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What are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?

There are several types of personality disorders. Some, such as paranoid personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, are familiar to many, but these are not the only diagnoses treated in a mental health treatment program. Whether well-known or otherwise, millions of Americans of all ages live with personality disorder symptoms that may make accomplishing day-to-day tasks challenging.

What is a Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are described as a category of mental health conditions characterized by unhealthy feelings and behaviors. Because there are several types of personality disorders, symptoms present differently from person to person and depending on their diagnosis. People with a personality disorder often exhibit rigid or inflexible behavior and thought patterns. It is not uncommon for someone with a personality disorder to struggle significantly with relationships. They will often have difficulties forging new relationships and maintaining existing ones.

Day-to-day stressors are also challenging to manage in ways that others, such as employers, family, or friends, find acceptable because the individual with the personality disorder finds their actions ok or “normal,” whereas others see them as socially unacceptable. This often leads to a common symptom of personality disorders called blame-shifting.

The person with the personality disorder may blame their social and personal challenges on others rather than consider they could be linked to a deeper problem. Blame-shifting behavior frequently causes significant problems in academic, personal, or employment environments. Without help and treatment, someone who struggles with a personality disorder will find they struggle with social and personal relationships.

What are the Causes of a Personality Disorder?

The root causes of personality disorders remain largely unknown. Despite ongoing and extensive research, these mental health challenges remain some of the least understood or recognized mental health disorders. Current studies suggest several factors, including genetics, substance use disorders, and trauma history, may contribute to personality disorder development. To date, there is minimal evidence to suggest personality disorders are present at birth; however, certain genetic factors may contribute to an elevated risk for their development as one gets older.

What are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?

When you seek help for a mental health concern, the first step in treatment is generally an assessment. Members of your treatment team will ask questions about your symptoms to learn more about your specific needs. The DSM-5 or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provides specific diagnostic criteria for mental health providers to reference when assessing the severity of mental health or substance use disorders. In the DSM, personality disorders are separated into three clusters. Some people may experience symptoms from one cluster, whereas others may have symptoms from two or all three.

Cluster A: Suspicious

Cluster A personality disorders are those with symptoms connected to one’s opinions or thoughts about others. When someone has a cluster A personality disorder, they are often considered odd or eccentric. This cluster contains three diagnoses; paranoid personality disorder, schizotypal disorder, and schizoid personality disorder.

Cluster B: Emotional and Impulsive

Cluster B personality disorders consist of symptoms connected to how one treats or acts towards others. This cluster of disorders also focuses on symptoms concerning how the individual believes they compare to (relate to) others). Cluster B personality disorders generally contribute to unpredictable, emotional, or dramatic behavior. This cluster includes four diagnoses, including antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Cluster C: Anxious

This cluster of personality disorders focuses on symptoms related to how a person feels in their environment or relationships with others. Someone with a cluster C disorder will often act or behave anxiously or fearfully. Three diagnoses comprise cluster C, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), avoidant personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder.

How to Find Treatment for Personality Disorders

People with personality disorders do not often choose to seek help at a treatment center like Relevance Recovery. For this reason, many who struggle with symptoms will avoid seeking help to understand their emotions and how to take the first steps towards wellness. The unwillingness to acknowledge symptoms or seek help often holds true until their symptoms begin to interfere with their day-to-day lives. It is not uncommon for someone with a personality disorder, regardless of which type, to feel threatened by others, so voluntarily seeking out help feels counterintuitive and challenging what they think is “normal.”If you or a loved one struggles with a personality disorder, it is vital to seek treatment to manage your symptoms. The very nature of personality disorders makes acknowledging the need for help challenging. However, without the support and guidance provided at Relevance Recovery, symptoms will only worsen with time, making a recovery more complex and challenging. As part of treatment, you will also learn how to cope with triggering events or situations to manage emotions and challenges in the future better. Let our experienced and supportive staff help you take the first steps on your recovery journey. Reach out to our admissions team today for more information about our treatment programs in Freehold, NJ.

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