A personality disorder is a mental disorder where a person’s personality and thinking are unhealthy and rigid. Personality orders take years to develop and understand. Most people who have a personality disorder don’t even notice that they think strangely. However, personality disorders typically develop within the teenage years. There are three classifications for personality disorders. Technically, the phrase “personality disorder” is an umbrella term used to classify specific mood and personality disorders.
Types of Personality Disorders
Type A: In type A, the personality disorders are paranoid and eccentric. Individuals who have this are fearful and obsessive with their tendencies. Type A is quite similar to type C.
Type B: Type B personality disorders are dramatic and emotional. Some of these emotional disorders include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.
Type C: Type C personality disorders deal with anxiety and fear. Individuals who suffer from these personality disorders keep to themselves due to phobias. A few examples of type C are avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Causes of Personality Disorders
Currently, the exact causes are still speculated. However, they do depend on genes and the environment. There is an argument of whether this condition is nature-versus-nurture. However, individuals who have a family history of personality disorders are more likely to develop them. It also depends on the environments people are raised in. Individuals who have suffered from abuse, neglect, or other traumatic events are more likely to develop personality disorders to cope with the events.
Symptoms of Personality Disorders
Symptoms really depend on the exact type of personality disorder the patient has. However, a few of the more common symptoms are:
- Victim mindset
- Social anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts
- Distrust towards adults
- Overly emotional and mood swings
Diagnosis of a Personality Disorder
The only way to diagnose personality disorders is to talk to a psychiatrist. They can then ask the proper questions about symptoms and patients can vocalize their concerns, personality, thoughts, and behaviors. If the medical professional thinks that the individual may have a personality disorder, they can provide a questionnaire to compare with the diagnostic criteria in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
The diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5 is used in all mental health illnesses as an important part of the diagnosis. If the patient meets the criteria, the psychiatrist can diagnose them with a personality disorder and start both treatment and management.
How to Treat a Personality Disorder
There are two types of treatment available for people with personality disorders: behavioral therapy and medication.
During behavioral therapy, a person with a personality disorder can work alongside a professional to treat and manage the condition. In this space, they will come up with a treatment plan and find any changes that need to be made. For example, if they have a mood-centered personality disorder and suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts, the psychiatrist may recommend the patient try a new activity or write their thoughts out.
The patient and psychiatrist also create new techniques to manage symptoms. For instance, when feeling anxious or nervous, patients with personality disorders can learn to ground themselves using breathing techniques learned from their counselor or therapist.
For some people, therapy is not effective and they need something else to stabilize their emotions and symptoms. The two most common types of medications are antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Both of these medications alter dopamine levels by increasing them, which, in turn, decreases the chances of feeling depressed. They do come with side effects, however, and need to be taken as prescribed to be effective.
Management at Home
Most people with personality disorders live long and happy lives due to management techniques and lifestyle changes. Some of these changes are:
- Drinking more water
- Finding a community
- Educating themselves about the disorder
- What age group is at risk for personality disorders? The age group that commonly develops personality disorders is teenagers between the ages of 11 and 16. Although this age is when it starts, anyone can develop a personality disorder as a result of trauma or genetics.
- Why do personality disorders develop? Personality disorders develop because of either trauma from a person’s environment or because they have a parent or family member with the condition.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!