A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which one has a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble relating to situations and to people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.
There are three different clusters of Personality Disorders; A, B, C
Cluster A Personality Disorders
Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd, eccentric thinking or behavior.
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
Cluster B Personality Disorders
Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior.
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
Cluster C Personality Disorders
Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful thinking or behavior.
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Your genes and environment are two main factors that play a role in personality development. Personality disorders can stem from factors in your environment or can be passed down from your parents.
Signs & Symptoms
Some general signs and symptoms of a personality disorder would be:
- Distorted ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events
- Lack of control of intensity and appropriateness of emotional responses
- Odd or eccentric thinking or behavior
- Dramatic and overly emotional
- Unpredictable thinking or behavior
- Anxious or fearful thinking or behavior
If you are experiencing these symptoms and it is prohibiting normal function in everyday life you should consider seeking help.
Who is at Risk?
Although there is no specific factor that is known to cause personality disorders, there are other factors that may trigger or increase an individual's risk of developing one. These include:
Family history of personality disorders or other mental illness, low level of education and lower social and economic status, verbal, physical or sexual abuse during childhood, neglect or an unstable or chaotic family life during childhood, being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder, or variations in brain chemistry and structure.
Treatments may very depending on your specific personality disorder. Treatment for personality disorders can last months to years because they are a long lasting disorder. Depending on the severity of your personality disorder and how manageable it is, you may need psychotherapy, medication and in severe cases hospitalization or residential treatment programs. Medications such as anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, and anti-anxiety medication often help people with personality disorders.
If you suspect that you or someone you love may have a personality disorder call Horizon today to set up an assessment (434) 477-5000