Studies have suggested that around 1%-6% of people suffer from cluster B personality disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 9.1% of the population in the United States have a personality disorder.
What are cluster B personality disorders?
Personality disorders are a type of mental disorder in which the affected person has a rigid pattern of thinking, functioning, and behaving. Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, unpredictable, and overly emotional thinking and behavior.
Cluster B personality disorders are further divided into subtypes:
Antisocial personality disorder
People with antisocial personality disorder often have no concern for the needs or feelings of people around them, including their family members. Characteristics of the disorder include:
- Harsh treatment of others
- Persistent lying
- Frequent cheating
- Repeated violation of others’ rights
- Aggressive, often violent behavior
- Impulsive behavior
- Irresponsible behavior
Borderline personality disorder
People with borderline personality disorder often fail to maintain stability in personal relationships. Signs include:
- Impulsive and risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex or substance abuse
- Constant mood swings
- Fear of being alone or being abandoned
- Feelings of emptiness
- Frequent, intense displays of anger
- Stress-related paranoia
- Suicidal tendency
Histrionic personality disorder
People with histrionic personality disorder often try to gain attention from others. They can become excessively dramatic or even sexually provocative to achieve this. Typical characteristics include:
- Having strong opinions, but without factual details
- Excessive concern about their looks
- Easily influenced by others
- Shallow emotions that rapidly change
- False perception of intimacy
Narcissistic personality disorder
People with this personality disorder often feel that they are superior to others. Characteristics include:
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism
- Preoccupation with fantasies of power and success
- Exaggeration of achievements
- Need for constant praise and admiration
- Envy of others
What causes cluster B personality disorders?
Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of factors that shape your personality during childhood:
- Genes. Genes that may play a role in your personality traits are passed down from your parents or grandparents to you.
- Environment. The environment you grew up in, your family and friends, and the events that occurred in your childhood play a major role in personality development.
While it is still unclear what exactly causes cluster B personality disorders, studies suggest that both genes and environment play a role. A family history of mental illness or an abusive childhood can increase a person’s risk of developing a personality disorder in adulthood.
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Cailhol L, Pelletier É, Rochette L, et al. Prevalence, Mortality, and Health Care Use among Patients with Cluster B Personality Disorders Clinically Diagnosed in Quebec: A Provincial Cohort Study, 2001-2012. Can J Psychiatry. 2017;62(5):336-342. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28403655/
Bienenfeld D. Personality Disorders. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/294307-overview
National Institutes of Health. Personality Disorders. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/personality-disorders
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