woman having personality disorder

Personality disorders are characterized by unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns. The disorderly functioning induced by the condition may impair relationships in school or the workplace. Severe impairments can also promote substance abuse and/or social isolation disorders.

Personality disorders typically manifest during early adulthood, particularly in the teen years. There are a variety of Personality disorders which can be categorized into three clusters.

Cluster A

Paranoid personality disorder

(PDD). PDD features distrusting and suspicious thoughts about others motives or actions, paranoid thinking, misperception of remarks as personal insults, angry response to perceived insults, holds grudges.

Schizoid personality disorder

(SPD). SPD is characterized by isolating behaviors, a limited range of emotional expression, unable to pick up social cues, seeming disconnected, unengaged, or indifferent to others, lack of interest in sex or personal relationships.

Schizotypal personality disorder

(STPD). STPD features social anxiety, strange style of dress, speech, and behaviors, inappropriate emotional responses, belief you can influence people with your thoughts, belief in hidden messages, suspicious toward others.

Cluster B

Antisocial personality disorder

(APD). APD features a disregard for rules, impulsivity, a lack of remorse when they hurt or offend others, irritability, aggressive behavior, manipulative behaviors.

Borderline personality disorder

Characterized by a mood swings, fragile self-image, fear of abandonment, feelings of emptiness, impulsive and high-risk behaviors, angry outbursts, self harming behaviors or suicide attempts, unstable relationships, fragile self-image.

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD)

HPD features attention seeking behavior, overly dramatic outbursts, sexually provocative behaviors, obsessed about appearance, easily influenced by others, opinionated and hyperbolic, shallow.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

NPD is characterized by a need to be admired, a sense of superiority, a lack of empathy or compassion, expect constant praise, arrogant, take advantage of others, have an exaggerated sense of self.

Cluster C

Avoidant personality disorder (APD)

APD features an avoidance of social situations due to excessive fear of rejection, lack of friendships, overly shy, lonely,

Dependent personality disorder (DPD)

DPD is characterized by needy, excessive dependence on others, fear of having to fend for oneself, submissive toward others, lacks self-confidence, must always be in a relationship, tolerates abusive behavior, doesn’t speak up for self.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

OCPD differs from OCD, which is in the anxiety spectrum. OCPD features obsessive about achieving perfection, do not delegate responsibilities to others, puts work ahead of relationships and leisure, rigid and stubborn, miserly with money, seek to control others.

What can cause a Personality Disorder?

Brain chemistry

A chemical imbalance may contribute to a personality disorder.

Childhood abuse

An abusive or unstable home in childhood can result in a personality disorder.


Certain personality traits or a family history of personality disorders or mental illness can be linked to developing a personality disorder.

Childhood conduct disorder

Being diagnosed with a conduct disorder in childhood can be a precursor to a personality disorder.

How we treat Personality Disorders

Treatments for personality disorders are determined by the diagnosis of the type of condition. Although, in most cases, treatment involves psychotherapy combined with medication.


The aim of psychotherapy in treating personality disorders is to have patients learn coping strategies, stress reduction methods, and improved social skills that can help them manage the symptoms better. Psychotherapy may be provided through individual as well as group sessions.


A number of psychotropic medications can help alleviate the symptoms of personality disorders, such as antidepressant, antipsychotic, and anti-anxiety medications or mood stabilizers

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