What are Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by longstanding patterns of thought, behavior, and inner experience that deviate from cultural norms and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or personal functioning. These patterns are deeply ingrained, inflexible, and pervasive across various contexts, and usually begin in adolescence or early adulthood.

There are several types of personality disorders, grouped into three clusters based on their characteristic features:

Cluster A (Odd or Eccentric): Includes paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders, which are characterized by social detachment, suspicion, eccentric beliefs or behavior, and cognitive or perceptual distortions.

Cluster B (Dramatic or Erratic): Includes antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders, which are characterized by emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, attention-seeking, and interpersonal instability.

Cluster C (Anxious or Fearful): Includes avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders, which are characterized by anxiety, fearfulness, perfectionism, rigidity, and avoidance of social situations.

Personality disorders can be difficult to treat, but therapy and medication can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. It is important to seek professional help if you suspect you or someone you know may have a personality disorder.

Shervan K Shahhian

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