What is personality disorder?

Personality disorder is a type of mental disorder described by a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning, and behavior. Thus, in the case of a person with a personality disorder, we are talking about a person who has difficulties in perceiving and relating to different situations and people.

Personality disorders are caused by a mixture of genetic factors and education. In the case of genetic factors, we are talking about the family history with the dysfunctional atmosphere at home. Manifestations in the case of personality disorders include three types of behaviors, namely eccentric behavior, dramatic or erratic behavior, and anxious or fearful behavior.

Types of personality disorders

There are several types of personality disorders, and according to psychiatrists, the system for diagnosing personality disorders has ten types of such disorders grouped into three categories, as follows:

  1. Suspicious that includes the following types of personality disorders: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal and antisocial;
  2. Emotional and impulsive includes the following types of personality disorders: borderline, histrionic and narcissistic;
  3. Anxiety has as types of personality disorders: avoidant personality disorder, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Symptoms of personality disorders

There are different emotional symptoms in people suffering from personality disorder, symptoms that differ depending on the type of personality disorder.

Avoidant personality disorder is manifested by a strong aversion to conflict, poor impulse control and a tendency to substance abuse. For the paranoid variant, the manifestation means a general suspicion regarding the desire to mistreat the whole world. Schizoid personality disorder involves avoiding social interaction and indifference to social relationships, extending beyond introversion. The antisocial type of personality disorder shows indifference to the rights and feelings of others.

The symptoms in the case of borderline personality disorder refer to unstable emotions and mood swings, and histrionic personality disorder involves attracting attention through exaggerated dramatic and emotional actions. The type of narcissistic personality disorder is manifested by an exaggerated vision of one's own self and the importance of one's own person to the detriment of others. In the case of avoidant personality disorder, the symptoms are excessive shyness and feelings of inadequacy in relation to others. Addictive personality disorder involves behavior in which patients seek the support or encouragement of others as absolutely necessary to function, and the type of obsessive-compulsive disorder is manifested by compulsive involvement in repetitive behaviors and ways of thinking.

Personality disorders affect both the mind and physical health. There are various short-term and long-term effects of personality disorders. The most common effects refer to difficulties in relationships, minimal socialization at all, mood swings, depression, suicidal thoughts or attempts, but also the decline of physical health due to lack of care. Because it is difficult to diagnose a personality disorder by a person without specialized training, a detailed evaluation by a psychiatrist is recommended.

Treatment in case of personality disorders

For people who suffer from a personality disorder there are a number of treatments. Among these we mention psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, art therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy and cognitive analytical therapy. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy aims to understand how thoughts and beliefs can affect behavior.

Regarding psychiatric medication, it must be said that there are no drugs authorized exclusively for personality disorders. But many people with personality disorders may have other diagnoses related to mental health (depression, anxiety, psychosis) and thus are prescribed antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood stabilizers.

Another approach in the treatment of personality disorders is therapeutic communities. These are programs where recovery support is provided within a mutual support group under the guidance of a facilitator.