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Anxious-Fearful Personality Disorders

Cluster C personality disorders, those dealing with excessive anxiety and fear in an individual, are often characterised by an increasing social isolation of the sufferer and self-demoralizing thought patterns. They can be subdivided as follows:

Avoidant Personality Disorder

A sufferer of avoidant personality disorder finds their life crippled by the twin drives of a desire for acceptance and affection and a fear of rejection or ridicule. Their desperation to evade their isolation and shyness often results in over-thinking everyday social interaction to the point of becoming hypersensitive to rejection, resulting in ‘black and white’ thinking. They seldom risk new activities for fear of awkwardness or humiliation and may incur some mild depressive symptoms from self-enforced loneliness.

Dependent Personality Disorder

As its name would suggest, dependent personality disorder is characterised by an abundant dependency on others for care and validation. Sufferers exhibit extremely submissive behaviour and often rely on others to make decisions for them and become extremely anxious to replace broken relationships. Taking the initiative to do anything becomes a challenge for such a person and their clinging natures may result in harassment, imitation, emotional blackmail and even stalking.

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Although often confused with its cousin, OCD, OCPD is a separate disorder which revolves around an unhealthy obsession with perfectionism and order rather than ritualistic behaviours. Sufferers are usually rigid in their adherence to rules and schedules and find themselves constantly agonising over details and unable to trust anyone with delegated tasks. They also often display hoarding tendencies with money and worthless items and can become devoted to their tasks at the exclusion of all else.

All of the above are typically treated by a mixture of symptom-targeting psychotherapies like CBT, group sessions and sometimes specific medications.

 

 

References:

FPN (). Cluster C Personality Disorder. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.fpnotebook.com/psych/Behavior/ClstrCPrsnltyDsrdr.htm. [Last Accessed 11.12.13].

Out of the Fog (). Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). [ONLINE] Available at: http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/OCPD.html. [Last Accessed 11.12.13].

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