About 10% of the world’s general population are said to suffer from personality disorders. Hard to diagnose, these disorders cause havoc in a person’s personal life and career. Most people do not realize that they have the disorder until an event occurs that lead others and themselves to realize the behavior is destructive and beyond the norms of acceptable behavior.
A personality disorder is characterized by a stable pattern of inflexible and maladaptive behaviors, perceptions, and patterns of thinking. The disorder typically manifests in adolescence and causes long-term difficulties in everyday social interactions.
While individuals may express traits of negative behavior every now and then, those with personality disorders have behaviors that are relatively consistent across all time and situations.
Experts believe the causes of such disorders may stem from traumatic childhood events, while they can also be caused by genetics. However, not everyone who is predisposed to the disorders manifest them. They can lie dormant for the rest of the individual’s lifetime, or manifest when a traumatic event occurs. A person who doesn’t have a family history of personality disorders may acquire it through environmental factors, which do not include substance abuse.
There are 3 major classifications of personality disorders, which are:
1. Suspicious (Odd, Bizarre, Eccentric)
2. Dramatic and Impulsive (Emotional, Erratic)
3. Anxious (Fearful)
The 10 Personality Disorders
Before you begin to analyze yourself and the people around you, it is important to know that even psychologists and experts find it difficult to diagnose and determine the actual type of personality disorder an individual may be suffering from. Psychological tests and in-depth interviews are to be done, and yet, experts still argue over the validity of these diagnoses, as well as the treatments provided.
The information provided here is a mere guide to the definitions of the 10 personality disorders.
1. Paranoid Personality Disorder
Individuals who suffer from this disorder tend to be suspicious of others, which include their spouses, close friends, and family. They often look for signs of betrayal and hostility, and accuse others with no evidence. They have a pervasive distrust of people that prevent them from making lasting and fulfilling relationships both in their personal and professional lives.
2. Schizoid Personality Disorder
These individuals prefer to be alone than interact with others. They show no interest in forming relationships and are aloof and detached. They are indifferent to others’ feelings and needs and often lack an emotional response.
3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Individuals who suffer from this disorder believe in magical thinking, such as believing that they can read minds and have special powers. They find close relationships difficult to maintain, and find others who don’t share their beliefs as odd.
4. Antisocial Personality Disorder
The disorder mostly associated with criminal behavior, sufferers are characterized as having an extreme lack of empathy, lack guilt, irritable, and aggressive. They have a callous unconcern for the well-being of others, and disregard social rules and obligations.
5. Borderline Personality Disorder
Character traits of individuals who suffer from this disorder include a lack of sense of self, persistent feelings of emptiness, and an irrational fear of abandonment. Because of this, they are vulnerable to abuse and violence. They have a pattern of unstable relationships and often burst into anger and violence, especially when criticized. They also have a tendency to self-harm and have suicidal tendencies.
6. Histrionic Personality Disorder
Sufferers lack a sense of self worth and look to others for approval. They are extremely uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention and often act in provocative ways to get it.
7. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Sufferers of this disorder have an extreme feeling of self-entitlement and importance and act aggressively when others ridicule or don’t give them adoration. They lack empathy and have an exploitative nature, often using other people to their advantage.
8. Avoidant Personality Disorder
Those who have the disorder suffer from feeling of inferiority, feelings of rejection, and are highly anxious. They have a tendency to expect the worst, and believe that people will criticize or reject them, and therefore, avoid social interactions and new activities.
9. Dependent Personality Disorder
These individuals have an extreme lack of self-confidence and have an excessive need to be taken cared of. They typically have a hard time making everyday decisions, and look to others to do it for them. They see themselves as helpless and inadequate, making them vulnerable to abuse.
10. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
Sufferers have an irrational preoccupation to rules, organizations, details, and lists, that prevents them from actually finishing a task. They set unrealistic standards on themselves and on others, and are extremely intolerant of change or nuances, leading to a cycle of short-lived relationships.
It is important to realize the symptoms and effects of personality disorders because these are the precursors to mental disorders. Broken relationships, destroyed careers, and wasted lives brought upon by such disorders could be prevented with the right knowledge, and therefore, the road to understanding and treatment is achieved.