Could a Personality Disorder Be at the Root of Your Loved One’s Behaviors?

personality disorder

Personality disorders are mental health conditions that involve disruptive patterns of thinking, behavior and mood. These patterns are unhealthy and cause significant distress in how a person functions and interacts with other people. There are ten personality disorders in total. 

Because personality disorders are somewhat common (about 9 percent of people have one), and they can lead to other problems like substance use, it’s important to address these conditions. People who have personality disorders are generally unaware of how their behavior affects others, so they can be difficult to spot.

Let’s learn more about the different personality disorders and what causes them. Medications and mental health therapy in Princeton NJ are the most effective ways to treat these disorders. 

Different Types of Personality Disorders 

There are ten personality disorders, organized in clusters. 

Cluster A personality disorders 

Cluster A personality disorders involve odd or eccentric thinking and behaviors. They include: 

  • Paranoid personality disorder. The main symptom of this disorder is paranoia. People with this condition often believe others are trying to harm them.
  • Schizoid personality disorder. This condition is characterized by a consistent pattern of detachment. People with this disorder tend to have a limited range of emotions. 
  • Schizotypal personality disorder. This personality disorder involves odd or eccentric behaviors. These individuals tend to have few, if any, close relationships. 

Cluster B personality disorders 

People with Cluster B personality disorders often display intense, unstable emotions and impulsive behaviors. These disorders include: 

  • Antisocial personality disorder. ASPD causes people to show a lack of respect toward others. They don’t follow socially accepted norms, so they may break the law or cause harm to others. 
  • Borderline personality disorder. People with BPD have trouble managing their emotions, resulting in low self-esteem, mood swings, impulsive behaviors and trouble in relationships.
  • Histrionic personality disorder. HPD is marked by intense, unstable emotions and a distorted self-image. For people with this disorder, their self-esteem depends on what others think of them.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder. This condition involves an excessive need for praise, a lack of empathy for others and perceived superiority. These behaviors often stem from low self-esteem. 

Cluster C personality disorders 

Cluster C personality disorders are rooted in deep fear and anxiety. They include: 

  • Avoidant personality disorder. People with this condition feel inadequate and are highly sensitive to what others think of them. They tend to avoid social situations for fear of rejection.
  • Dependent personality disorder. This condition is characterized by a constant need to be cared for by someone else. People with this condition often have a hard time making decisions and need constant reassurance.
  • Obsessive compulsive personality disorder. OCPD involves a consistent need for orderliness, perfectionism and control that can interfere with daily life. 

Are Personality Disorders Common? 

Roughly 9 percent of adults in the U.S. have at least one personality disorder, with symptoms typically appearing in the teen years. Borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder are most common. 

There are a number of factors that may raise the risk for developing a personality disorder such as genetics, brain changes, childhood trauma and abuse. If a personality disorder is not recognized and diagnosed, it can put a person at risk for other problems such as substance use. 

The only way to know if someone has a personality disorder is by receiving a medical diagnosis. Other mental health disorders can mimic the signs of a personality disorder, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, personality disorders can be difficult to diagnose because the person often doesn’t know how their behaviors affect others. 

Access Behavioral Therapy in New Jersey 

If you believe that your loved one is struggling with a personality disorder that has led to other problems like gambling or excessive social media use, contact CTRLCare Behavioral Health. We offer mental health therapy in New Jersey, with the goals of learning healthy ways to manage symptoms and reduce behaviors that interfere with healthy functioning.