A personality is an individual's mode of thinking, feeling, interacting, and behavioral tendencies that diverses them from other people. During the developmental stages of life, someone's personality is greatly influenced by various experiences, environmental circumstances (where they grew up, their lifestyle), and hereditary characteristics. Typically, once a person has fully developed, their personality never changes. A personality disorder may cause turmoil and restlessness at home, work, and school causing the person to have difficulty functioning in society over time.
What are Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders tend to be long-term patterns, habits, internal experiences that significantly veer from cultural expectations. These patterns of behavior, experience, and social interactions typically begin to occur during the late stages of adolescence and continue into early adulthood. In most cases, someone suffering from a personality disorder may have difficulty functioning normally and experience a decline in their mental health. If left untreated, they can last a lifetime with severe symptoms. In nearly all cases, personality disorders affect people in two or more of these areas:
- Complex self-image or view of others
- Emotional response to certain situations
- Social interactions
- Behavioral tendencies
Over time the symptoms of a personality disorder may place a significant impact on the individual's mental health and physical well-being. It can affect the way they interact in society, work, and school performance, while also taking a toll on close friends and family. In psychology, there are usually three types of personality disorders that house their own subtypes.
What are the 3 types of Personality Disorders?
The three types of personality disorder deal with the emotional effect and mental health of the person. These are characterized by their types of behavior, emotional state, and how they experience anxiety, fear, and depression. Some personality disorders are closely associated with psychosis and emotional suppression, while others are more closely tied to overexpression of emotions and uncontrollable bouts of sadness, depression, and panic. The three categories for personality disorders include: suspicion, emotions and impulse, and anxiety.
What Are The 10 Personality Disorders?
Within the three categories for personality disorder, there are ten specific types.
Paranoid personality disorder: this type of personality disorder is a heightened suspicion or paranoia of people who are close to you or near you as being mean, spiteful, or dangerous. People who struggle with a paranoid personality disorder may assume that others wish them harm or deceive them.
Schizoid personality disorder: Schizoid PD is the pattern of being detached from society or your emotions. It is common for those with schizoid to be reclusive and impartial to relationships, community, and praise or criticism.
Schizotypal personality disorder: is commonly characterized by uncomfortability in close relationships, warped patterns of thought, and odd behavior. People with a schizotypal personality disorder may have eccentric beliefs, act or speak strangely, or suffer from extreme social anxiety.
Antisocial personality disorder: is typically misunderstood as shyness or uncomfortability in social settings. However, a person with an antisocial personality disorder may be disorderly, violate personal rights, and may exhibit patterns of deceit and impulsive behavior.
Emotions & Impulse
Borderline personality disorder (BPD): is an emotion-based personality disorder. It can greatly affect the way someone views themselves, their relationships with others, emotional control, and impulsive behavior. Oftentimes someone with a borderline personality disorder may fear being alone, suffer from major depression and suicidal tendencies, while also feeling helpless and angry.
Histrionic personality disorder: is a disorder an impulse disorder associated with a distorted view of self. Those with a histrionic personality disorder will often seek to be the center of attention and go to extremes with their appearance and actions in order to draw attention to themselves.
Narcissistic personality disorder: similar to histrionic PD, narcissism is characterized by an excessive need for admiration from others while lacking empathy. Their perception of self may be exaggerated and may seek to take advantage of or emotionally abuse others.
Avoidant personality disorder: is a pattern of anxiety regarding feelings of inadequacy, failure, ignorance, shyness, and inability to accept constructive criticism. Common traits of avoidant personality disorders include: avoiding personal interactions, obsessive thoughts over ridicule or rejection, and feelings of failure and ineptitude.
Dependent personality disorder: manifests as an uncontrollable need for being cared for and provided for. Many people with a dependent personality disorder can have trouble making decisions for themselves, being alone, and believe they are incapable of taking care of themselves. In some cases, this may present itself as excessive clinginess or inappropriate submissive behavior.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD): differs from what most people believe to be obsessive-compulsive disorder. Unlike OCD, OCPD is an excessive dependence upon routine, schedules, and control in daily life. This can manifest in many ways but is commonly associated with tendencies such as: working excessively, hyperfocus over details and schedules, perfectionism, and unchanging beliefs and values. Long term, OCPD can significantly impact a person's mental health, relationships, and physical health as they hardly have time for rest or leisure.
What is the Most Common Personality Disorder?
Some studies have shown that Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is the most common of the personality disorders. According to a recent study by Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience "... .the most common personality disorder in the United States is presently obsessive-compulsive personality (7.9%), followed by narcissistic [personality](6.2%) and borderline personality disorders (5.9%)."
What Causes a Personality Disorder?
As stated above, someone's personality is determined by a combination of internal thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors. It is what makes individuals unique. A person's personality determines how they interact (view, understand, and relate to) in society and how someone perceives themselves. During childhood, your personality will develop as a result of genetics and your environment. These two factors include any hereditary traits or biological/chemical imbalances within your body as well as anything that may have occurred, any relationships you had with family and friends, and even your surroundings.
Personality disorders are believed to develop out of these two factors. If biologically you have inherited negative personality traits, they may contribute to your disorders. Other situations may include any past traumatic events: physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; natural disasters, family deaths, or any other events or situations that may affect your mental health.
Treatment for Personality Disorders:
Treatment for personality disorders can include various forms of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy seeks to help an individual learn more about their disorder, what may be at the root of their symptoms, any other mental health-related issues, as well as help them learn how to appropriately discuss their emotions, thoughts, and behavior. This not only is educational in how they can learn to better understand themselves, but can also aid in teaching them how their actions affect other people. Psychotherapy can also help people with personality disorders learn to properly cope with their condition, avoid triggering situations, and help them learn how to build healthy, functional relationships with others.
Each person will have their own unique struggles. No two treatments will ever look the same. Therapy is determined by the specific kind of personality disorder, the severity of the disorder, how long the person has been struggling, and their current circumstances. Unfortunately, there are currently no medication-assisted treatments available to treat personality disorders. However, some people find relief with certain drugs that help with depression, anxiety, or mood stability. In severe cases, treatment may include medical treatment, psychiatric and psychological therapy, and family therapy.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a personality disorder, Transformations Treatment Center is here to help. We offer professional individualized care to ensure the comfort, safety, and future well-being of each client.