Understanding Personality Disorders: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Plans For Adults

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Personality disorders come in different forms. That’s why it is important to understand what they are and be able to distinguish one from the other. This guide will go over the signs and symptoms of common personality disorders many people may go through. We’ll also go over the treatment plans for each one. If you or someone you know that may be dealing with personality disorders, getting the right help is your best option. If you need more information, you can find out in Absolute Awakenings.

Let’s take a look now at this in-depth guide to help you understand personality disorders.

What is a personality disorder?

Personality disorders are defined as specific mental health conditions affecting your thinking, mood, and behavioral patterns. These will last a long period of time. According to experts, there are a total of ten different personality disorders that exist (each with their own distinct characteristics and symptoms).

Personality disorders can affect your daily life whether you’re at home or at work. It can also affect your relationships that are personal and professional. One of the greatest issues for those dealing with a personality disorder is that they may be unaware of the behavior they are exhibiting and its impact on other people.

That’s why it is important for someone who may be experiencing a personality disorder to be seen by a professional as soon as possible.

What are the personality disorders that exist?

All 10 types of personality disorders are categorized into three different clusters. The clusters are A,B, and C. Let’s discuss each of these clusters and include the personality disorders involved.

Cluster A personality disorders

People with Cluster A disorders can be experiencing thinking or behaviors that are eccentric or unusual. The following disorders are considered Cluster A:

  • Paranoid personality disorder: Its main sign is paranoia. Persons may experience an amount of suspicion or distrust of other people with no prior reason. They believe other people may be harming or threatening them without explanation.
  • Schizoid personality disorder: This features patterns of general disinterest and detachment from interpersonal relationships. They may display a small range of emotions when they are in a social situation with other people.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder: This includes patterns of discomfort that are a bit more intense than others. This is coupled with the low need for close relationships. People with this disorder may experience unusual behaviors and may have a distorted view of reality.

Cluster B personality disorders

Of the three clusters, Cluster B has the most personality disorders. Its common behaviors are erratic and dramatic. Unstable and intense impstions are also common as our impulsive ones.

 These are the following Cluster B personality disorders:

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD): This features behaviors that may cause them to physically or emotionally harm others. They can also display a lack of respect or follow anything that is considered socially respectable. They will also disregard the negative consequences and choose not to hold themselves responsible for their negative actions.
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD): This includes low self-esteem, impulsive behaviors, difficulty maintaining relationships, and poor regulation of emotions.
  • Histrionic personality disorder: Histrionic personality disorder features unstable emotions along with a self-image that is distorted. Their self-esteem levels are dependent on other people (especially validation from others). They have a desire to be noticed by others, albeit at a higher level. It can get to a point where they may display behaviors that are considered inappropriate and dramatic to acquire that attention.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD): Persons with NPD will often have patterns of grandiosity and superiority that is consistent. They also need praise and admiration (and it goes into excess). They have little to no empathy for other people. Those with NPD may have developed this due to having a lack of self-confidence along with consistent levels of low self-esteem.

Cluster C personality disorders

Fear and anxiety are the centerpieces of Cluster C disorders. The following are classified in this category:

  • Avoidant personality disorder: Those who constantly feel like they are not enough and are very sensitive to judgment will likely experience this disorder. They avoid social interactions to avoid such judgment, despite their desire to socialize and connect with others.
  • Dependent personality disorder: A person with this disorder will have a constant need to be cared for by another person (even to the point of excess). It’s common for someone with this disorder to display submissiveness while seeking reassurance from others all the time. They will not have the ability to make their own decisions. They may be close to someone and will invest their time and energy to appease them.
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD): Also known by its shorter acronym of OCD, people with this disorder will have an intense need to keep everything in order and make it look perfect. They have no room for error. This can also affect relationships, both personal and professional.

Treatment for personality disorders 

Before a treatment begins, it’s important for someone to be officially tested by a professional for a personality disorder. A psychiatrist or psychologist will be able to do this test by asking a series of questions that can cover your history (personal and professional), impulse control, relationships, and others.

Once a test reveals that a person does have a personality disorder, treatment will be outlined. Talk therapy is one of the cornerstones of a successful treatment plan for almost every mental health disorder including those affecting one’s personality.

Please note that there is no specific medication treatment that is approved for treating personality disorders. However, anxiety and depression are often common symptoms. Therefore, if you are dealing with consistent anxiety and depression, consider medication as part of your treatment.

Final Thoughts

Personality disorders exist in their own unique way. We hope that this guide has been helpful in identifying the type you or someone else may have. This guide should not be a substitute for an official diagnosis by a mental health professional.

Make sure you set an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist as soon as possible. This can answer any questions you might have regarding which personality disorder you may be dealing with. Treatment and managing it is possible if you are able to follow through with what your mental health professional recommends.

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