What are the different types of personality disorder?
A personality disorder is characterized by an enduring pattern of behaviors that deviate from the social norms. However, such enduring behavioral pattern impairs individual’s functioning. People with personality disorder are sometimes perceived as weird. They may find difficulty in relating to others and social situations. They have maladaptive coping skills that may result in anxiety, distress, and depression.
Different personality disorders become evident during adolescence and early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders. Some types have similarities. As a result, assessing personality disorders can be difficult and tricky most of the time. Here are the different types:
A paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a type of mental illness wherein a person avoids to trust others. People who are diagnosed with PPD are in constant suspicion because they believe that the world will deceive them. Thus, they are vigilant in trying to prove their suspicion. In addition, people with this disorder would always give meaning to meaningless events or environmental cues. Moreover, they are sensitive to criticisms.
Paranoid personality disorder has a direct impact on several aspects of life. For example, a person with PDD may have unstable interpersonal relationships. Being paranoid can significantly affect the way people function.
Schizoid personality disorder is a psychological problem that is characterized by the distinct behavioral patterns. One of the most distinct characteristics of a person with this disorder is the incapability to have social or interpersonal relationships. An individual who has schizoid personality disorder finds difficulties in expressing his/her emotions.
Thus, most of the time, a person with the schizoid disorder is considered as aloof and emotionally cold. No sign of emotional warmth and interest in communicating with others.
In addition, a person with schizoid might have no desire for intimate relationship. Instead, s/he will avoid any type of close relationships with others. Furthermore, a person with this disorder wants to spend time alone.
A person with schizoid personality disorder also finds difficulty in expressing anger. S/he may be passive in responding challenging life situations.
Because individuals with schizoid personality disorder are incapable of establishing interpersonal relationships, they may also find difficulty in finding a job. But this does not mean they are worthless. Because they are good at doing things alone.
Schizotypal personality disorder is a psychological problem that is characterized by difficulty in maintaining a close relationship. Such difficulty in establishing close relationships is due to thoughts distortions. Because people with schizotypal personality disorder have an eccentric way of thinking and daily behaviors.
People with a schizotypal personality disorder often have an incorrect reference to random events. They always interpret events as related to themselves. For instance, people with schizotypal personality disorder may think that others who look them in the eyes have bad plans for them. This perceptual distortion leads to paranoia, anxiety and the tendency to turn inward in social situations.
Schizotypal personality typically can be evident even during childhood. Proper treatment can improve the symptoms.
An antisocial personality disorder is a disorder that characterized by an impairment in the ability to form positive relationships with other people. People with antisocial personality disorder (APD) tend to break basic social norms and values. Violent offenses may involve assault, murder, and rape.
People with antisocial personality disorder do violent behaviors with little or no remorse toward others. They see no problem with their behavior even breaking social and legal rules.
The antisocial personality may develop during childhood and continues until adulthood. However, the DSM 5 states that antisocial personality disorder cannot be diagnosed in people under 18 years old. This is because antisocial personality is an enduring pattern of behavior and can only be clearly diagnosed during adulthood.
The lack of empathy to others allows people with this disorder to commit grave offenses. They show no emotional response when caught. Because of their prominent characteristics, they often violate the law and become criminals.
A person with antisocial personality disorder may be violent, impulsive and alcohol and drug user.
People with antisocial personality have poor control over their impulses. They have little or no tolerance for frustration and have no concern for the consequences of their behavior. As a result, they find difficulty in staying in a job or in a relationship.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder that is characterized by instability in mood, and behavior. These characteristics often impair a person’s relationship and daily functioning. People with BPD experience anger episodes, intense anxiety, and depression that may last for hours to days.
The instability is the main feature of borderline personality disorder. As a result, the mood of people with BPD is extremely unstable. They easily get angered without apparent reason. Their self-concept is also unstable. Thus, people with borderline personality disorder sometimes have self-doubt and grandiose feeling of self-importance.
Because people with BPD are unstable in many aspects, their interpersonal relationships are unstable too. The feeling of emptiness leads them to find other people who can fill such feeling. They always feel anxious about being deserted and avoided.
A bipolar personality disorder is sometimes accompanied by other mental disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, etc. The label borderline personality disorder is somewhat inaccurate and misleading. However, to date, a more accurate term is not yet formulated. Thus, experts still use the existing label.
