Some personality traits may interfere with your daily life.
Everyone has unique personality traits; some of those traits help them along while others can get them in occasional hot water. For those with a personality disorder, however, a personality trait is so severe that it impairs the person’s ability to fulfill everyday tasks and form healthy relationships.
There are many different kinds of personality disorders, but here are some of the most common.
Borderline Personality Disorder. This disorder earned its name because patients tend to act on the border between neurotic and psychotic. The trademark signs of borderline personality disorder are intense emotions that are difficult to regulate or understand, an overwhelming fear of abandonment that leads them to go to extreme lengths to avoid losing someone, impulsivity, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder. As the name suggests, narcissistic personality disorder involves a focus on oneself and a lack of empathy for others. Signs of narcissistic personality disorder include an exaggerated sense of self, needing attention or validation, seeking power over others, and having superficial interpersonal relationships.
Avoidant Personality Disorder. People with this disorder have severe anxiety and fear of rejection, which causes them to isolate themselves and avoid forming relationships with others.
Dependent Personality Disorder. This disorder has a similar fear of separation that can lead to needy behavior or an excessive dependence on others for basic needs and decisions.
Schizoid and Schizotypal Personality Disorders. These disorders cause paranoia, which may cause isolation or withdrawal. To others, their behavior may seem odd, detached, or aloof.
Antisocial Personality Disorder. People with this disorder tend to not follow rules or don’t think they apply to them; they tend to run into trouble with the law.
Psychotherapy is the most effective treatment option for most personality disorders. If needed, medication may also help treat certain specific symptoms. (Learn about the three most common types of psychotherapy here.)
Because these disorders stem from one’s personality, it can be challenging for some people to recognize or acknowledge the way their personality is interfering with their lives and relationships. Treatment is most effective for those who recognize this and are motivated to make changes.
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Someone with a personality disorder tends
to have problems stemming from their
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personality that happens over and
over again throughout their life.
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We all have personalities that
gets us through the day, right?
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Some of us are gonna be friendly,
and kind, and warm.
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And some of us are gonna be prickly,
and mean, and irritable.
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But a personality disorder is
something that impairs us in our
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day to day life.
Two of the most common personality
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disorders that people talk about
are borderline personality disorder and
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narcissistic personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder,
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which started as this very
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between being kind of psychotic and
being neurotic, so there's borderline.
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And its' hallmarks are things like real,
true fear of abandonment.
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I mean, doing anything you can to
not lose somebody in your life.
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Or real emotional dysregulation, where
your emotions are just all over the place,
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with a very low understanding
of what the trigger is.
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A lot of people with borderline
personality disorder might have incredible
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mood swings they can't control, or they
might self harm to manage their moods.
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They might feel acutely suicidal.
So some of the symptoms of
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Narcissistic Personality Disorder is
having an exaggerated sense of self.
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You think that you are more
important than you actually are.
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You are often seeking validation,
and praise, and
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encouragement from other people.
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Other common symptoms would be needing to
be in a place of power or feeling like you
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need to be in place of power.
So there are various
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other types of personality disorders
that we hear a little bit less about.
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People with avoidant personality disorder
are so anxious and so worried that they
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will completely avoid, as it sounds,
going out or participating in an event.
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Somebody with dependent
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might be leaning on their friends
to make every little decision.
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Might not be able to go
anywhere on their own and
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really leaning on the people
around them for support for
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some basic things.
So schizoid and
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schizotypal are personality disorders
that lend to being isolative, withdrawn.
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Often they might be
a little bit paranoid or
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suspicious without having any triggers or
reasons to be.
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Sometimes they can be seen
as a little bit quirky.
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An anti-social personality
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is someone who doesn't really
follow the rules and regulations.
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Or doesn't think that they apply to them
or doesn't connect to other people, and
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really kind of becomes their own entity.
Generally the first place we start
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is with therapy when we're
treating a personality disorder.
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But if that particular
therapy is not effective,
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they might try medications to target
some of the specific symptoms.
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The people for whom treatment makes a real
positive impact are those people that
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that notice it's a problem that they're
not getting along with their loved ones.
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Or that they are losing jobs,
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they're not able to hold on to a job.
So to get someone to seek treatment
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when they have a personality disorder
will take patience, it will more than
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likely take saying the same thing over and
over again over the course of time.
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So the layering of hearing that
information hopefully will ultimately get
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them thinking about treatment and
motivated to go into treatment.
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Borderline personality disorder. Washington, DC: National Institute of Mental Health, 2016. (Accessed on December 4, 2017 at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml.)
Borderline personality disorder: epidemiology, clinical features, course, assessment, and diagnosis. Waltham, MA: UpToDate, 2017. (Accessed on December 4, 2017 at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/borderline-personality-disorder-epidemiology-clinical-features-course-assessment-and-diagnosis.)
Narcissistic personality disorder. Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic. (Accessed on December 4, 2017 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662.)
Personality disorders. Washington, DC: U.S. National Library of Medicine. (Accessed on December 4, 2017 at https://medlineplus.gov/personalitydisorders.html.)
Personality disorders. Waltham, MA: UpToDate, 2017. (Accessed on December 4, 2017 at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/personality-disorders.)