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Personality disorders are a critical part of the mental health domain that concerns an individual’s cognition, emotions, and conduct. These can cause problems with relationships and functioning in daily life. Therefore, knowing the various personality disorders is useful in identifying the symptoms and finding the right help.

Here in this blog, we will discuss almost everything related to these disorders. At the end of the reading, you will be well-informed on the different types of personality disorders and their effects on people.

What Are Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders are a class of mental illnesses that are defined by enduring and invariant patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience that are not related to a person’s culture. These patterns are rigid and widespread, causing significant distress or impairment in one’s personal, social, and work-related aspects of life.

While other mental disorders may develop at any age, personality disorders are usually diagnosed during adolescence or young adulthood and persist throughout the individual’s life.

Clusters of Personality Disorders

The diagnostic manual DSM-5 describes ten personality disorders, each categorized by specific symptoms. These are grouped into three clusters based on their characteristics.

Cluster A: Odd or Eccentric Disorders

Persons with these conditions may look bizarre or odd to other people. It is noticeable that they have social deficits, isolation, and cognitive abnormalities.

Cluster B: Dramatic, Emotional, or Erratic Disorders

These disorders encompass mood swings, erratic actions, and problems in forming and sustaining healthy relationships. This can lead to extreme and even unpredictable actions, making it difficult to communicate with people.

Cluster C: Anxious or Fearful Disorders

Individuals with these conditions are usually very worried or scared. Their behaviors are based on the compulsion to control, dominate, or even be perfect or the deep fear of rejection and abandonment.

Brief Description of the 10 Types of Personality Disorder

Cluster A

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Individuals with paranoid personality disorder are highly distrustful and suspicious of others. It is common for them to believe that everyone wants to hurt or cheat them.

Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid personality disorder involves a lack of interest in social relationships. People with this disorder isolate themselves and do not have much interest in other people and their company.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

It is characterized by odd and eccentric behaviors and thinking. Individuals with this disorder have unconventional beliefs and perceptions. They also find it hard to form close interpersonal relationships.

Cluster B

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of concern for other people’s rights. This disorder is characterized by deceitfulness, manipulation, and sometimes criminal behavior, which the affected individual will not regret or feel guilty about.

Borderline Personality Disorder

It involves intense emotional instability, impulsive behaviors, and a distorted self-image. This disorder can make individuals have unstable and rocky relationships with others and have a constant fear of being left.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with histrionic personality disorder always need attention and admiration. They usually have an extreme desire to be noticed and loved by others.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People with this disorder have a sense of self-importance and a need for excessive admiration. However, they don’t have empathy for others. People may entertain narcissistic delusions and use people to get what they want.

Cluster C

Avoidant Personality Disorder

This disorder often results in feelings of inadequacy, and patients are usually socially withdrawn and tend to avoid situations that involve contact with other people.

Dependent Personality Disorder

Persons with this type of personality disorder tend to be over-dependent and, therefore, exhibit submissive and clinging behaviors. They fear being separated and cannot decide independently without their companions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

It is defined by the presence of indisposition, perfectionism, and rigidity. Such people with OCPD are very rigid and may find it very difficult to delegate responsibilities or even work in groups.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders

Identifying personality disorders requires a proper assessment by a psychologist or psychiatrist. This includes conducting a series of interviews, giving the patient questionnaires, and sometimes collecting information from the patient’s family or friends. Proper diagnosis is important for proper patient management.

The treatment usually involves counseling. CBT has been noted to be very helpful in managing the condition. It is used to identify negative thinking and alter negative behaviors.

Another cognitive behavioral therapy type is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), mainly used in the treatment of borderline personality disorder, which aims at managing intense feelings and developing healthy ways of dealing with other people.

Medications can help treat some symptoms that are associated with personality disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or mood swings. However, they are not the first line of treatment for personality disorders. In fact, with the use of both psychotherapy and medicine, the quality of life of people with these disorders can be enhanced greatly.

It was noted that early diagnosis and continuing care from mental health professionals, family, and friends are critical in the management of personality disorders to achieve better results.

Living with Personality Disorders

People with personality disorders face various problems in their daily lives. For example, they have relationship and employment issues and have problems in social interactions. Some may develop feelings of loneliness, sorrow, and other psychological ailments. Developing a strong network of family and friends and joining support groups can offer much-needed emotional and physical help.

Stigma must be changed, and people should be prompted to go to therapists and follow their recommendations. Personality disorders can be managed, and individuals with personality disorders can live normal, healthy lives if well-supported and treated. Thus, increasing the community’s understanding and compassion are crucial for combating prejudice and creating a tolerant environment for individuals with such disorders.

The Bottom Line

Even in the modern age, not many people have a good understanding of personality disorders. This is why we have thoroughly explained the different types of personality disorders in this blog. Having the right knowledge can help you in early identification of these disorders in you or your loved ones. If you or a loved one has some of the symptoms described, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss trea

Herny Kaggwa
Written and reviewed by: Herny Kaggwa
PMHNP-BC, APRN. Clinical Director
Assured Hope Community Health. LLC
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