What Are Personality Disorders?

What is a personality disorder? The answer is more straightforward than you think. Many people in the United States struggle with one of these mental illnesses. However, to determine what these mental health issues are, we have to understand what a personality is, first. 

Your personality is the way you think, feel, and behave that makes you distinct from the people around you. In most people, your experiences, environment, and your inherited characteristics influence your personality. 

Now that we know what makes up who you are, what is a personality disorder? These long-term patterns that significantly differ from what society expects. Usually, they begin in your late teens or early adult life. They tend to cause problems with your ability to function or cause you distress. Moreover, unless you get therapy, these disorders can last for long periods. 

TYPES OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS

There are ten mental illnesses that are defined as personality disorders. Some seem to be more popularly accepted in culture than others, so some of these you may have heard of, but others may be new to you. Read the descriptions here to see if any of these personality disorders might apply to you or a loved one:

AVOIDANT PERSONALITY DISORDER

Extreme shyness, sensitivity to criticism, and feelings of inadequacy are trademarks of this disorder. People with this disorder may struggle to fit in socially. They may not be comfortable in a social environment unless they are sure that the people around them will like them. 

NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER

People who struggle with this disorder do not feel empathy for other people and need your admiration. They may also have an over-inflated sense of self-importance or an entitled perspective. 

PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER

Have you ever met someone who seems overly suspicious of people, or assumes everyone is out to get them? They may have this disorder. These people do not confide in other people or get close to them. 

ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER

If you know a person who repeatedly lies or deceives others or disregards other peoples’ rights, they may struggle with this disorder. These people do not conform to social norms. 

SCHIZOID PERSONALITY DISORDER

A person with this disorder is not attached to their social relationships and expresses minimal emotions. These people choose to be alone. 

SCHIZOTYPAL PERSONALITY DISORDER

If a person is uncomfortable with close relationships and exhibits eccentric behavior, they may have this disorder. They may have odd behavior, speech, or beliefs, and struggle to think coherently. 

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER

These people struggle to be stable in personal relationships and have intense emotions. They go to extreme lengths to avoid people leaving them. Additionally, they may attempt suicide or feel empty inside. 

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER

A person who struggles with this desires extreme perfection, control, and orderliness. Additionally, they may focus intently on the details, be inflexible with their values or morals, or work excessively. 

HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER

This person suffers from disproportional emotions and always needs attention. They may not feel comfortable when they aren’t the center of attention and have quickly changing emotions. 

DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER

This person acts submissive or clingy. They need to have someone take care of them, and they have trouble making decisions without someone’s help. 

Keep in mind that expressing some of the traits listed in the above descriptions does not necessarily mean that you have a personality disorder. We all exhibit these traits at various times in our lives. The only way to know for sure if you have a diagnosable personality disorder is to speak with a licensed psychiatrist who has a medical background.

GET THE THERAPY YOU NEED AT HARMONY BAY

If you struggle with any of these mental health issues, don’t lose hope. Through therapy, you can overcome your disorder. We offer a variety of therapeutic options for those in Mt. Laurel, NJ, including:

To learn more about therapy for people suffering from personality disorders, call [Direct] today.