What Is an Example of a Personality Disorder?

Medically Reviewed on 2/16/2022

10 types of personality disorders

personality disorder
Here are ten types of personality disorders, which often affect a person’s personal relationships and functioning in society.

Personality disorders are a group of psychological behavioral patterns that are markedly different from what is considered acceptable or healthy behaviors. These disorders often affect a person’s personal relationships and functioning in society.

There are 10 documented patterns of a personality disorder, which include:

  1. Borderline personality disorder: It is often seen in people who have a fear of abandonment and poor self-image. Such people often have a pattern of unstable relationships and are self-destructive, prone to intense emotional outbursts, and often mislabeled “dramatic” or drama queens. A person with a borderline personality disorder may have repeated suicide attempts, have ongoing feelings of emptiness, and is prone to depression or bipolar disorder.
  2. Antisocial personality disorder: Such behavior is often seen in habitual criminals. These individuals disregard or violate the rights and privacy of others.
  3. Avoidant personality disorder: A person with an avoidant personality disorder is extremely shy, has self-esteem issues, and has a pattern of extreme sensitivity to criticism. People with avoidant personality disorder avoid social gatherings and are often preoccupied with their own thoughts.
  4. Narcissistic personality disorder: It is a pattern in which a person has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. People with a narcissistic personality disorder often lack empathy for others. They display a sense of entitlement and take advantage of others.
  5. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: It is a pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfection, and control. This differs from obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is a type of anxiety disorder. A person with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is distraught when their schedules are disrupted. They are overly focused on details, numbers, or schedules; have obsessive thoughts that threaten their mental peace, or may be inflexible in their morality and lifestyle choices.
  6. Schizoid personality disorder: It is a pattern in which a person is detached from social relationships and expresses little emotion. Such a person does not seek close relationships, wants to be alone, and seems to not care about praise or criticism from others.
  7. Dependent personality disorder: It is a pattern in which a person needs to be mothered. Such individuals often exhibit submissive and clingy behavior. They often have difficulty making daily decisions without reassurance and may feel helpless when alone or need to take care of themselves.
  8. Histrionic personality disorder: It is a pattern often seen in people who love to seek attention. They may be uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention, and they resort to drama and sensationalism to draw attention to themselves and often display shifting or exaggerated emotions.
  9. Paranoid personality disorder: It is a pattern of being suspicious of others for no apparent reason. Individuals with a paranoid personality disorder often see the world as mean or spiteful and often assume people will harm or deceive them and don’t confide in others or become close to them.
  10. Schizotypal personality disorder: It is a pattern of having eccentric behavior and being very uncomfortable in close relationships. A person with a schizotypal personality disorder may have excessive social anxiety. They may lack or exhibit inappropriate emotions.

4 causes of personality disorders

Personality disorders are often a combination of genetics and environment.

Studies report that these disorders develop as an amalgamation of the factors that include:

  1. Genetics and family history (Individuals with personality disorders may have a family history of the disorder or other mental issues.)
  2. Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood (Studies have reported that children whose parents hit them, screamed at them, or threatened to send them away often exhibited borderline, narcissistic, obsessive-compulsive, or paranoid personality disorders in adulthood.)
  3. Dysfunctional family environment and childhood neglect
  4. Coexistence of autistic disorders, learning disabilities, and other behavioral disorders

Certain positive factors can help prevent children from developing personality disorders. Even a single strong relationship with a relative, teacher, or friend can offset negative influences and help the child develop a healthy relationship and personality pattern.


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Are personality disorders treatable?

Personality behaviors are often nothing but unhealthy coping mechanisms people develop due to fear of abandonment, punishment, and poor self-image in childhood. These patterns can be unlearned over time with behavioral therapy and positive lifestyle modifications.

What is perhaps most important in such cases is “recognizing” deviant patterns and seeking help. The earlier the help is sought, the better are the chances of improvement.

Some of the commonly used types of psychotherapy to manage personality disorders include:

  • Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy: Here, the person is taught to recognize his behavioral patterns and explore how their reactions to present-day circumstances may be influenced by past events and trained to behave differently to their “stress.”
  • Dialectical behavior therapy: This is a “talk session” that is best suited for people who feel emotions very intensely. It aims to make them understand and accept their past and difficult feelings. They are taught tricks to manage them.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Here you are made aware of your “unhealthy patterns” and taught healthy coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety and phobias.
  • Group or family therapy: Individuals with similar types of issues come together and discuss their problems. Everyone then tells what makes them feel better or worse.

Some medications can help with your impulsiveness, addiction control, mood swings, insomnia, catastrophizing, and panic attacks although these may be prescribed only in extreme cases. Certain herbal supplements such as chamomile tea, passion fruit, almonds, and bananas may be helpful for stressful days or times.

In addition to actively participating in a treatment plan, some self-care strategies can be helpful for people with personality disorders, which include:

  • Physical activity: Physical activity in the form of jogging, walks, Pilates, swimming, and exercise can help manage many symptoms such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
  • Hobbies: Drawing, writing, painting, and gardening are great mediums of self-expression and dealing with repressed emotions, which manifest as deviant patterns and temper tantrums.
  • Avoidance of drugs and alcohol: Alcohol and illegal drugs can worsen symptoms or interact with medications aggravating your issues.
  • Diet: A healthy diet with complex carbs, nuts, fruits, and proteins often helps with a good mood.
  • Support group: Sharing your problems and talking about them always make people seem smaller.
  • Relaxation and stress management techniques: Breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation help with upset mood and anxiety.
  • Staying connected with family, nature, and friends: These are often the best therapy for mental health.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/16/2022
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