Personality Disorders

Personality disorders |types |causes |treatment

personality disorder

The person who faces a personality disorder struggles with great difficulties in dealing with the surrounding people. Such a person remains rigid, inflexible, and he is also not able to respond to the changes and the necessary demands of life.  A person who struggles with a personality disorder usually has a narrow perspective of the world and he also feels difficulty or resistance to take any part in social activities

Therefore, you have to know about what personality disorders are and how they affect a person’s life. Before we go further, let us know about what is a personality.


Personality is a distinctive set of enduring behavioral and mental traits, and a pattern that makes up our individuality or character and these traits distinguish humans

The way you view the world, your thoughts, feelings,  and attitude are all part of your personality. Personality has vast impacts on an individual life. If you have a healthy personality, you will be able to deal with normal stresses and face no trouble in making relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

personality disorders

Personality disorders are complex mental health conditions characterized by rigid and unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, functioning, and feeling

Personality disorders usually occur in the teenage years during early adulthood.

Is personality disorder common?

Yes, personality disorders are common and are among the most common and acute mental disorders. Personality disorders often begin with other mental illness, as substance abuse disorder, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. An estimated figure shows that almost 10 to 13 percent of the world’s population suffer from various personality disorders.

Some personality disorders are common in women, such as histrionic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. And others are more common in men, such as antisocial personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Mostly, people in prison are also diagnosed with some form of personality disorder.

Different types of personality disorders

Personality disorders have many recognized types, each with its pattern of behavior and symptoms. These types are grouped into three clusters with several types of personality disorders in each of the three clusters.

Cluster A (Odd)

People who suffer from these personality disorders often seem peculiar or odd. Cluster A personality disorder includes:

Paranoid Personality Disorder

People with paranoid personality disorder are prone to anger or aggression and often burst out without any justification, as they are unfaithful, untrusting, and unforgiving and perceive others as having the same traits

Schizoid Personality Disorder

People with this disorder are introspective, distant, detached, and are often indifferent to any kind of social relationship. They tend to be reluctant in forming relationships with family and even have no desire for intimacy with others.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder sufferers are best described by a set of peculiarities. Such people have odd beliefs, are superstitious, display unusual behavior, thinking and appearance. They also claim that they can look into the future or read other people’s minds, thus they exhibit signs of magical thinking.

Cluster B (dramatic)

This category is characterized by dramatic, extra emotional, or unpredictable thinking and behavior. These include:

Antisocial Personality Disorder

People with antisocial personality disorder, tend to treat others harshly, characteristically execute their conflicts, ignoring the normal rules of social behavior. Such people may lie, steal, thus often commit serious crimes and have no remorse over their acts.

Borderline Personality Disorder

People with this personality disorder despite having family support often feel abandoned and empty. They are unstable in many areas such as self-image, mood, interpersonal relationships, and behavior.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with histrionic personality disorder frequently attempt to gain more attention. They do this by being excessively dramatic or sexually provocative

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People with this disorder exhibit an exaggerated sense of self-importance, superiority and often preoccupied with success and power. They often tend to exploit the interpersonal relationship.

Cluster C (anxious)

The people who experience these disorders are often nervous or fearful. Anxious personality disorders are:

Avoidant Personality Disorder

People with this disorder often hypersensitive to rejection, have feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, or unattractiveness. They usually avoid social contact because of their excessive concern about being embarrassed, or harshly judged by others.

Dependent Personality Disorder

Such people with this disorder display a pattern of dependent and submissive behavior, feelings of helplessness, and unfitness to make any decision. They lack self-confidence, so they never or rarely initiate any project and cannot do things independently. They often tolerate physical and verbal abuse

Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder

This disorder is marked y a pattern of rigidness, perfectionism, orderliness, and control, have a strong fear of making mistakes. They are extremely cautious, look at all aspects of an issue, and even give attention to every little detail, and such things make it difficult to make decisions and progress in a task.

causes of personality disorders

There is no obvious cause of why some people develop certain kinds of feelings and behaviors which can be associated with personality disorders, and others do not. Researchers suggest the following possible causes of personality disorders:

  • Experiences of early life
  • Genetics factors
  • Social environment and circumstances
  • Verbal abuse

Thus, personality disorders are considered to be caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. One thing to remember is that personality disorder develops over time, you cannot say a person suddenly comes down with a personality disorder.

Symptoms of a personality disorder

Symptoms of a personality disorder vary from one disorder to another and depend on the type of the disorder. These symptoms and signs can be mild or severe.

How personality disorders are diagnosed

To diagnose a personality disorder in a person, it is important to understand the differences between the style of one’s personality, and the personality disorder. This difference can be determined by assessing the functions of the personality of a person in a certain area such as,

  • Relationship
  • Work
  • Self-recognition
  • Feelings
  • Consciousness of reality
  • Control on impulse
  • Behavior

Your primary care or mental health provider may execute some blood tests to know whether your present medical condition is causing these symptoms. A screening test for alcohol and drugs may also be performed. If the doctors still found no physical reason behind the symptoms, then you might be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist who is a specialist in diagnosing and treating mental illness.

Treatment of personality disorders

Treatment of personality disorder depends on the particular disorder, its severity, and the life situation you are facing. It can include:


Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, helps in handling personality disorders. Psychotherapy with your health professional helps you to learn about your condition, cope with stress and manage your personality disorder

Psychotherapy has different types. In dialectical behavior therapy, group and individual session are held where you will learn to tolerate stress and improve your relationships. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, you will be taught how to change the patterns of negative thinking, which makes you cope with everyday challenges in a better way.


The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any specific medications to treat personality disorders. Many people with personality disorders also possess other mental health diagnoses, likes anxiety, depression and, therefore, they may be prescribed some medications for such illness.

The medications include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics,anti-anxiety, or antidepressant medications.


At present, there is not a single way to prevent personality disorders, only you can lessen various related problems with treatment. As soon as you notice any appearance of the symptoms, try to seek help, and this help will certainly decrease the disruption to your life, and family.

How to help a person with a personality disorder?

If your close one has suspected of a personality disorder, you should have to encourage him to take help. Such a person might get angry or defensive, but it is important for you not to indulge in any type of arguing with the sufferer. Rather than that, you have to focus on expressing your feelings and showing your concerns for the behavior of the person. Only your cooperation, friendly and supportive voice can help your close one to pass through that difficult time of crisis.

     Written By: Sonia Saba

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