What are the cluster C personality disorders?
Personality disorders are the psychological illness that is characterized by maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. Oftentimes, these cognitive and behavioral patterns intervene in the person’s ability to function. In most cases, the symptoms deteriorate one’s life in many aspects.
There are three major clusters or groupings of personality disorders. Each group has a unique set of symptoms. The cluster C personality disorders are always associated with the anxiety and fear. Thus, people with this type of personality disorder have overwhelming anxiety.
The Cluster C Personality Disorders
Here are the three personality disorders that belong to the cluster C.
Avoidant Personality Disorder
People with the avoidant personality disorder often have low self-esteem. As a result, they are hypersensitive to rejection by other people. In most cases, people who have avoidant personality disorder have faulty or misconception of other people’s behavioral cues.
The faulty interpretation of others’ actions may lead to suspicions and misunderstanding. This is one of the reasons why people with this type of personality disorder sometimes find difficulties in dealing with social interaction.
As a result, people with avoidant personality disorder have few circles of friends. They always see to it that their friends will not judge and reject them. These people always consider themselves as inferior to others. The low level of self-esteem hinders them from venturing or taking a risk like showing up to a job interview. This often the result of fear that they will not be hired.
Common symptoms of Avoidant Personality Disorder
The avoidant personality disorder is often diagnosed in childhood. The symptoms may include the following:
- Avoidance of social interactions due to the fear of being judged, criticized, rejected
- Avoid responsibility and involvement with others
- Does not fully engage in an intimate relationship because of the fear of being insulted and ridiculed
- Being preoccupied with the fear of social rejection
- Overwhelmed with the doubts and feelings of inadequacy
- Always feel being inferior to others
Dependent Personality Disorder
People with dependent personality disorder always have fear of being separated from their loved ones, loss or rejection from other people. As a result, they tend to cling to their relationship even the abusive one. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation.
Symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder
A person with the dependent personality disorder has a salient pattern of maladaptive behavior. It may include the following symptoms:
- Inability to make own decision without an excessive on others’ advice and approval
- In most cases, a person with dependent personality disorder needs others to take responsibility for himself/herself
- Unable to argue one’s point of view due to the fear of losing others’ approval and support
- Unable to carry out tasks due to the low level of self-esteem and self-confidence
- Uncomfortable when left alone because of the fear of unable to take of himself/herself
- Promptly seeks or establish a new relationship right after a breakup to get the new source of care and acceptance
The symptoms of dependent personality disorder are often diagnosed during adulthood. Only in this stage of development that those signs related with this condition become noticeable. In some instances though, this condition is found among children.
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Another member of cluster C personality disorders is the Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. This condition is characterized by an obsessive or preoccupation with order and rule. Thus, people with this condition often labeled as a perfectionist, efficient, and are rigidly observant to order and neatness.
However, such extreme preoccupation with rules and order has a significant impact on the person’s ability to carry out the assigned task. The self-imposed high standard creates difficulties in dealing with other people which in turn result in a problematic relationship in a workplace.
Moreover, the work ethics of people with OCD is considered to be abnormal. This behavioral pattern is consistent across cultures. People with OCD are considered to be stubborn and inflexible in many social situations.
Common symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
The symptoms of OCD are the combination of obsession and compulsion. But the symptoms may not always occur simultaneously. Oftentimes, the effect of the symptoms is seldom realized by the people with OCD. They have no idea that the obsessions and compulsions are already taking their toll.
The symptoms of obsession
Obsessions are characterized by the repeated unwanted thoughts and intrusive imaginings that could cause distress to a person. In most cases, the symptoms may cause a person to:
- Develop a fear of dirt and contamination
- Rigidly pursue order and perfection
- Feel anxious or stressed when things are not happening according to plan
- Have intrusive thoughts or images of hurting oneself or the loved ones
- Avoid touching others like handshaking because of fear of contamination
These symptoms may lead to several compulsive behaviors. The following behaviors are commonly observed among people with OCD.
- Constant and excessive obsession with cleanliness
- Constant and excessive obsession with orderliness
- Have a rigid schedule for everything
- Always seek reassurance from others
- Excessive hand-washing
- Making sure that everything is good
What causes the cluster C personality disorders?
Like other psychological disorders, personality disorders have several influential factors. Most experts believe that this condition may be the result of genetics, parenting, and social influence.
However, it is difficult to pinpoint one specific influential factor. In most cases, it is the combination among genetics, parenting, and social influence.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.