Personality Disorder Classifications

A personality disorder is psychological conditional in which a person has general difficulty relating to people and surrounding circumstances. Personality disorders come in various forms. A person suffering from a personality disorder generally exhibits unhealthy behavior, emotional stability, and thinking that ultimately creates problems in relationships, friendships, and in how he or she relates to society in general.

Sometimes it’s difficult to realize that a person suffering from personality disorder actually has a mental disorder. Signs to look for are frequent mood swings, troubled relationships, social isolation, and frequent bouts of anger and suspicion. The sufferer often finds it difficult to make friends and may even turn to alcohol or drugs to relieve the pain.

Based on certain characteristics, personality disorders can be classified into three clusters. It should be noted that a person suffering from one type personality disorder may also show symptoms of another type personality disorder.

Cluster A represents personality disorders characterized by eccentric behavior and odd thinking broken down into three categories defined as follows – Paranoid disorders, Schizoid disorders and Schizotypal disorder. When a person suffers from paranoid disorder, he distrusts and becomes suspicious of and hostile towards others while becoming emotionally detached. The person suffering from Schizoid personality problem appears dull and indifferent. With no interest in social relationships he becomes detached and acts aloof towards others. The person suffering from Schizotypal disorder displays eccentricity in thinking, behavior and even his fashion sense. He typically feels uneasiness in relationships and becomes indifferent to others.

In cluster B personality disorders, dramatic, excessive emotional thinking is the chief trait. Cluster B personality disorders are further classified in four categories-Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic and Narcissistic disorder.

A person suffering from Antisocial Disorder has no respect for others; he lies or steals continuously and is often not law-abiding. He also acts aggressively and shows general disregard towards others. A person suffering from Borderline Disorder is very impulsive and shows extreme mood swings and may also exhibit a suicidal attitude.

A person suffering from Histrionic Disorder of personality seeks constant attention and is extremely moody and emotional in addition to being very concerned with physical appearance. A person suffering from Narcissistic disorder typically views himself as always better than others. He dreams about enjoying a lot of power and success and expects others to praise him constantly while often not showing regard for the emotions and feelings of other people.

Anxiety and fearful thinking are the chief symptoms of those suffering of cluster C personality disorders. These are further sub-divided into three categories- Avoidant disorder, Dependent disorder and Obsessive-compulsive Disorder.

A person suffering from Avoidant Disorder is very sensitive to rejection. He is timid and is typically socially isolated. A person suffering from Dependent disorder becomes excessively dependent on others and acts submissively in relationships. A person suffering from Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is an extreme perfectionist and inflexible. He has a strong urge to be the master of all situations.

If any signs or symptoms of a personality disorder described above are observed in a person’s behavior it’s best to consult a doctor, psychiatrist, or qualified mental health provider.

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