Let’s Talk About Personality Disorders
By Preeti, Clinical Psychologist
The unique and defining patterns of thinking, emotion, and behaviour that contribute to making up a person’s unique way of functioning in his physical and social environments are known as his personality.
Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions that can cause significant distress and interfere with a person’s ability to function in their daily life. In this blog, we will explore what personality disorders are, their symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
What are Personality Disorders?
According to DSM 5, 2013, A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.
They appear either extreme or major deviations from the typical person’s perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and especially relationships with others within a given society. These behavioural patterns are stable and frequently cover a wide range of behavioural and psychological functioning.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), classifies personality disorders into three clusters based on their characteristics:
Cluster A: These exhibit strange, unusual thoughts or behaviour. This group of disorders include schizotypal personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder.
Cluster B: Dramatic, emotional, or irrational thoughts or actions are characteristics of these. The disorders in this group include borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.
Cluster C: These are characterized by anxious or frightened thoughts or actions. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and avoidant personality disorder are among the disorders in this cluster.
Symptoms of Personality Disorders:
The symptoms of personality disorders vary depending on the specific disorder, but some common symptoms include:
- Persistent patterns of behaviour, thoughts, and emotions that deviate significantly from cultural norms
- Difficulty in maintaining relationships
- Difficulty in regulating emotions
- Impulsivity or reckless behaviour
- Fear of abandonment
- Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom
- Difficulty trusting others
- Hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection
Causes of Personality Disorders:
The exact causes of personality disorders are unknown, but there are several factors that are believed to contribute to their development. These factors include:
- Genetics: Personality disorders are thought to have a genetic component, as they often run in families.
- Environment: Traumatic experiences, such as abuse or neglect during childhood can increase the risk of developing a personality disorder.
- Brain Chemistry: Imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, can contribute to the development of personality disorders.
Treatment Options for Personality Disorders:
There are several treatment options available for personality disorders, including:
- Psychotherapy: The main form of treatment for personality disorders is psychotherapy, sometimes referred to as talk therapy. Different psychotherapy modalities, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and psychodynamic therapy, can aid people with personality disorders in learning coping mechanisms and enhancing interpersonal connections.
- Medications: The symptoms of personality disorders can be controlled with medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilisers. However, medicine itself is not an efficient treatment for personality disorders; instead, psychotherapy is typically combined with medication.
- Hospitalization: In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure the safety of the individual with a personality disorder and those around them.
Personality disorders can be challenging to diagnose and treat, but with the right treatment, individuals with these disorders can lead fulfilling lives and the right treatment you can get at MindPlus with the help of qualified and experienced mental health professionals.