A personality disorder is a psychiatric condition that causes deviations in one’s lifestyle and the attitude you have towards yourself and others. Often, a personality disorder can cause problems in relationships with other people, which can affect you very negatively.

personality disorders

Patterns of Personality Disorders

Personality disorder is often experienced as behaviors and thoughts that repeat themselves in ways that don’t serve you well, and that cause a lot of pain and confusion. These patterns or habits are often learned early on in our lives, and are reactive to certain situations.

These reactive patterns may have served you well back then, but are now being triggered when they are not useful. These often very emotional reactions often repeat themselves in the context of close relationships, and can cause significant distress. 

The 6 most common personality disorders are:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

If you have a personality disorder you may experience:

  • Significant fear of being abandoned
  • Repeated and unstable relationships
  • Impulsivity
  • Self harming
  • Having stronger reactions than others may typically have
  • An unstable sense of self
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Anxiety and depression.
Put another way, we often see difficulties in the 5 factors that are often used to describe the expression of personality: 1) negative affectivity (vs. emotional stability), 2) detachment (vs. extraversion), 3) antagonism (vs. agreeableness), 4) disinhibition (vs. conscientiousness), 5) psychoticism (vs. lucidity).

Treatment through Psychotherapy

Though commonly requiring longer and more intense therapy than some of the other psychological issues, personality disorders are treatable in a number of ways.

Two such treatment methods are Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy. 

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