Personality disorders is a classification of mental health disorders that feature unhealthy patterns of thoughts and behaviors. The disordered functioning that results from a personality disorder can cause serious impairment in work, relationships, or school and can lead to social isolation or substance use disorders. Most personality disorders emerge during the teen years or in early adulthood.
Personality disorders are grouped into three clusters or types. These include:
Paranoid personality disorder (PDD). PDD features distrusting and suspicious thoughts about others motives or actions, paranoid thinking, misperception of remarks as personal insults, angry response to perceived insults, holds grudges.
Schizoid personality disorder (SPD). SPD is characterized by isolating behaviors, a limited range of emotional expression, unable to pick up social cues, seeming disconnected, unengaged, or indifferent to others, lack of interest in sex or personal relationships.
Schizotypal personality disorder (STPD). STPD features social anxiety, strange style of dress, speech, and behaviors, inappropriate emotional responses, belief you can influence people with your thoughts, belief in hidden messages, suspicious toward others.
Antisocial personality disorder (APD). APD features a disregard for rules, impulsivity, a lack of remorse when they hurt or offend others, irritability, aggressive behavior, manipulative behaviors.
Borderline personality disorder. Characterized by a mood swings, fragile self-image, fear of abandonment, feelings of emptiness, impulsive and high-risk behaviors, angry outbursts, self harming behaviors or suicide attempts, unstable relationships, fragile self-image.
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD). HPD features attention seeking behavior, overly dramatic outbursts, sexually provocative behaviors, obsessed about appearance, easily influenced by others, opinionated and hyperbolic, shallow.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is characterized by a need to be admired, a sense of superiority, a lack of empathy or compassion, expect constant praise, arrogant, takes advantage of others, have exaggerated sense of self.
Avoidant personality disorder (APD). APD features an avoidance of social situations due to excessive fear of rejection, lack of friendships, overly shy, lonely,
Dependent personality disorder (DPD). DPD is characterized by needy, excessive dependence on others, fear of having to fend for oneself, submissive toward others, lacks self-confidence, must always be in a relationship, tolerates abusive behavior, doesn’t speak up for self.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). OCPD differs from OCD, which is in the anxiety spectrum. OCPD features obsessive about achieving perfection, do not delegate responsibilities to others, puts work ahead of relationships and leisure, rigid and stubborn, miserly with money, seek to control others.
Causes of Personality Disorders
The exact cause of personality disorders is unknown, however certain factors are said to be involved in their development. These include:
Genetics. Certain personality traits or a family history of personality disorders or mental illness can be linked to developing a personality disorder.
Childhood abuse. An abusive or unstable home in childhood can result in a personality disorder.
Childhood conduct disorder. Being diagnosed with a conduct disorder in childhood can be a precursor to a personality disorder.
Brain chemistry. A chemical imbalance may contribute to a personality disorder.
Treatment of Personality Disorders
Treatment for a personality disorder will be determined by the specific disorder that is diagnosed, however in most cases treatment interventions will include some form of psychotherapy and medication:
Psychotherapy. The primary purpose of psychotherapy in treating personality disorder is to help the individual learn to access coping skills, stress reduction techniques, and social skills to better manage the symptoms of the disorder. Psychotherapy can be provided in individual sessions or group sessions.
Medication. There are a variety of psychotropic medications that can help mitigate symptoms of a personality disorder. These might include antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, anti-anxiety medications, or mood stabilizers.
Residential and Outpatient Treatment for Personality Disorders
Contact Elevation Behavioral Health to learn more about the treatment programs available and options. Call our Admissions Team at 888-561-0868.