In this blog, I already discussed two particular personality disorders – Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. I was recently asked about other personality disorders and realized that I hadn’t discussed personality disorders in a general sense.
There is a total of 10 personality disorders, all broken down into three clusters – Cluster A, Cluster B and Cluster C. Cluster A is the grouping for odd, bizarre, eccentric disorders that include Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, and Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Cluster B is the grouping for dramatic, erratic, emotional disorders that include Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Cluster C is the grouping for anxious, fearful disorders that include Avoidant Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
All personality disorders are an ongoing pattern of behavior, many of which overlap between disorders within the same cluster. All behaviors diverge from social expectations or reality. The experiences of those with a personality disorder are generally negative to their health or well-being, meaning that they are unable to function normally, and require psychological and/or psychiatric attention.
Personality disorders share certain features:
- Impulse control
- Distorted thinking patterns
- Interpersonal difficulties
- Problematic emotional responses
Personality disorders are not typically diagnosed before adulthood, that is, age 18 or later. Sometimes adolescents, especially those going through puberty, can exhibit “personality disorder behaviors” like moodiness, melodrama, being short-tempered, compulsiveness, etc. but these behaviors generally get weened out of a child’s behavior as they mature and become an adult. It’s when these behaviors are embedded into someone’s personality when it becomes a problem; when negative and harmful thinking and actions become the norm for someone, that’s when a personality disorder can be properly diagnosed.
I will continue to describe the other personality disorders and their relation to their particular cluster.