What Are Personality Disorders and Do I Have One?

Published April 17, 2019 by:

What is a Personality Disorder?

A personality disorder is a distinctive set of inflexible and unhealthy traits, patterns, and behaviors that influence our overall character. Our personality affects how we perceive the world, our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings. People with a personality disorder have deeply ingrained beliefs of the world that narrow their view and find difficulty coping with normal stressors or connecting with others.

Types of Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are characterized in three types, or clusters. Cluster A, the first category of personality disorders is represented by odd or eccentric behavior. Cluster B is represented by dramatic, emotional, or erratic behavior. The third type, cluster C, is represented by anxious, fearful behavior. The symptoms of each personality disorder can range in their degree, from mild to severe.

Personality Disorders

There are many different kinds of personality disorders. We have reviewed the ten personality disorders, and encourage everyone to do further research to identify any other information they may need. We have put together a list of the personality disorders and some of their indicators.

Cluster A:

Schizoid Personality Disorder

  • Introverted
  • Withdrawn
  • Solitary
  • Emotionally cold
  • Distant
  • Absorbed with their own thoughts and feelings
  • Fearful of intimacy or closeness with others
  • Try to stay socially and emotionally detached from others
  • Indifferent to praise or criticism
  • “Daydreamer”
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder

  • Interpreting others’ behavior as deliberately threatening or demeaning
  • Untrusting, unforgiving
  • Prone to anger and aggressive outbursts without justification
  • Perceive others as unfaithful, disloyal, condescending or deceitful
  • Believe people are out to get them
  • Guarded, secretive, scheming
  • May appear emotionally “cold” or excessively serious
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder

  • Has a pattern of peculiarities
  • Odd or eccentric manners of speaking or dressing
  • Strange, outlandish, or paranoid beliefs and thoughts
  • Difficulty forming relationships
  • Experience severe anxiety in social situations
  • Can react inappropriately or have no reaction during conversations
  • May talk to themselves frequently during conversations
  • Display signs of mysticism, saying they can see into the future or read other people’s minds
  • Cluster B:

    Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • Common among alcoholics and addicts
  • Act out their conflicts
  • Ignore normal rules of social behavior
  • Impulsive
  • Irresponsible
  • Can come off as callous
  • Commonly has a history of legal issues and belligerent behavior
  • Aggressive and even violent relationships
  • Seemingly have no respect for other people
  • Feel no remorse for the effect of their behaviors on others
  • Pattern of manipulating others
  • Reckless disregard for yourself and others
  • Pleasure-seeking behavior
  • “The rules don’t apply to me”
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Unstable in: interpersonal relationships, behavior, mood, and self-image
  • Abrupt and extreme shifts in mood
  • Conflicted interpersonal relations
  • Unstable and fluctuating self-image
  • Unpredictable
  • Self-destructive actions
  • Difficulty with sense of identity
  • Experience the world in extremes
  • View others as either “all good” or “all bad”
  • May form close bonds with others, only to dissolve the bond after a perceived slight
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Self-injurious behavior (self-harm like intentional cutting, burning, suicidal gestures)
  • Impulsive actions
  • Feelings of boredom or emptiness
  • Bouts of intense, unjustified anger or uncontrollable
  • Black and white thinking
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder

  • Pattern of excessive emotionality
  • Extreme attention-seeking behavior
  • Use physical appearance to gain attention of others
  • Flirtatious, inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative interactions with others
  • Lack a sense of self-direction
  • Often act submissively to retain attention of others
  • Continuously demand to be the center of attention and become depressed when they are not
  • Lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, theatrical
  • Often dress or act in a way that sexualizes themselves
  • Want to impress others and often are preoccupied with their physical appearance
  • Expression of emotion is exaggerated
  • Emotions can rapidly shift and can be turned on/off quickly
  • Speak dramatically, expressing strong opinions with few facts or details to support their definitive opinions
  • Easily influenced by others and current trends
  • Too trusting, especially of authority figures
  • Believe authority figures may solve all their problems
  • Believe relationships are closer than they are
  • Actions motivated by instant gratification
  • Play the victim role
  • Control their significant other using seduction and emotional manipulation while becoming dependent on the partner
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  • Exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Absorbed in fantasies of limitless success
  • Attention-seeking
  • Oversensitive to failure
  • Often plagued by somatic symptoms
  • Prone to extreme mood swings between self-admiration and insecurity
  • Tend to exploit interpersonal relationships
  • Manipulative
  • Usually don’t feel guilt
  • Have a hard time/complete lack of admitting fault
  • Cluster C:

