Types of Personality Disorders
Mental Health

Types Of Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are mental disorders that affect how you think, feel, and behave. They are a group of conditions that cause you to act in ways that aren’t typical for most people. There are many different personality disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. However, some common symptoms include regulating emotions, thinking differently than most people, and behaving impulsive or risky ways. If you think you may have a personality disorder, it’s important to see a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. Here are the types of personality disorders.

Borderline Personality Disorders

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood. People with BPD may be highly emotional and sensitive and struggle in their relationships. It is estimated that 1.6 percent of adults in the United States have BPD.

People with BPD tend to be very impulsive, and they struggle with trust issues. They may engage in risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating. They also tend to have mood swings and episodes of intense anger. It is also common for people with BPD to cut themselves, complain of chronic pain, or attempt suicide.

The exact cause of BPD is unknown, but it is linked with environmental and genetic factors. For example, studies have shown that people who experience child abuse or neglect are more likely to develop BPD. In addition, twin studies have found that the identical twin of a person with BPD has a 40 percent chance of also having the disorder.

Symptoms of BPD include:

• Fear of abandonment

• Distorted self-image

• Unstable relationships

• Suicidal ideation

• Impulsivity

Narcissistic Personality Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines a narcissistic personality disorder as a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

People with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this arrogance lies a fragile self-esteem, which is vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and other areas of their life, such as work or school.

Narcissistic personality disorder typically manifests at an early age and leads to significant distress or impairment. People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when not given the special favors or admiration they believe they deserve. As a result, they may find their relationships unfulfilling and experience a chronically empty feeling inside.

Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:

• Believing that you’re better than others

• Exaggerating your achievements or talents

• Expecting constant praise and admiration

• Thinking that you’re special and acting accordingly

• Inability to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings

• Perceiving others to go along with your ideas and plans

Antisocial Personality Disorders

People with antisocial personality disorder, the most severe of the cluster B personality disorders, have a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by:

• Lack of regard for right and wrong

• Complete disregard for the rights of others

• Persistent lying or stealing

• Agitation and aggression, often shown as violence, cruelty to animals or other people

• Relationship difficulties, including frequent fights or assaults

An antisocial personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and other areas of their life, such as work or school.

Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder may include:

• Disregard society’s laws or social norms

• Frequently engaging in behaviors that could lead to arrests, such as fighting or stealing

• Being unable to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home

• Repeatedly performing acts that could lead to injury, such as driving recklessly

• Lack of remorse

• Being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person.

• Lying or conning others for personal profit or pleasure

• Frequently getting into arguments with authority figures

• Blaming others for their own mistakes or misbehavior

Borderline Personality Disorders

People with borderline personality disorder have a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions. In addition, people with borderline personality disorder tend to react with intense emotions that last a short time impulsively.

• People with a borderline personality disorder may have an inappropriately intense reaction over seemingly small matters from a sense of instability in self-identity and relationships with others.

• Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

• A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

• Identity disturbance: significant and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

• Impulsively in potentially self-damaging ways, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, or reckless driving.

• Recurring suicidal behavior, gestures or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

• Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

• Chronic feelings of emptiness

• Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

• Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Dependent Personality Disorder

People with dependent personality disorder have a pattern of needing to be taken care of that begins by early adulthood, is present in various contexts, and causes significant problems functioning.

• Excessive need to be taken care of that leads you to allow others to make important decisions for you

• Lack of self-confidence and problems standing up for yourself

Symptoms may include:

• Difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others

• Excessive need to be taken care of that leads you to allow others to make important decisions for you

• Preoccupation with fears of being left to take care of yourself; feeling helpless, hopeless, and weak; difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount.

• Difficulty expressing disagreement with others due to fear of loss of support or approval

• Reluctance to take personal risks or engage in any new activities because they may lead to criticism

• Preoccupation with fears of being left to take care of yourself; feeling helpless, hopeless, and weak; difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.

• Pessimism about the future

• Feelings of helplessness or excessive need to be taken care of that leads you to allow others to make important decisions for you

• Excessive need for approval and recognition

 

Personality Disorder Treatment

Currently, there is no specific treatment for personality disorders. Instead, therapists use different therapies to treat symptoms associated with personality disorders, including signs of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Types of therapy used to treat personality disorders include:

• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

• Mentalization-based Therapy (MBT)

• Schema-Focused Therapy (SFT)

• Transference Focused Psychotherapy (TFP)

• Multisystemic Therapy (MST)

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