Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders

Why is it important to know the types of personality disorders? What are those? How are personality disorders formed? While face reading has been predominantly explored during the 1930s, disorders of personality were not widely accepted as a discipline. However, practitioners who have mastered it offered important insights for the development of personality theories. Among the existing methods is physiognomy. Physiognomy examines facial expressions to determine character.

a lot of people crossing the pedestrian

It is similar to morphopsychology, the study of human facial features and compositions.

Each individual has unique characteristics and personality traits. Your genetic makeup determines some parts of your personality from the beginning. As you grow up, various factors influence your personality development. All of these factors can also contribute to the development of personality disorders. Read on to know what personality disorders are and how counseling can help address personality disorders.

What Is Personality Disorders

Personality refers to an individual’s unique patterns of feeling, behaving, and thinking. Environmental and social experiences and inherited characteristics influence these. Throughout a person’s lifetime, their personality usually stays over time.

Personality disorders are maladaptive ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling. Personality disorders are long-term behavioral patterns and experiences that significantly differ from societal expectations. Individuals with personality disorders deviate from the cultural norm. A personality disorder may cause distress and problems in social functioning, which can last over time. When left unmanaged, a personality disorder may significantly impair the behavioral responses of a person.

Personality Disorders

can greatly affect:

  • Emotional response
  • Ability to relate to other people
  • Thoughts about oneself or other people
  • Ability to control one’s overall behavior

Types of Personality Disorders

To be diagnosed with disorders of personality, an individual must display patterns of the behavioral characteristics of that particular condition. This characterization must be consistent throughout a person’s lifetime. These personality traits can also indicate emotional disturbance from specific stressors or issues.  This is what differentiates disorders of personality from anxiety and mood disorders.

3 categories of personality disorders

The Unique Feature Of DSM:

(DSM IV Personality Disorders)

Type A Personality disorders

Odd and eccentric personality features characterize this cluster.

Schizotypal Personality Disorders

People with schizotypal personality disorder have distorted and eccentric behavior. This also translates to their way of beliefs and way of thinking. Additionally, they also have a pattern of being very uncomfortable in relationships.

Schizoid Personality Disorders

A person with a schizoid personality disorder detaches from his or her social relationships. They also have little emotional expression. With this, they may deliberately choose to be alone and not engage with other people.

Paranoid Personality Disorders

Individuals with paranoid personality disorder are always suspicious of others. They perceive other people as deceitful, spiteful, and harmful to them. This is why they may find it difficult to be close to other people.

A girl looking through plants

cluster B Personality Disorders

Dramatic, erratic, and extremely emotional behaviors characterize this cluster.

Histrionic Personality Disorders

A person with a histrionic personality disorder has patterns of excessive emotion. They also have extreme attention-seeking behavior. So they can be very uncomfortable if they are not the center of attention.

Antisocial Personality Disorders

Individuals with an antisocial personality disorder may seem to have little regard for other people’s welfare. They lack the empathy to relate to other people. Popular media portrays people with antisocial personality disorder as sociopaths or psychopaths. However, this condition does not necessarily lead to violent tendencies.

Narcissistic Personality Disorders

Individuals diagnosed with narcissistic personality have a high need for admiration. They have a grandiose sense of their importance and entitlement. With narcissistic personality disorder, they manifest a lack of empathy towards others.

Borderline Personality Disorders

People with borderline personality disorder have patterns of being unstable in interpersonal relationships. Abandonment preoccupies them, making them impulsive and reactive at times.

cluster C Personality Disorders

Anxious or fearful qualities of personality characterize this cluster.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – A person who has OCD has a pattern of being preoccupied with perfection. They may have an unhealthy obsession with orderliness and control. This behavior will disrupt their time for leisure, relationships, or for themselves.
  • Dependent Personality Disorder – Individuals with dependent personality disorder are submissive and dependent on others. They have a pattern of needing to be overly taken care of. With this, they have difficulties in decision-making without assurance from others.
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder – Clinically, people with avoidant personality disorder have a pattern of extreme shyness and feelings of inadequacy. They may also be overly sensitive towards criticism.

Personality Disorders Counseling

Counseling primarily helps in diagnosing personality disorders and identifying symptoms. Counselors must conduct personality tests to confirm that the traits match the condition. They also determine how serious your personality disorder might be.

After diagnosing, they will devise a treatment plan. Psychotherapy is an effective method of treating personality disorders. This way, you can gain an understanding of your mental condition. Discussing thoughts, feelings, and behavior helps you learn how to manage your daily life. Whether in relationships or professional careers, counseling may help in dealing with personality disorder symptoms.

Some common types of therapy for personality disorders include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Psychoanalytic therapy

Personality disorders 

individuals must actively participate in their treatment.

Counselors will provide them with coping strategies to deal with the difficulties due to their personality disorders. They will also teach their patient how to perform self-care.

Most importantly, counseling can help them address the stigma toward their personality disorders. One of the most common reasons why individuals with personality disorders do not consult mental health professionals is stigma. It can be a barrier to treatment and the willingness of the person to seek help. The counselor should reassure them that there is nothing wrong with getting professional help for personality disorders.


Counseling can help an individual recognize how to manage and treat their personality disorders. It is helpful to both the patient and the people around them. In the long run, counseling can help patients with personality disorders live life as normally as possible.


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