Personality disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by inflexible and maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. These patterns are pervasive and cause significant distress or impairment in functioning. There are ten types of personality disorders, and each one has its own unique symptoms and characteristics.
Let’s briefly cover the different personality disorders that exist, along with their causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Types of Personality Disorders
The DSM-5 recognizes ten personality disorders, which are organized into three clusters.
Cluster A personality disorders involve unusual and eccentric thinking and behaviors that make it difficult to have loving, trusting relationships. The disorders that fall under Cluster A are paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.
Cluster B personality disorders involve dramatic and erratic behaviors where people are likely to display unstable emotions and impulsive actions. Disorders that fall under Cluster B are antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
Cluster C personality disorders cause people to have intense anxiety and fear. They tend to behave in anxious or avoidant ways. Cluster C personality disorders include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).
What Causes Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders are often diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood. They can affect anyone – approximately 9 percent of adults in the U.S. have a personality disorder. The most common disorders are borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
Researchers believe that a combination of factors may contribute to the onset of a personality disorder. These factors include:
- Genetics. Researchers are finding that malfunctioning genes may be related to aggression, fear and anxiety.
- Brain changes. People with personality disorders have subtle differences in their brains, such as altered amygdala functioning.
- Childhood trauma. Trauma can change the brain, and there is a link between childhood trauma and the development of personality disorders. For example, people with BPD have higher rates of sexual abuse.
- Verbal abuse. People who experience verbal abuse are more likely to develop borderline, narcissistic or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Are Personality Disorders Treatable?
While personality disorders cannot be cured, they can be successfully treated. The first step is to acknowledge the signs and symptoms and seek professional help. Because personality disorders and substance use go hand-in-hand, you may need dual diagnosis treatment in Arizona. This type of treatment will address both the addiction and the mental health problem for improved outcomes.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for personality disorders, but there are a number of effective therapies available. Some of the most common and effective treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and medication to treat anxiety, depression and other symptoms.
Without treatment, personality disorders typically get worse and can cause problems in relationships, at work and in social situations. To discuss your needs for dual diagnosis treatment in Arizona, contact the admissions department at Wolf Creek Recovery today.