usually are aware that OCD is causing their behavior and accept they need to change, people with OCPD usually have little, if any, self-awareness of their behaviors.

"Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they're never weakness."

— BRENÉ BROWN —

Doing Homework

Therapy Outcomes

 With a mental health professional, you can learn about your condition and talk about your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
You can learn to healthily cope with your disorder and:
  • Gain understanding of your condition and become an active participant in your care.

  • Get active to help manage symptoms such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

  • Consider medications to address and manage your symptoms.

  • As the industry mantra goes, "if you can name it, you can tame it." Name, recognize, and understand your emotions to begin regaining control. 

  • Learn to trust yourself and become more confident in your abilities.

  • Negative thought patterns be damaging, but discover your inner strength to change them.

  • Have healthier relationships with my family, friends, and romantic partners.

  • Explore support groups with other people struggling with similar issues.

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