A personality disorder is a condition that causes maladaptive disturbances in an individual’s thought processes, emotional processing, and behaviors. The personality disorder has been grouped into three main types.
Suspicious personality disorders are those that impact an individual’s ability to trust others. Emotional and impulsive personality disorders affect an individual’s decision-making capacity and their ability to regulate their emotions. Anxious personality disorders cause or are caused by heightened levels of anxiety.
Even though personality disorders have specific criteria, the individuals who suffer from them can have very different symptom presentations, backgrounds, relationships, goals, and individual experiences.
5 Major Types of Personality Disorder
It’s important to understand some basics about the most common types of personality disorder. Get the details now.
1. Paranoid Personality Disorder
Paranoid personality disorder is a Cluster A personality disorder. Cluster A personality disorders are also commonly called eccentric personality disorders. A patient with a Cluster A disorder tends to seem peculiar or strange to those around them.
Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by paranoia and intense mistrust of others even when there is no reason for the mistrust. This is the most essential characteristic of the disorder.
Most patients with the disorder begin to show symptoms during childhood or the early teen years. Men seem to develop this personality disorder more commonly than women.
While it doesn’t have an exact known cause, but researchers believe paranoid personality disorder involves combinations of psychological and biological factors. There may be a genetic link, given that individuals are more likely to develop this condition if they have a family member with a delusional disorder.
In addition, early childhood experiences like emotional and physical trauma can influence the development of paranoid personality disorder.
Patients with paranoid personality disorder tend to be very guarded, and they believe others are trying to demean or harm or threaten them.
2. Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is a very difficult personality disorder to treat. It occurs when an individual develops long-term patterns of violating the rights of others, manipulating individuals, or exploiting others without feeling remorse.
Patients with antisocial personality disorder often have problems in their work and familial relationships. The cause is unknown, but genetics and early childhood experiences may play a role.
Individuals with an alcoholic or antisocial parent seem to have a higher risk of developing the disorder. Men are more likely to develop antisocial personality disorder than women. Animal cruelty and arson in childhood are often signs of a developing antisocial personality.
Some researchers believe antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy are the same thing. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder may be charming, witty, and good at flattery.
They may also show little regard for the law, their own safety, the safety of others, or the autonomy of others. They may lie and get into fights often, and they don’t feel or show remorse or guilt for their actions.
3. Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder that occurs when an individual has extreme difficulties regulating their emotions. Patients with this condition experience heightened and intense emotions, and these emotions may last for longer than with a neurotypical individual.
After an event causes an emotional trigger, it is difficult for an individual with borderline personality disorder to go back to their baseline.
The difficulty with emotional regulation is often accompanied by poor impulse control, a lack of self-confidence, intense emotional responses to stress, and turbulent relationships.
Borderline personality disorder patients are also at a higher risk of turning to self-harming behaviors to try to help with self-regulation. Nearly three out of every four individuals who have borderline personality disorder are women.
Patients with borderline personality disorder often have mood swings and may feel unstable and insecure. They may lash out in relationships or engage in efforts to avoid imaginary abandonment by family members and friends.
4. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder that occurs when an individual needs constant attention or validation but is unable to handle criticism. This is a difficult personality disorder to treat because the patient needs to recognize and learn how to accept criticism first.
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder experience intense feelings of anxiety and an intense fear of being rejected, which often makes them miserable.
Those with this disorder have an inflated sense of self-importance that helps them avoid fears and insecurities. They need other people to validate this image, which is what leads to patterns of dysfunctional behavior.
Narcissistic personality disorder patients have an excessive need to be admired, a lack of consideration and empathy for others, and self-centered and arrogant thought patterns This sense of self affects all aspects of the individual’s life from work to home to school.
Even when the behavior causes problems, those with narcissistic personality disorder tend to be resistant to changing it. They also tend to react poorly to even small criticisms, as these feel like personal attacks.
5. Avoidant Personality Disorder
Avoidant personality disorder is an anxious personality disorder. Patients with this disorder are more likely to be receptive to treatment than with some other personality disorders because this condition causes significant distress.
The majority of patients with avoidant personality disorder have the desire to form healthy relationships, but they’re too afraid of rejection to sustain them. Someone with this disorder has low self-esteem and is intensely fearful of the negative judgment of others.
The feelings of fear and inadequacy lead to discomfort in social situations. Many individuals who have avoidant personality disorder are so socially anxious that they avoid social contact and group activities wherever they can.
Most cases of avoidant personality disorder begin in infancy or childhood, but the disorder doesn’t tend to be diagnosed in patients who haven’t yet reached eighteen years old.
Some patients with avoidant personality disorder may have developed the disorder as a result of caregiver negligence or rejection in childhood.