Personality Disorders Articles
However, most personality disorders are treatable. While medication has a role to play, talk therapy is usually the only way of really addressing the fundamental issues. The following articles can provide some information on personality disorders and how to deal with them.
What is a Personality Disorder?
A personality disorder is a mental illness where the individual has a rigid way of viewing the world. People with these conditions tend to engage in black and white thinking, meaning they have trouble seeing matters from others points of view. Their rigidity in thought processes impacts the quality of their relationships. An individual with a personality disorder has difficulty relating to others in social situations and can struggle to maintain healthy boundaries at times. They may have challenges maintaining healthy long-term relationships, and trouble connecting to people. They could struggle with anger issues, and lash out at others or alienate people with their persistent distorted viewpoint of the way things are.
Confronting the Truth About Your Personality Disorder
Some people might be in denial that they have a personality disorder. If they continue the pattern of denying that they have their condition, they’ll continue to get worse, and aren’t likely to get the right treatment to live a fulfilling life. Personality disorders have late onset, typically beginning in the new teenage years or early adulthood. Some even show their first signs at middle age.
Getting a Diagnosis
Trained mental health professionals including psychologists, psychiatrists or social workers can diagnose personality disorders. You general doctor might ask you a series of questions and do a physical exam. If they find that you meet the criteria for a personality disorder, they’ll refer you to a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis. There are three different categories of personality disorders. You’ll need to have a psychological evaluation to determine what your condition is. The provider will refer to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders). Once you receive your diagnosis, you’ll learn what your treatment options are. They could be therapy, medication or a combination of both.
Types of Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are grouped into three categories called clusters. There’s Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C. Each cluster has similar behaviors that the conditions share.
Individuals with Cluster A personality disorders display eccentric or strange behaviors. Their actions might appear odd to the average observer. The Cluster A personality disorders are paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder.
Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Marked distrust of others
- Persistent believe that others are trying to deceive the person Angry or hostile reaction to perceived slights or insults
- Holds grudges
- The persistent belief that a partner is unfaithful
Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Lack of pleasure in life activities
- Little to no interest in sex with a partner
- Stoic or cold expressions with others
- Limited expression of emotions
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
The belief that the individual can influence major events by thinking about them or “magical thinking.”
Eccentric thinking or way of dressing
The belief that there are hidden messages for the individual in certain events
People with Cluster B personality disorders are exceptionally emotionally bordering on dramatic. Their behavior is unpredictable, and they can be volatile or even violent if left untreated. Here are the Cluster B personality disorders: antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Lack of care or concern for other people’s feelings
- Lying, cheating or stealing
- Legal problems or arrests
- Violent actions or behaviors
- Lack of personal responsibility for actions
Borderline Personality Disorder
- Fear of abandonment
- Risky behavior including promiscuity or unsafe sex
- Unstable or fluctuating self-image
- Volatile or unstable interpersonal relationships
- Mood swings
- Suicidal ideation or active suicide attempts
- Outbursts of Anger
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Persistent attention-seeking behavior
Provocative displays including inappropriately sexual behavior
Overly dramatic speech with strong opinions
Easily swayed by other people’s opinions
Emotions that change quickly within minutes or hours
Preoccupation with physical appearance
Misperception of how close interpersonal relationships are
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A fundamental belief that you are superior to others
Preoccupation with high achievement and fame
Inability to acknowledge other people’s emotions
Inaccurate or grandiose perception of self and accomplishments
Needs constant praise and validation for their accomplishments
Manipulates others for their gain
Sees people are trophies
The Cluster C personality disorders are conditions where the sufferer is anxious and engages in behaviors due to fear. They are avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Overly sensitive to criticism or rejection
Feelings of inadequacy in their sense of self or physical appearance
Social isolation and fear of meeting new people
Fear of being mocked or having their choices disapproved of by others
Dependent Personality Disorder
The need for others to take care of the individual
Neediness towards loved ones
Fear of being alone and caring for oneself
Lack of self-esteem or self-worth
Challenges starting and completing projects
Accepts abusive due to lack of self-confidence
Needs to start a need relationship after an old one ends
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Obsession with minute details
Perfectionism to the point of taking extreme measures to achieve their goals
Issues with control or letting other people have the lead
Overworking and neglecting social activities
Unwavering or rigid opinions that cannot be changed
Extremely frugal with money to an obsessive degree
Personality Disorders Are Treatable In Counseling
All personality disorders are not equally severe, but the condition of anyone suffering from them can benefit from professional counseling. With qualified therapists now available online, this is easier to obtain than ever before. Online counseling is an excellent way to address your personality disorder. These conditions are treatable with the help of a trained mental health professional. You don’t have to suffer alone. Some counselors can help you cope with your symptoms and live an excellent quality of life. Search the extensive network of counselors here at BetterHelp and find a match for you.