Personality Disorders: What Are They And Can They Be Treated?

By Arden O'Connor

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Personality disorders are divided into three clusters: A, B, and C. Each cluster of personality disorders has a distinct characteristic and specific personality disorders belong to that cluster. Cluster A personality disorders are characterized as “odd or eccentric” disorders which includes paranoid personality disorder, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders. Cluster B personality disorders include some of the more well known personality disorders. Personality disorders in Cluster B are characterized as “dramatic or erratic” disorders. Narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder are included in Cluster B as well as the lesser known histrionic personality disorder. Lastly, Cluster C personality disorders are characterized as “anxious or fearful” disorders. These personality disorders include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. In total, there are 10 recognizable personality disorders. Frequently, personality types can be reminiscent of personality disorders. For example, someone may have diagnosable borderline personality disorder, however, they display numerous symptoms of both avoidant and dependent personality disorders.

The cause of personality disorders is unclear. Each personality disorder is different, yet research continuously concludes that certain factors may have an effect. All mental health disorders can be the result of biological, genetic, psychological, and environmental circumstances. Personality disorders, interestingly, are often attributed to early life experiences. For example, borderline personality disorder has a deep and unsettling obsession with a fear of abandonment. To have a fear of abandonment, one must experience abandonment or something that resembles abandonment. Narcissistic personality disorder is an inflation of the ego and an irrational view of the self. Most often, people who develop narcissistic personality disorder experienced something in life which made evident to them that they were unimportant. Every individual manifests their personality disorder differently, with similarities across the board.

Treatment for personality disorders is available and many therapy types have proven to be effective in reducing the severity of symptoms. Personality disorders do not, however, have a cure. People who seek treatment for a personality disorder target some of their core issues, deeply examine the events of their past, and analyze their current coping behaviors which have proven to be problematic. Through treatment, people with unmanaged personality disorders learn how to manage and regulate their thoughts and emotions in addition to picking up critical life skills for effectively coping with all of life’s circumstances. As a result, people learn how to have healthy relationships with themselves, others, and the world around them. Personality disorders will always be present, but they do not have to be an overarching problem in someone’s life.

Finding treatment and making a plan for someone you love who is struggling with a personality disorder does not have to be a problem in your life, either. O’Connor Professional Group offers you concierge services for all of your treatment and recovery needs. Call us today for information: (617) 910-3940

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