People living with a diagnosis of a personality disorder have patterns of engagement and thought patterns that are significantly different from the norms of society. These differences can cause social problems and make it difficult to maintain relationships. The symptoms of a personality disorder can vary depending on the type of personality disorder you may be living with, but some common symptoms include:
- Feeling like your thoughts and feelings are not your own
- Feeling like you have to be perfect
- Difficulty trusting others
- Difficulty expressing your emotions in a healthy way
- Having trouble maintaining relationships or keeping jobs because of personality issues.
Clinicians have identified three distinct clusters of personality disorders to further categorize them and their pathologies.
Cluster A Personality Disorders
These personality disorders are characterized by odd or eccentric thinking and behavior. People living with traits of cluster A personality disorders often have difficulty relating to others and may be seen as strange or eccentric.
The three personality disorders in this cluster are paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder.
Cluster B Personality Disorders
These personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, emotional, and erratic thinking and behavior. People living with traits of cluster B personality disorders often have problems with impulse control and can be seen as unstable or even explosive.
The three personality disorders in this cluster are antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder.
Cluster C Personality Disorders
These personality disorders are characterized by anxious and fearful thinking and behavior. People living with traits of these personality disorders often have difficulty controlling their emotions, which can lead to avoidance of social situations or extreme over-control.
The three personality disorders in this cluster are avoidant personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder.
What Causes Personality Disorders?
Causes of personality disorders are not fully understood. It is believed that personality disorders can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as a family history of personality disorders and stressful childhood experiences including trauma. The specific cause and effect are not easy to identify and impossible to predict. The mechanism that causes them appears to consist of a genetic predisposition that is then triggered by an experience or environmental event.
Who is at Risk For Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders tend to occur more often in people who have a family history of mental health problems. People who are high-functioning or who are living with a diagnosis of a personality disorder that is not too severe may be less likely to seek help, which can lead to long-term problems.
At what age do personality disorders develop?
Personality disorders typically develop in early adulthood, but they can also start to develop during adolescence.
How is a personality disorder treated?
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for personality disorders. Treatment may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. It is important to find a doctor or therapist who is familiar with personality disorders and has experience treating them. A personality disorder is more likely to respond well to treatment when it is treated early.
How do personality disorders affect relationships?
Personality disorders can cause problems in many areas of life, including relationships. People living with a diagnosis of a personality disorder often have trouble controlling their emotions, which can lead to problems in relationships. These people may also be less likely than others to seek help for personality disorders.
Remember, no page on a website will ever be able to diagnose you, and human beings are very bad at diagnosing themselves. Even mental health professionals seek the guidance of other professionals instead of diagnosing themselves. Don’t mistake advice on a website for advice from a doctor or clinician.
If you think you might have traits of a personality disorder, get in touch with a professional who can help. If you or someone you love is struggling and need help, find out if Lightfully is a good fit for you.