A personality disorder is a mental health condition characterised by long-term, all-encompassing, and disruptive patterns of thought, behaviour, mood, and interpersonal relationships. These habits cause a person a lot of pain and/or make it difficult for them to function.
Personality Disorders are divided into ten categories. Personality disorders are long-term patterns of behaviour and experiences that are considerably different from the norm. The pattern of experience and behaviour starts in late adolescence or early adulthood and leads to discomfort or functional issues.
Types of Personality Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) groups the ten categories of personality disorders into three primary clusters based on common traits and symptoms.
Cluster A personality disorders are characterised by unique and eccentric thoughts or actions. These Includes:
Paranoid Personality Disorder: Paranoid Personality Disorder is characterised by a pattern of suspicion of others and a perception of them as cruel or malicious. People with paranoid personality disorder frequently believe that others will hurt or deceive them; therefore they avoid confiding in or becoming close to them.
Schizoid Personality Disorder: Schizoid Personality Disorder is characterised by a lack of emotional expression and a disconnection from social connections. Schizoid personality disorder affects people who do not desire deep connections, prefer to be alone, and appear unconcerned about praise or criticism from others.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Schizotypal Personality Disorder is characterised by a pattern of extreme discomfort in interpersonal relationships, as well as warped thinking and abnormal conduct. A person with schizotypal personality disorder may have strange views, strange or abnormal conduct, or extreme social anxiety.
Cluster B is characterised by dramatic and chaotic behaviour. People who suffer from these disorders have powerful, uncontrollable emotions and impulsive conduct. It consists of:
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Antisocial Personality Disorder is characterised by a pattern of neglecting or violating others’ rights. Antisocial personality disorder is characterised by a refusal to comply to social standards, a pattern of lying or deception, and impulsive behaviour.
Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline Personality Disorder is characterised by a pattern of insecurity in personal relationships, strong emotions, a negative self-image, and impulsivity. A person with borderline personality disorder may go to tremendous measures to avoid being abandoned, including attempting suicide many times, displaying inappropriately extreme rage, and experiencing persistent feelings of emptiness.
Histrionic Personality Disorder: A pattern of excessive emotion and attention seeking is referred to as histrionic Personality Disorder. People with histrionic Personality Disorder may feel uncomfortable when they are not the centre of attention, manipulate their physical appearance to attract attention, or have fast changing or exaggerated emotions.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Narcissistic personality disorder is characterised by a craving for adulation and a lack of empathy for others. A person with narcissistic Personality Disorder may have an inflated sense of self-importance, a sense of entitlement, or a lack of empathy.
Cluster C personality disorders are characterised by a high level of worry and terror. They are as follows:
Avoidant Personality Disorder: A pattern of severe shyness, feelings of inadequacy and extreme sensitive to criticism are known as avoidant Personality Disorder. People with an avoidant personality disorder may be hesitant to become engaged with others unless they are positive they will be liked, fearful of being criticized or rejected, or believe they are not good enough or socially incompetent.
Dependent Personality Disorder: Dependent Personality Disorder is characterised by a need to be looked after, as well as subservient and clinging conduct. People with a dependent personality disorder may find it difficult to make everyday decisions without the support of others, or they may feel uneasy or helpless while alone due to a worry of not being able to care for them.
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder is characterised by an obsession with order, perfection, and control. A person with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may be too focused on details or routines, work excessively and leave little time for leisure or friends, or are morally and ethically rigid.
What causes Personality Disorders?
Personality refers to the unique blend of ideas, feelings, and actions that characterises a person. It’s how a person perceives the world, comprehend it, and react to it, as well as how to see their self.
Genes: Parents may pass on some personality traits to child through inherited genes. These characteristics are referred to as person’s temperament.
Environment: This refers to the environment, in which person grew up, as well as events that transpired and interactions with family and others.
A combination of these genetic and environmental factors is assumed to be the cause of personality disorders. Person genes may predispose to having a personality disorder, and a major incident may accelerate the disorder’s emergence.
Who do personality disorders affect?
A personality disorder may affect anyone. However, different forms of personality disorders have distinct effects on people.
People who are designated male at birth are more prone to have antisocial personality disorders. Borderline, histrionic, and dependent personality disorders are more likely to affect women than men.
The most common personality disorders are borderline personality disorder (BPD) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
What are the symptoms of personality disorders?
Each of the ten categories of personality disorders has its unique set of symptoms and indicators. However, in general, personality disorders entail issues with:
Identity and sense of self: People with personality disorders typically lack a clear or consistent picture of them, and how they view themselves fluctuates depending on the environment or the people they’re with. Their self-esteem may be exaggeratedly high or exaggeratedly low.
Relationships: Because of their problematic beliefs and actions, people with personality disorders find it difficult to build deep, stable relationships with others. They may be emotionally disconnected, lack empathy or regard for others, or be extremely demanding of attention and care.
Another defining feature of personality disorders is that most persons with them have little to no understanding or self-awareness of how their beliefs and behaviours are harmful.
How are personality disorders treated?
Personality disorders are among the most challenging psychiatric conditions to cure. This is mostly due to the fact that persons with personality disorders do not consider their conduct to be troublesome, hence they seldom seek therapy.
Even if a person with a personality disorder wants therapy, contemporary medicine still lacks therapeutic alternatives – there are presently no drugs permitted to treat any personality disorder. However, there are drugs that can assist with anxiety and depression symptoms, which are frequent in persons with personality disorders.
However, psychotherapy (talk therapy) can aid in the treatment of personality disorders. Psychotherapy refers to a wide range of therapeutic strategies aimed at assisting in identifying and changing troublesome emotions, ideas, and behaviors. The following are the primary aims of psychotherapy for the treatment of personality disorders:
- Immediate suffering, such as anxiety and sadness, can be reduced.
- assisting the individual in understanding that their difficulties are internal and not the result of other individuals or events
- Reducing harmful and socially unacceptable behaviour.
- Changing the personality qualities that are producing problems.
There are several sorts of psychotherapy, and each personality condition necessitates a distinct type.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association. (2013).