Personality Disorders

As the world becomes more complex, an increasing number of people are being affected by personality disorders. In fact, around 15% of the people living in the United States meet the criteria for diagnosis for at least one type of personality disorder. The most common types of personality disorders are obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid disorder, and antisocial disorder.


Personality refers to the mental, emotional, and behavioral characteristics that define the psychological identity of a person. It is expressed through physical gestures or activities, conscious thoughts, as well as social behavior. A person’s personality is unique, and it remains somewhat the same throughout his or her life. It determines a person’s physical, mental, and emotional responses to certain situations.



A personality disorder is a mental condition that prevents a person from thinking and behaving in a flexible way to conform to social expectations. A person who has a personality disorder will have difficulty dealing with other people in the workplace, school, or social gatherings, and this may result in varying degrees of mental and emotional distress. Some of the signs that may indicate that a person has personality disorders are social isolation, mood swings, difficulty in controlling impulse, stormy relationships, outbursts of frustration and anger, and inability to trust other people.



Personality disorders are divided into three different categories: Cluster A, Cluster B, and Cluster C.

People with Cluster A personality disorders are known to have eccentric behavior. They can be paranoid, schizoid, or schizotypal. Such people will shy away from intimacy when they are dating.


  • Paranoid Personality Disorder: Those who have paranoid disorder are suspicious of other people, and they are emotionally detached when they are in a relationship.
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder: People with schizoid personality are solitary and introverted. They only trust their own thoughts and feelings, and they are afraid that other people may get too close to them.
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Those who have schizotypal personality are also socially detached, and they have eccentric ideas and perceptions of things that are around them.


Cluster B personality disorders will lead to dramatic or erratic behavior. The personality disorders that belong to this classification include histrionic disorder, narcissistic disorder, antisocial disorder, and borderline disorder.


  • Histrionic Personality Disorder: People who are affected by histrionic disorder are those who behave in an overemotional and dramatic way to get the attention.
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Those who have narcissistic personality feel that they are superior to other people, and they have a strong need for people to admire them. Their perception of themselves is often exaggerated, and they find it very difficult to accept failure or criticism.
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder: Antisocial disorder usually occurs in males. People with this disorder have no consideration for other people’s ideas or feelings, and they will take advantage of the people around them to get what they want.
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: Those who are affected by borderline personality disorder are usually women. They are confused people who are not consistent in their identities, moods, and relationships with other people.


Personality types that belong to Cluster C are avoidant personality, dependent personality, and obsessive compulsive personality. These disorders will lead to inhibited behavior.


  • Avoidant Personality Disorder: People who have avoidant personality cannot take rejection, and therefore, they will try to avoid getting close to other people. When they are rejected, they will react timidly instead of showing anger.
  • Dependent Personality Disorder: Those who are affected by dependent disorder do not believe in their own abilities, and they will let other people make important decisions.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder: People who have obsessive-compulsive disorders are perfectionists. They are usually capable people, but they cannot adapt to changes because they are too cautious.


Personality disorders are usually treated with drug therapy or psychotherapy. Drug therapy is effective in providing relief for symptoms of personality disorders, but it is not a long-term solution. Some of the drugs that are commonly used to treat personality disorders are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, anticonvulsant drugs, and risperidone. Psychotherapy can result in positive behavioral changes if it is administered over a long period of time. It helps the patients realize the root causes of their personality disorders and gives them a positive mindset to change their behaviors. There are also organizations that offer group therapy sessions and social clubs to help people overcome their personality disorders.

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