THE TERM ‘PERSONALITY DISORDER‘ IS USED TO REFER TO PEOPLE WITH AN EXTREMELY BROAD RANGE OF EXPERIENCES, DIFFICULTIES AND BEHAVIOURS.
MANY PEOPLE GIVEN THE SAME DIAGNOSIS WILL HAVE VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES. IT IS ALSO COMMON FOR PEOPLE TO BE GIVEN A DIAGNOSIS OF MORE THAN ONE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
Some symptoms are commonly recognised across the spectrum of personality disorders. These include distorted beliefs, strange behaviour, being overwhelmed by negative emotions, avoiding other people and feeling emotionally disconnected. Individuals living with personality disorders can experience difficulty managing negative feelings, resulting in self-harm, substance abuse and destructive behaviour. Turbulent emotions and behaviour often lead to difficulty in sustaining close relationships, with loved ones frequently feeling hurt or upset.
Personality Disorders are often linked to other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and substance misuse.
The causes of personality disorders are not fully known. Possible causes include trauma in early childhood such as abuse, violence, inadequate parenting and neglect. Neurological and genetic factors also play a part. Symptoms can be escalated by periods of stress.
The diagnosis identifies 10 different types of personality disorders, which are grouped into 3 clusters. These are Clusters A, B and C.
CLUSTER A: (SUSPICIOUS, ODD BEHAVIOURS)
Cluster A includes personality disorders which are characterised by suspicious and odd behaviour.
Paranoid Personality Disorder
- Hypersensitive, difficulty trusting people
- Fear of being taken advantage of
- Finds it hard to confide in people
- Looking for signs of betrayal or hostility
Schizoid Personality Disorder
- Detaches from social relationships, prefers own company and isolation
- Difficulty forming close relationships, even with family
- Dislikes interference
- Gets little pleasure from life
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
- Believe other people cannot be trusted or are trying to hurt you in some way
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- T.V. talking directly to you, newspaper articles written to you, feeling that people are talking about you behind your back
CLUSTER B: (EMOTIONAL, IMPULSIVE, ERRATIC)
Cluster B personality disorders are characterised by emotional, impulsive and erratic behaviour
Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Tendency to act unexpectedly or impulsively, without thinking through consequences and in ways that may cause you damage (for example, binge eating, spending, substance abuse, sex, reckless driving)
- Behave dangerously and sometimes illegally
- Have a criminal record
- Feel no sense of guilt and a lack of empathy
Borderline Personality Disorder
- Episodes of self harm and thoughts of taking own life
- Mood swings from intense emotion to angry outbursts
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Tendency to cling on to damaging relationships in fear of being alone
- Frantic or seemingly excessive efforts to avoid abandonment
Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Attention seeking behaviour
- Being overly concerned by your own physical attractiveness and using your appearance to draw attention to yourself
- Easily influenced by other people or circumstances
- Considering relationships to be more intimate than other involved parties do
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- A grandiose sense of self importance, selfish
- Requiring excessive admiration
- Exploiting and manipulating others, taking advantage of others
- Showing arrogant or haughty attitudes and behaviours
- Fragile or low self esteem
CLUSTER C: (ANXIOUS, FEARFUL)
Cluster C groups together personality disorders exemplified by anxious and fearful thoughts and behaviour.
Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Social inhibition, avoid social activities
- Worry about being rejected, negative evaluation, criticism
- Avoid relationships, friendships
Dependent Personality Disorder
- Afraid of being helpless
- Low self confidence
- Cannot function without support, feeling vulnerable
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
- Rigid conformity to rules, Literal (Not ritualistic behaviour)
- Expect catastrophes if things aren’t perfect (perfection & Control)
- Set unrealistically high standards
– OCPD is commonly confused with OCD, but the two are different. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder has more to do with perfectionism, while obsessive-compulsive disorder focuses more on anxiety, obsessions and compulsions.
For bespoke training in dealing with Personality Disorder, contact Steps Training LTD.
For further help and support, follow the links below: