The ‘dramatic-erratic-emotional’ cluster (also known as Cluster B) covers a range of personality disorders:
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Usually starting from early childhood or adolescence, a person with antisocial disorder has difficulty understanding socioemotional concepts such as empathy, remorse or concern for others’. Coupled with a typical inability to deal with their own frustrations and anger, it can lead to hostility or even aggression, as well as difficulty in sustaining relationships. There are many ideas on treatment for this disorder, most recommending some form or psychotherapy, self-help or hospitalization in serious instances.
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Borderline Personality Disorder
Characterised as a disorder of mood and interpersonal abilities, borderline personality disorder symptoms include: intense mood swings of anger, sadness and feelings of inadequacy; an inability to form stable relationships; disconnect from reality and tendencies that put themselves at risk. The latter may manifest as anything from unprotected sex to alcoholism to an eating disorder to physical self harm, and may even include suicide in extreme cases. Methods of treatment are many and varied.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
This disorder carries with it a fear of being ignored or forgotten - sufferers often dress or act in a provocative or attention-grabbing manner and feel distressed when out of the spotlight. They may affect an impressive range and depth of emotion over many issues but often lack sincerity in these displays and can be very egocentric, rash and shallow. Their tendencies for exaggeration and demand for intimacy can make the recommended psychotherapy challenging, but there are also medical treatments available.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A personal with narcissistic personality disorder experiences delusions of grandeur or inflated self-importance that can cause them to belittle or even exploit others in order to gain the status they believe they deserve. It includes a crippling need for admiration, often provoked by an intense fear in inadequacy, making healthy relationships hard. There is also a lack of empathy or patience for others’ weaknesses and extreme bitterness toward people they acknowledge as superior to them. Treatment usually consists of some psychotherapy such as CBT and drugs.
Family Practice Notebook (). Cluster B Personality Disorder. [ONLINE] Available at: www.fpnotebook.com/psych/Behavior/ClstrBPrsnltyDsrdr.htm. [Last Accessed 9.12.2013].
NHS (2010). Signs and Symptoms of Personality Disorders. [ONLINE] Available at: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Personality-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx. [Last Accessed 9.12.2013].