    Avoidant Personality Disorder

  • Hypersensitive to rejection
  • Unwilling to become involved with others unless they are confident that they will be liked
  • Extreme social discomfort
  • Timid
  • Fear of criticism
  • Avoidance of social or work activities that involve interpersonal contact
  • Fearful of saying something considered foolish or stupid by others
  • Worried they will show expressions of embarrassment
  • Worried they will cry in front of others
  • Excessively hurt by any disapproval by others
  • May have no close relationships outside of family members
  • Upset about their inability to relate well to others or connect
  • Avoid conflict at all cost
  • Dependent Personality Disorder

  • Exhibit a pattern of dependent and submissive behavior
  • Rely on others to make decisions for them
  • Require excessive reassurance and advice
  • Easily hurt by criticism or disapproval
  • Feel uncomfortable and helpless when alone
  • Devastated when a close relationship ends
  • Strong fear of rejection
  • Lack self-confidence
  • Avoids any independent activities
  • Need other people’s company to a severe degree
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

  • Conscientious
  • High levels of aspiration
  • Strive for perfection
  • Never satisfied with their achievements
  • Constantly take on more and more responsibilities
  • Reliable, dependable, orderly, methodical
  • Inflexible
  • Incapable of adapting to changed circumstances
  • Highly cautious
  • Weigh all aspects of a problem
  • Extreme attention to detail
  • Difficult for them to make decisions and complete tasks
  • Often feel a sense of isolation and helplessness
  • Strictly controlling
  • “It has to be done my way”
  • Personality disorders are an indicator of thoughts, feelings, and behavior. If you would like to know if you have a personality disorder, please consult the above symptoms and seek a medical professional to decipher what criteria you meet. In our drug rehab, we perform an assessment to evaluate guests for any personality disorders or other co-occuring disorders.

    Personality Disorder Styles

    You may have a personality disorder “style” without having the full-blown personality disorder. This is true if you could identify with some of the symptoms of a personality disorder, without identifying with the majority of them. Personality disorder styles will still influence your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, but to a lesser degree than if you were to have a personality disorder.

    If you would like to further explore personality disorders, please follow this link to take a personality disorder test. This test offered by PsychCentral will score you for the ten personality disorders mentioned above. Keep in mind that your test results do not reflect a diagnosis. You will need to be assessed and evaluated by a psychologist in order to reach a diagnosis.

    How To Treat

    Personality disorders are treated with intensive therapy. Behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are especially helpful in treating those with a personality disorder. Our addiction treatment uses proven effective methods of treatment, like intensive therapy including behavioral therapies. Many of those who struggle with substance abuse, alcohol or drug addiction and substance use disorders, often have a dual diagnosis of a personality disorder. Our comprehensive addiction treatment programs at Royal Life Centers include: medical detox, a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), an intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Royal Life Centers is experienced in treating those with an addiction and other mental disorders, using proven effective methods of treatment and only the best practices.

    References:
    “Personality Test.” Psych Central.com, psychcentral.com/personality-test/start.php.

    Mental Health America. “Personality Disorder.” Mental Health America, Mental Health America, 12 Sept. 2017, www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/personality-disorder.

    Skodol, Andrew. “Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) – Psychiatric Disorders.” Merck Manuals Professional Edition, Merck & Co., May 2018, www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/personality-disorders/histrionic-personality-disorder-hpd.

    If someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to our addiction specialists at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

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