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Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a disorder in which the individual's personality traits combine in such a way as to create distress in life and in ways that deviate from the culturally accepted norm. Through life, your personality may change as you learn from various experiences and grow as an individual, but with personality disorders the individual often finds it hard to change and faces distress from their disorder. Personality disorders most affect the person with the disorder, as they will often feel tortured by it and the traits associated with the disorder may make it harder for their family and friends to spend time with them.

Personality disorders can be broken down into odd-ecentric personality disorders (paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder), dramatic-erratic personality disorders (antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histronic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder), and anxious-fearful personality disorders (avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder). 

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In the odd-ecentric personality disorders, individuals may feel suspicious towards other people, have no urge to form relationships with others, think they have special powers, and have intense mood swings. On the other hand, people with dramatic-erratic personality disorders may always want to be the center of attention, be perceived as selfish, and act impulsively and recklessly. Lastly, people with anxious-fearful personality disorders may think everyone is better than them, feel like they are isolated and lonely, need others around them and to help them make decisions, or be a perfectionist constantly seeking control and order.

Being diagnosed with a personality disorder can often lead to stigmitization and negative perceptions from society, therefore diagnosis should only be made when there are no other factors that may influence the person's personality, such as a traumatic incident. Other conceptualizations of personality also exist, such as the Five-Factor Model and dimensional models, which seek to explain personality by grouping personality traits in a more broad and positive light. 

Treatments for personality disorders can include cognitive-behavior therapy, dialectical-behavior therapy, and group therapy. Much of the psychotherapy treatments focus on teaching the individual skills to challenge their deep-rooted beliefs, feelings, and thought patterns, and ways in which they can positively build healthy relationships with others.


Icon photo credit: Julian Burgess

Categories within Personality Disorders

Odd-Eccentric Personality Disorders

Postings: 7

The odd-eccentric personality disorders include paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders, involving feelings of mistrust and detachment.

Dramatic-Erratic Personality Disorders

Postings: 20

Antisocial, borderline, histronic, and narcissistic personality disorder make up the dramatic-erratic personality disorders, which are characterized by attention seeking, lack of empathy, and instability.

Anxious-Fearful Personality Disorders

Postings: 5

Neediness to be cared for by others, perfectionism, control, and feeling like you're not good enough are associated with the anxious-fearful personality disorders, including avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

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