personality disorder

What Is This Personality Disorder?

It is a type of mental disorder which involves an unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning, and behaving. The patient may resist changes, have trouble perceiving and relating to different situations or people. It may also lead to problems and limitations in the person’s relationships, social activities, work, and school.


Some people don’t have any clue about its existence because they think that their behaviour and thought process is normal and may start blaming others for the changes they have to face.


The exciting fact is personality disorder starts to develop during teenage or early adulthood. A person’s personality is built through his experiences, environment, and inherited characteristics and remains the same over time. Such disorders also affect either any of the following parameter or all of them:-


  • How a person thinks about oneself and others
  • The way of responding to emotions
  • The way they relate to other people
  • Way of controlling their behaviour


Personality Disorder Types

There are various types of personality disorder. Psychiatrists have categorised it into ten different types that fall under three basic categories, such as:-


Personality Disorder Cluster A: Suspicious


  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder


Personality Disorder Cluster B: Emotional and impulsive


  • Borderline personality disorder(BPD)
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder


Personality Disorder Cluster C: Anxious


  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder(OCPD)


What Are The Symptoms Of Personality Disorder?

People suffering from any one of the personality disorders may also have signs and symptoms of either one of the other types of disorder. The symptoms of personality disorder can understand easily when they are categorised into its types, such as:-


Personality Disorder Cluster A: Suspicious

Personality disorder paranoid: People having this type of disorder are very distrustful of others and are very unsure about their motives.

  • Groundless believe that everyone is trying to harm or deceive them
  • Hesitate to confine in front of others thinking that they may use the confinement against you.
  • Such people tend to hold grudges.
  • They may consider innocent remarks or non-threatening situation as a personal insult
  • Baseless suspicion that their sexual partner is unfaithful.


Schizoid personality disorder: People suffering from such disorder show a lack of interest in personal relationships or while taking part in social interactions.

  • Such people are emotionally cold
  • Unable to take pleasure in most of the activities
  • Unable to pick up social cues
  • Appear to be cold and indifferent
  • Lack of interest in having sex with others


Schizotypal personality disorder: Such disorder makes the patient believe that they can influence others with their thoughts.

  • Such people have peculiar dressing sense, thinking, belief, speech, or behaviour
  • They show inappropriate emotional responses
  • They may have social anxiety and lack of comfort with close relationships
  • They have a false belief that any hidden messages meant only for them


Personality disorder antisocial: Such people manipulate or treat others harshly without expressing remorse for their actions.

  • The person may persistently lie, steal, and may have conning nature
  • Often show aggressive behaviour
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Consistency irresponsible
  • Such people may abuse alcohol or drug


Personality Disorder Cluster B: Emotional and impulsive

Personality disorder borderline: People suffering from such disorder usually feel empty and abandoned even after having family or community.

  • Unstable and intense relationships
  • Often experience mood swings during interpersonal stress
  • Such people fear being alone or emptiness
  • Risky behaviour


Personality disorder histrionic: People suffering from such disorders try to gain more attention than others.

  • Excessively emotional, sexually proactive, dramatic in order to gain attention.
  • Such people get easily influenced by others
  • Shallow in nature
  • Gets concerned with physical appearance


Narcissistic personality disorder: People with this disorder have a false belief that they are more important than others.

  • Have a tendency to fantasies their power, success, and attractiveness
  • Fails to recognise other need and feelings
  • Exaggeration of achievement or talent
  • Such people are arrogant

Also Read: A Disorder In Brain That Affects Child's Movement: Cerebral Palsy

Personality Disorder Cluster C: Anxious

Personality disorder avoidant: Such people often suffer from feeling inadequacy, inferiority, or unattractiveness.

  • Such people are susceptible to criticism and rejection
  • Tend to avoid work activities
  • Socially inhibited, timid and isolated, avoiding meeting new faces
  • They have a fear of disapproval, embarrassment or ridicule


Dependent personality disorder: In such disorder, people depend entirely on others for their emotional and physical needs.

  • People suffering from such disorder have a clingy behaviour towards others
  • Such people have a lack of confidence, need excessive advice, and usually depend on others even for making small decisions.
  • They may feel difficult in disagreeing with others
  • Such people are dependent on relationships and try to build a new one once the close one is ended


Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder(OCPD): People suffering from such disorders have an overwhelming need for order. 

  • Have rigid and stubborn behaviour
  • They might seem inflexibility about morality, ethics
  • They tend to neglect friends and enjoyable activities because of excessive commitment to work
  • Such people are addicted to extreme perfectionism and get distressed in case they are unable to achieve perfection.


What Causes Personality Disorders?

Personality development involves thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. These things are related to the outside world and the way a person sees himself. The process of development of the personality involves two primary parameters, such as:-

  • Genes: In most of the cases, certain things that add to a person’s personality is inherited from the parents through genes. These traits are also known as temperament.


  • Environment: Environment plays a vital role during the upbringing of the child. The environment includes surrounding where you grew up, incidents that occur in their life, and the relationship with the family members and others.


What Are The Risk Factors Involved In Personality Development?

The specific cause of personality disorder is still not known but there are certain factors that enhances the risk of developing personality disorders, such as:-

  • In case you have a family history of personality disorder or any other mental illness.
  • In case a child has to face abusive, unstable or chaotic behaviour during childhood.
  • If a child is diagnosed with any childhood conduct disorder
  • Some inappropriate distribution of chemicals in brain or in structure


Can Personality Disorder Be Treated?

The personality disorder treatment varies according to the seriousness of patient and the process usually involves, psychotherapy or medication, such as:-


  • Psychotherapy: Therapies, such as psychotherapy or talk therapy helps in managing personality disorder very well. In such therapies, the doctor helps the patient by talking about their problems and discussing their conditions, feelings, and thoughts. Doing so will provide the patient with insight to deal with their symptoms and behaviors associated with his day life.


Different types of psychotherapy involve their benefits accordingly, such as Dialectical behaviour therapy involves group and individual sessions which gives the patient's ability to tolerate stress and the understanding in order to improve relationships. Therefore, such therapy helps people turn their attention from negative thought processes into positive one by asking them to know corporate with everyday changes.


  • Medication: There is not any specific drug that helps in the treatment of personality disorder but some medications may help the patient in reducing the signs and symptoms of personality disorder, such as:-


  • An antidepressant that helps improve depressed mood and decrease or controls your anger or impulsivity.
  • Mood stabilizers that prevent mood swings and decrease irritability and aggression.
  • Antipsychotic medicines that are also known as neuroleptics that are beneficial for people who usually believe in reality.
  • Anti-anxiety medications, that helps in relieving complications such as anxiety, agitation, and insomnia.


Help People With Personality Disorder?

In case you know anyone suffering from personality disorder, help them initially by encouraging them to seek help. While doing so the person may feel offended and can get angry or defensive, but do not argue with the patient. 


Additionally you need to focus on expressing your feelings and voicing your concern about their behaviour. If you feel that the condition of the patient has become worse, you can contact 911. You can also help the person by informing him to his friends or families. 


In some cases the patient tries to harm himself, in such cases you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is active 24 hours. A friendly supportive voice can help the symptoms to reduce such fatal steps.