woman having personality disorder

Personality disorders are characterized by unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns. The disorderly functioning induced by the condition may impair school or workplace relationships. Severe impairments can also promote substance abuse and 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 responses to perceived abuses, and holding grudges.

Schizoid personality disorder

(SPD). SPD is characterized by isolating behaviors, a limited range of emotional expression, an inability to pick up social cues, seeming disconnected, unengaged, or indifferent to others, and lacking 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, faith in hidden messages, and suspicion 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, and manipulative behaviors.

Borderline personality disorder

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

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD)

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

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

NPD is characterized by a need to be admired, a sense of superiority, a lack of empathy or compassion, expecting constant praise, arrogance, taking advantage of others, and 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, being overly shy, lonely,

Dependent personality disorder (DPD)

DPD is characterized by being needy, excessive dependence on others, fear of fending for oneself, submissive toward others, lack of self-confidence, must always be in a relationship, tolerating abusive behavior, doesn’t speaking up for self.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

OCPD differs from OCD, which is in the anxiety spectrum. OCPD is obsessed with achieving perfection, does not delegate responsibilities to others, puts work ahead of relationships and leisure, is rigid and stubborn, miserly with money, and seeks 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

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

How we treat Personality Disorders

The diagnosis of the type of condition determines treatments for personality disorders. Although, in most cases, treatment involves psychotherapy combined with medication.


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


Several psychotropic medications can help alleviate the symptoms of personality disorders, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-anxiety medications or mood stabilizers.

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