A histrionic personality disorder is characterized by attention seeking behavior and emotionality. A person who has histrionic personality disorder tends to be the center of attention and would feel uncomfortable when unappreciated. People with this disorder tend to draw the attention of new acquaintances enthusiastically through flirtatiousness. But if they don’t get the attention they want, they tend to be dramatic to make themselves noticeable in any social situation.
People with histrionic personality disorder are often controlling. As a result, they may have difficulty in maintaining or achieving intimate relationship. Because people with this disorder are sexually provocative, such behavior threatens relationship with their friends. People with this disorder may be unaware that their behavior alienates their friends.
People with histrionic may also become easily bored with usual routine. They tend to immediately satisfy their wants. They also have poor enthusiasm on everything they do. Because of this, they may find difficulty in establishing long term relationship.
Some people call it “narcissist personality disorder” or “narcissist personality”. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) formally called it a narcissistic personality disorder. The essential feature of this disorder is the long pattern of grandiosity and demand for constant admiration while lacking empathy. But people with narcissistic personality disorder are vulnerable to any form of criticism.
A narcissistic personality disorder can negatively affect a person in many ways. A person with this mental disorder may fail in their relationship, job, academic, and financial undertakings. Because people with this disorder always demand attention and admiration, people may consider them self-centered.
Avoidant personality disorder is a type of psychological disorder that is characterized by extreme anxious about being criticized by other people. Thus, people with avoidant personality avoid social interaction. If interact with others, they are extremely nervous, and sensitive to negative comments. During a conversation, they put extra care into their words not to say something that would lead to embarrassment.
As a result, people with this condition tend to avoid jobs that require interaction with other people. They prefer isolated jobs such as freelancer, and or, park rangers.
People with this disorder want to engage romantic relationship. However, they feel like being unworthy of such relationship.
How avoidant personality disorder differs from a social anxiety disorder?
Both disorders have something in common – the fear of social interaction. However, people with avoidant personality disorder have more severe social anxiety.
The other difference is the way of perceiving relationship. People with social anxiety want to engage in a relationship. While people with an avoidant personality disorder do not.
Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a disorder that is characterized by a pervasive and excessive desire to be taken care. People with dependent personality disorder are submissive and afraid of separation. They feel like they can’t live or survive without other people’s help.
People with dependent personality disorder find difficulty in making decisions. They always seek advice and assurance from others. In addition, people with dependent personality would always stay in the background. They can’t stand being a leader. Instead, they prefer being submissive to others and let others lead.
Adults with dependent personality disorder are dependent either on their parents or on their spouse. They can’t decide in many areas of their lives including choosing a job, or what decision to be made in a certain situation. Adolescents with dependent personality are like adults. They also can’t decide on their own even in choosing what to wear, what college degree to be taken, and whom to befriend.
Because people with dependent personality are excessively dependent, they often have difficulties in asserting their ideas. As a result, they would agree others even they feel wrong about it. They do so because they are afraid that people they look for guidance and help will vanish.
People with dependent personality are having difficulty pursuing any goal alone. Their lack of self-confidence impairs their ability to carry a task done. But they trust others. As a result, they always believe that others are better than them. Thus, following other people is better than finishing something alone.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the disruptive behaviors that impairs a person’s functioning. People who have this type of abnormal behavior found their actions disturbing and seemingly unmanageable.
How do we know that a person suffers OCD?
Before answering this question, let me define what obsessive compulsive disorder is. OCD has two components; thoughts and actions. Let’s further break down these two concepts.
Components of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
1. Obsession is repetitive thoughts, urges or images. These thoughts are strong enough to initiate action.
2. Unlike obsession, compulsion is a repetitive behavior or action caused by repetitive thoughts, urges or images in an individual’s mind.
Okay, so how do you know that you have OCD? The following are some of the indicators.
Personality change due to another medical condition is not really a form of mental disorder that is developed across the life span. Rather, it is an output or effect of another medical condition. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), (published by The American Psychiatric Association), a person with personality change due to another medical condition must have a persistent personality disturbance. Furthermore, there must be evidence that the change in personality is really the direct effect of another medical condition.
Although personality disorders are not like mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia), they can cause significant impairment in different areas of a person’s functioning.
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.