Cluster A personality disorders in a loved one: What you should know and how you can help
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Cluster A personality disorders in a loved one: What you should know and how you can help

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A personality is made up of a variety of aspects, including a person’s traits, values, passions and emotions. And no two personalities are exactly alike. But what if someone close to you has a personality that has overwhelming negative and unhealthy aspects? They may be dealing with a personality disorder, such as a Cluster A personality disorder.

Read on to learn about the ins and outs of Cluster A personality disorders, from the different types to possible treatments to how you can help a family member or friend who may be struggling with one.

The basics of Cluster A personality disorders

There are 10 types of personality disorders and they’re separated into three categories: Cluster A, B and C. Personality disorders are common in adults, with a prevalence rate of 9.1% in U.S. adults.

Cluster A personality disorders refer to unusual or eccentric behavior and thinking. These can often result in a person struggling to form social connections.

In nearly every country, Cluster A personality disorders are the most common of the three clusters for people with personality disorders. Cluster A disorders have a prevalence estimate of 3.6% based on the sample sizes in a research study.

3 types of Cluster A personality disorders

There are three different types of personality disorders that fall into Cluster A, and they center around an unusual mindset that can cause emotional distress and interfere with healthy socialization. 

The three Cluster A personality disorders, and a few of their key symptoms, are: 

Paranoid personality disorder:

  • Trust issues
  • Unjustified suspicion of others’ actions
  • Perception of remarks as personal attacks

Schizotypal personality disorder:

  • Unusual patterns of behavior, speaking or thinking
  • Unusual perceived experiences, such as hearing voices
  • Belief that they have powers, such as the ability to influence other people or events

Schizoid personality disorder:

  • Preference for being alone
  • Lack of emotional expression
  • Inability to pick up social cues

How Cluster A personality disorders are treated

Nearly every mental health disorder, including personality disorders, is most effectively treated with psychotherapy and medications. By speaking with mental health providers, your loved one can get the treatment they need to learn how to live with their Cluster A personality disorder while getting medication prescriptions to alleviate their symptoms throughout their day-to-day routines. Even though there aren’t medications specifically targeted toward personality disorders, they may be prescribed antidepressants or mood stabilizers to reduce their sadness, irritability and anger that may be connected to a Cluster A disorder.

Psychotherapy will allow them to explore their personality disorder from every angle and learn how to cope with the symptoms. Therapy for Cluster A personality disorders can range from one-on-one sessions to group therapy with others living with the same disorder. 

There are specified types of therapy that their mental health provider may recommend. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on being aware of one’s thought patterns in order to have better control over them.

How you can help a loved one with a Cluster A personality disorder

It’s difficult to see someone close to you struggling with a mental health issue like a Cluster A personality disorder. But besides helping find them the professional mental help that they need, there are ways for you to be there for them as emotional support:

  • Be patient — It’s natural to want to immediately bombard your loved one with questions about their emotions and issues, but people with mental health disorders like a Cluster A disorder won’t often open up at your insistence. Give them time and let them know that you’re there for them whenever they’re ready to talk or need help.
  • Vocalize your support — People with a Cluster A personality disorder will often feel like they’re all alone and like there isn’t a chance of improving their negative mindset. When you let them know that you’re proud of the progress that they have made and the effort they’re putting into their mental health journey, they may give themselves some credit and keep working to improve.
  • Be aware of your language — Take note of how you talk to someone when you’re seeing symptoms of their Cluster A personality disorder. Try to substitute “you” statements for “I” statements. For instance, instead of saying, “You upset me,” say, “I felt upset when …” You want to ensure that they don’t feel attacked or accused of something negative. 

Lightfully Behavioral Health can help with your loved one’s Cluster A personality disorder

Cluster A personality disorders can have long-lasting effects on a person’s social relationships, as well as their personal and familial relationships. It can also interfere with their ability to work with others in their workplace. But we’re here to help.

Change is possible. When your loved one is ready to take the first step with their Cluster A personality disorder, have them reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of them.


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