Understanding Personality Disorders

Personality disorders belong to a class of mental disorders that is characterized by fixed and continuous abnormal patterns of thought as well as action. People suffering form personality disorders usually develop traits that make them behave other than normal in different social settings. Such behavior may further limit them in their ability to function in relationships with other people as well as while at work.

Types of personality disorder

Among the 10 conditions that are considered personality disorders, some have very little in common. Doctors typically group the personality disorders that have shared characteristics into one of three clusters:

  • Cluster A includes personality disorders marked by odd, eccentric behavior, including paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders.
  • Cluster B personality disorders are those defined by dramatic, emotional behavior, including histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial and borderline personality disorders.
  • Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful behavior and include obsessive-compulsive, avoidant and dependent personality disorders.

Risk of personaly disorder

There are certain factors that can cause personality disorders in an individual. In most of them, a combination of personal history as well as biology may play a big role.

Genes may also play a part in the development of some types of personality disorders such as those that belong to the paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal type of disorders.

Heredity can also be a factor especially in the development of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Having a family history of antisocial personality disorder can put a person at more risk of developing the disorder.

Traumatic experiences especially inside the family can also have a role in developing an antisocial personality disorder.

Sexual abuse has also been seen to be a common risk factor for the development of the borderline personality disorder.

Other factors such as heredity and a history of head injuries in childhood may also play a part in a person developing borderline personality disorder.

Treatment for personality disorder

Currently, there is no total cure yet known for people who are suffering from personality disorders. But that doesn’t mean that they can be treated. The usual treatment is a combination of medication and therapy to help sufferers cope up better with their condition.

The type of therapy and medication used to treat such disorders would depend on the type as well as the extent of the existing condition. Proposing the type of effective treatment can also be a challenge at times for doctors since there are certain barriers that they have to go through when treating people with personality disorders.

One of the barriers that doctors face when dealing with people with personality disorders is that such patient usually have difficulty opening up and telling their doctors everything. Retaining a certain level of closeness with people with personality disorders also prove to be a common challenge that doctors have to bear with.

Most sufferers are also easy to react to perceived criticism and are more likely not continue or break off with the treatment for their condition.