What Are Personality Disorders?

What Are Personality Disorders?

You may have heard about personality disorders before, but sometimes information about them can be confusing, vague, or outright misleading. Educating yourself about mental health disorders is the best way to raise awareness and reduce stigmas. There are many different kinds of personality disorders, each with unique symptoms that can present with varying intensities. 

What Is a Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are a group of mental health disorders that affect 9.1 percent of adults in the United States aged 18 and older. These disorders cause unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving. Someone who is experiencing symptoms of a personality disorder might have trouble interpreting situations and relating to the people around them. This generally causes them to struggle with their social and work-related relationships.

As with many mental health disorders, the exact cause of personality disorders is extremely difficult to pinpoint. A person’s experiences during the formative years of childhood as well as a person’s genes, may have an impact on the development of a personality disorder. People with personality disorders often have trouble recognizing that their thought and behavior patterns are problematic. Sometimes this can cause them to blame others for any problems or challenges they might be facing.

Types of Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are split into three groups called clusters:

  1. Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd and eccentric thoughts and behaviors. 
  2. Cluster B personality disorders include thoughts and behaviors that are dramatic and unpredictable. 
  3. Cluster C personality disorders cause anxious and fearful patterns of thoughts and behavior. 

Let’s take a look at some of the personality disorders in each cluster.

#1. Cluster A

  • Paranoid personality disorder: This disorder causes a person to be suspicious of others. They have an unjustified belief that the people around them can’t be trusted and might even think that other people are trying to harm them. This causes them to react to situations in unpredictable ways.
  • Schizoid personality disorder: A person with a schizoid personality disorder has very little interest in connecting with other people or maintaining relationships. They have trouble interpreting social situations and cues because they have a limited capacity to experience emotions.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder: Schizotypal personality disorder causes a person to have peculiar beliefs and behaviors. They might have abnormal perceptual experiences, such as hearing voices. Sometimes they have unrealistic beliefs about how they can influence the world around them. 

#2. Cluster B

  • Antisocial personality disorder: A person with this personality disorder typically has no regard for the feelings or rights of others. Their behavior is often impulsive and aggressive, and they may have trouble following rules and obeying laws. Someone struggling with this disorder rarely feels remorse for things they’ve done. 
  • Borderline personality disorder: The symptoms of this disorder cause a person to experience both manic and depressive phases. Their behavior is often unpredictable, and their emotional state is often unstable. They may have a fragile sense of self and experience an intense lack of self-confidence.  
  • Narcissistic personality disorder: This personality disorder causes a person to have an inflated sense of self-importance. They often come across as arrogant. Their beliefs cause them to expect special treatment and constant praise. It is often difficult for them to understand other people’s needs or feelings.

#3. Cluster C

  • Avoidant personality disorder: This disorder causes a person to have extreme feelings of inadequacy, which causes them to be very sensitive to criticism. They often avoid interacting with others and come across as shy because they experience an intense fear of being embarrassed or making a mistake in front of others. 
  • Dependent personality disorder: Symptoms of dependent personality disorder cause a person to experience serious feelings of self-doubt. This leads to being dependent on others and feeling like they need other people to take care of them. They feel unsure of themselves, so they require constant reassurance. Their relationships are often problematic because they have a hard time understanding healthy boundaries both for themselves and for their partners. 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: A person experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder has an intense preoccupation with details, rules, and organization. They are often perfectionists to an extreme degree and have an intense desire to be in control. obsessive-compulsive disorder can cause a person to struggle with any kind of change that happens in their lives. 

Treatment of Personality Disorders

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the most common way to treat a personality disorder. Disorders like borderline personality disorder often respond well to cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps a person identify faulty thinking and how it leads to harmful behaviors. Some medications can help manage the symptoms of personality disorders as well. Treatment for personality disorders will depend on the specific symptoms and their intensity level.

At Alter Wellness Care, we have a variety of options available for those struggling with mental health challenges, including personality disorders. We work with our clients to create individual treatment plans that will best serve their unique needs. Our clients can utilize the different therapy and support group options that we offer. Our goal is to help each of our clients discover what is most important to them and help them achieve the life they want for themselves.

At Alter Wellness Care, we believe that a person should not be defined by their struggles with mental health. We are committed to helping each of our unique clients achieve positive mental health through the development of healthy coping strategies and life skills. Symptoms of personality disorders can be managed through the utilization of our evidence-based treatment options. Through our individualized treatment plans, we offer our clients support in all aspects of their lives. From social connections to physical health and everything in between, we are committed to the holistic wellness of every person that comes to us for support. Call Alter Wellness Care today at (866) 311-3510 for more information.

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