Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in with others around you? Or like you don’t understand how to interact with others? If so, you may be experiencing signs of a personality disorder. A personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. It can cause you to struggle with interacting with people, forming relationships, and managing your emotions.
What Are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders are divided into three clusters, A, B, and C.
Cluster A Personality Disorders
- Paranoid personality disorder (PPD)
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
Cluster A personality disorders involve odd or eccentric thinking. People with PPD may be suspicious of others and mistrustful, while those with schizoid personality disorder may feel disconnected from other people and prefer to be alone. Lastly, those with schizotypal personality disorder may have trouble conversing with others and have odd beliefs and ways of thinking.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
- Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
Cluster B personality disorders involve dramatic or overly emotional behavior. People with ASPD may be manipulative or deceitful, while those with BPD may be impulsive and have drastic mood swings. Those with a histrionic personality disorder may be overly dramatic and attention-seeking, while those with NPD may have an inflated sense of self-importance and be overly self-centered.
Cluster C Personality Disorders
- Avoidant personality disorder (AvPD)
- Dependent personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)
Cluster C personality disorders involve anxious or fearful thinking. People with AvPD may be overly shy and feel inadequate, while those with dependent personality disorder may rely heavily on others for support. Lastly, those with OCPD may be rigid and have trouble with change.
What Causes Personality Disorders?
The exact cause of personality disorders is unknown. Research suggests that genetics, environment, and life experiences may play a role in their development.
What Are the Symptoms of Personality Disorders?
The symptoms of personality disorders vary depending on the type of disorder. Common symptoms may include:
- Difficulty forming relationships with others
- Intense and inappropriate emotions
- Difficulty managing emotions
- Trouble with decision-making
- Trouble with problem-solving
- Low self-esteem
- Impulsive behavior
- Avoiding social situations
- Mood swings
- Feelings of emptiness
- Excessive need for approval
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional.
How Are Personality Disorders Diagnosed?
Your doctor or mental health professional will ask you about your symptoms, medical history, and family history to diagnose a personality disorder. They may also use tests and assessments to help with the diagnosis.
How Are Personality Disorders Treated?
Personality disorders can be treated with psychotherapy and medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help you learn how to manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It can also help you identify harmful behavior patterns and develop healthier ones. Medication can also be used to help manage symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers to help manage your symptoms.
Living with a Personality Disorder
Living with a personality disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to manage it. It’s important to practice self-care and find healthy ways to cope with your symptoms. Learning how to manage your emotions and interact with others can also help. It’s also important to find support. Talking to a mental health professional or joining a support group can help you manage your symptoms and provide you with a sense of community.
Personality disorders are mental health conditions that can cause difficulty with relationships and managing emotions. There are three clusters of personality disorders, and the symptoms can vary depending on the type. Treatment for personality disorders usually involves psychotherapy and medication. It’s also important to practice self-care and find support. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of a personality disorder, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional.