Numerous kinds of personality disorders exist, ranging from paranoia to narcissism to obsession. Any of these can make functioning in society, at work and in relationships very difficult. 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 manage them.
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
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.
Some people might be in denial that they have a personality disorder. If they continue the pattern of denying that they have a condition, they 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 therapists 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.
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.
People with Cluster B personality disorders are exceptionally emotional 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.
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.
Dependent Personality Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Personality Disorders Are Treatable In Therapy
Not all personality disorders are equally severe, but anyone suffering from them can benefit from professional counseling. With qualified therapists now available online, this is easier to obtain than ever before. Online therapy 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. Counselors can help you cope with your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Search the extensive network of counselors here at BetterHelp and find a match for you.