Personality disorder is a general term for a type of mental illness in which your ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional. There are many specific types of personality disorders. In general, having a personality disorder means you have a rigid and potentially self-destructive or self-denigrating pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what the situation. This leads to distress in your life or impairment of your ability to go about routine functions at work, school or social situations.
In some cases, you may not realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems natural to you, and you may blame others for your circumstances. General signs and symptoms that may indicate a personality disorder include: Frequent mood swings, stormy relationships, social isolation, angry outbursts, suspicion and mistrust of others, difficulty making friends, a need for instant gratification, poor impulse control, and alcohol or substance abuse.
The specific types of personality disorders are grouped into three clusters based on similar characteristics and symptoms. Paranoid personality disorder: Distrust and suspicion of others, believing that others are trying to harm you, emotional detachment, and hostility. Schizoid personality disorder: lack of interest in social relationships, limited range of emotional expression, inability to pick up normal social cues, and appearing dull or indifferent to others.
Schizotypal personality disorder: Peculiar dress, thinking, beliefs or behavior, perceptual alterations, such as those affecting touch, discomfort in close relationships, flat emotions or inappropriate emotional responses, indifference to others, and “Magical thinking” — believing you can influence people and events with your thoughts, believing that messages are hidden for you in public speeches or displays.
These are personality disorders characterized by dramatic, overly emotional thinking or behavior and include: Antisocial (formerly, sociopathic) personality disorder-Disregard for others, persistent lying or stealing, recurring difficulties with the law, repeatedly violating the rights of others, aggressive, often violent behavior, and disregard for the safety of self or others. Borderline personality disorder- impulsive and risky behaviors, volatile relationships, unstable mood, suicidal behavior, and fear of being alone.
Histrionic personality disorder- constantly seeking attention, excessively emotional, extreme sensitivity to others’ approval, unstable mood, and excessive concern with physical appearance. Narcissistic personality disorder- believing that you’re better than others, fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness, exaggerating your achievements or talents, expecting constant praise and admiration, and failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings.
These are personality disorders characterized by anxious and fearful thinking or behavior and include: Avoidant personality disorder- hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection, feeling inadequate, social isolation, and extreme shyness in social situations, timidity. Dependent personality disorder excessive dependence on others, submissiveness toward others, a desire to be taken care of, tolerance of poor or abusive treatment, and urgent need to start a new relationship when one has ended.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder- preoccupation with orderliness and rules, extreme perfectionism, desire to be in control of situations, inability to discard broken or worthless objects, and inflexibility. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder isn’t the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, a type of anxiety disorder. 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, shaped through an interaction of two factors: Inherited tendencies, or your genes- These are aspects of your personality passed on to you by your parents, such as shyness or having a happy outlook. This is sometimes called your temperament. It’s the “nature” part of the nature vs. nurture debate. Environment or your life situations- this is the surroundings you grew up in, events that occurred, and relationships with family members and others. It includes such things as the type of parenting you had, whether loving or abusive.
This is the “nurture” part of the nature vs. nurture debate. Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of these genetic and environmental influences. Some research suggests that you may have a genetic vulnerability to developing a personality disorder and that your life situation may trigger the actual development of a personality disorder. The treatment that’s best for you depends on your particular personality disorder, its severity and your life situation. Often, a team approach is appropriate to make sure all of your psychiatric, medical and social needs are met.
Because personality disorders tend to be chronic and can sometimes last much of your adult life, you may need long-term treatment. Psychotherapy is the main way to treat personality disorders. Psychotherapy is a general term for the process of treating personality disorders by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health provider. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your mood, feelings, thoughts and behavior. Using the insights and knowledge you gain in psychotherapy, you can learn healthy ways to manage your symptoms.
Psychotherapy may be provided in individual sessions, in group therapy or in sessions that include family or even friends. The type of psychotherapy that’s right for you depends on your individual situation. Although psychological disorders are still really controversial among people therapies have help a lot. We have come to understand how anxiety, mood, and personality disorders affect people some in different ways but however everyday we come closer to new medical help on avoiding these disorders. References
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