A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning, and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.
Personality disorders usually begin in the teenage years or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders. Some types may become less obvious throughout middle age.
Types of Personality Disorders
The mental health community divides personality disorders into three main categories, called clusters:
Cluster A, Suspicious
- Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Cluster B, Emotional and Impulsive
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Custer C, Anxious
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Early childhood events, genetic predispositions, and environmental factors can all play roles in personality disorders. Experts do not entirely agree on the primary reasons that some people develop these illnesses, and the exact causes may vary among individuals.
Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It’s the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, and can be shaped through an interaction of:
- Your genes. Certain personality traits may be passed on to you by your parents through inherited genes. These traits are sometimes called your temperament.
- Your environment. This involves the surroundings you grew up in, events that occurred, and relationships with family members and others.
Not all personality disorders are equally severe, but anyone suffering from them can benefit from professional counseling. Therapy is an excellent way to address your personality disorder. These conditions are treatable with the help of a trained mental health professional. You don’t have to suffer alone. Therapists can help you cope with your symptoms and improve your quality of life.