Personality Disorders: Comprehensive Analysis

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Personality Disorders: Comprehensive Analysis

Overview:

Personality disorders are the result of mental illness that uniquely impacts personality traits, which leads the person to behave in bizarre and destructive ways and significantly disrupts that individual's important areas of life. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), has recognized 10 diagnosable personality Disorders. An individual diagnosed with any personality disorder has difficulty in understanding and associating with other people and circumstances. People with personality disorder might blame others for their own difficulties as their own way of behaving and thinking is natural according to them, and others are not understanding them.

Types:

According to DSM-5, there are three clusters or groups of personality disorders, characterized on the basis of their similarities, which are listed as follows:

Cluster A

The personality disorders in this group are combined together due to their bizarre and odd features. These personality disorders impair relationships and the behavior can be understood as detached, peculiar or suspicious.

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder: People diagnosed with this disorder are suspicious of everyone (like, their own family, friends, etc.) around them and think that other might be using them.
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder: People experiencing this disorder, portray solitary and aloof behavior. They are withdrawn, are distracted by their own fantasies and don't have any significant relationships.
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder: People diagnosed with this disorder show strange appearance, behavior, beliefs, speech and have issues in building relations with others.

Cluster B

The personality disorders in this group are organized by unpredictable and dramatic behaviors. These personality disorders can make an individual either feel deep emotions or that individual may be involved in severly promiscuous, unlawful, theatrical and impulsive behaviors.

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder: Unlike most personality disorders, people with this personality disorders show its symptoms in childhood itself. People with this disorder portray lack remorse for others and disregard social norms and rules.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: It is specified by unstable emotions, self-image, interpersonal relationships, and hasty behaviors.
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder: It is associated with extreme emotionality and attention seeking behavior which is not approved by society. 
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: It is characterized by magnified self-image, self-centeredness, and disregard of empathy for others, which is usually due to underlying vulnerable sense of self.

Cluster C

The personality disorders in this group are associated with anxiousness. People with these disorders are fearful and/or feel anxiety pervasively.

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder: It is specified by people who stay socially inhibited and avoid everyone due to fear of being criticized and being inadequate.
  • Dependent Personality Disorder: It is characterized by doing things that make others care of the person, because they are afraid of being alone.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: It is associated with being absorbed in perfection, orderliness, and control in relationships.

Symptoms:

Personality disorders continue for years and often occur around adolescence or young adulthood years, they can create a lot of distress in people's life. People experiencing personality disorders usually don't identify their concerns, they are often irritated and confused towards people around them. Individuals with symptoms of personality disorders can create conflicts with others, influences their social circumstance, goals for life and relationships.

Particular symptoms in personality disorders are divided into 2 categories:

Self-identity concerns, consisting of:

  • Unsteady self-image
  • Variability in appearance, values, and goals

Interpersonal issues, consisting of:

  • Inconsiderate towards others
  • Trouble in understanding boundaries in between themselves and others
  • Overemotional, detached, abusive, irresponsible or unstable styles of relating

 

Causes & Risk Factors:

There is no clear-cut list of causes but psychiatrists believe that both environmental and genetic factors play a significant role. Family history and environmental situations together can act as trigger in the progress of personality disorders. Past childhood trauma and verbal abuse can also be connected with personality disorders. Greater responsiveness in children, involving sensitivity to noise, texture, light and other stimuli has also been associated to some personality disorders.

Treatment:

Many professionals feel that treatment for personality disorder is tough as they are long-established personality patterns. However, several evidence-based treatments for personality disorders that are effective. These treatments are as follows:

  • Decreasing symptoms and subjective distress
  • Supporting people to realize that aspects of their concerns are internal to them
  • Modifying socially unreliable and maladaptive behaviors, like, social isolation, recklessness, lack of assertiveness, and outbursts of temper
  • Altering traits that are problematic in nature, like, distrust, manipulativeness, arrogance and dependency
  • Psychotherapeutic approaches, like, psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, mentalization-based therapy, and family therapy
  • Medications, like, antidepressants, antipsychotic, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications
  • Developing coping skills, like, being actively involved in your treatment, practising self-care activities, and educating yourself about your concern and its treatment course. 

 

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Psychologs Magazine

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