Personality disorders are a kind of mental disorders that affect how people manage their emotions, behavior and relationships. Personality disorders can be diagnosed 40%-60% of the time, and they are characterized by an enduring collection of behavioral patterns often associated with considerable personal, social, and occupational disruption.
This behavior can result in maladaptive coping skills and may lead to personal problems that induce extreme anxiety, distress, or depression.
The concept of personality disorders itself is much more recent and tentatively dates back to psychiatrist Philippe Pinel’s 1801 description of manie sans délire, a condition which he characterized as outbursts of rage and violence (manie) in the absence of any symptoms of psychosis such as delusions and hallucination.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Revision (DSM-5), there are ten types of personality disorders and they can be grouped or clustered into three.1
Cluster A (Odd, bizarre, eccentric)
Paranoid PD, Schizoid PD, Schizotypal PD
Cluster B (Dramatic, erratic)
Antisocial PD, Borderline PD, Histrionic PD, Narcissistic PD
Cluster C (Anxious, fearful)
Avoidant PD, Dependent PD, Obsessive-compulsive PD.
Below are the explanation of the ten types of personality disorder and signs.2
1. Paranoid personality disorder
The patient is always guarded and constantly on the lookout for suspicious acts. The individual is overly sensitive to rejection and easily feels down. They may feel shame and humiliation, and they can even hold grudges. Withdrawal from others is common, and it is difficult for them to build close relationships since they can easily blame others for mistakes.
- Distrust of others
- Sensitive to people’s reaction
- Ability to bear grudges for a long time
2. Schizoid personality disorder
Schizoid designates a natural tendency to direct attention toward one’s inner life and away from the external world. A competing theory about people with schizoid PD is that they are in fact highly sensitive with a rich inner life: they experience a deep longing for intimacy but find initiating and maintaining close relationships too difficult. Therefore, they retreat into their inner world. People with schizoid PD rarely require any medical attention and are resistant to building close relationships.
- Staying away from friendly people around them
- Lack emotional response
- Lack sense of humor
3. Borderline personality disorder
It was given this name because it was thought to lie between the borderline of anxiety and psychotic disorder. Emotional instability, outburst of anger when criticized, suicidal threats and acts of self-harm are common. The person essentially lacks a sense of self, and as a result, experiences feelings of emptiness and fears of abandonment.
- Unpredictable as they can harm incautiously
- They are manipulative
- They are unstable
4. Schizotypal disorder
People with schizotypal personality disorder are often described as odd or eccentric. They usually have few, if any, close relationships. People with schizotypal PD have a higher than average probability of developing schizophrenia, and the condition used to be called ‘latent schizophrenia.’
- Acting strange or unusual
- They are not friendly
- Staying away from people
5. Histrionic personality disorder
People with this see themselves as attractive and charming. They are constantly seeking others’ attention and tend to overreact. They do not have a sense of self-worth, and they depend entirely on themselves to gain the approval of others.
- Attracts attention
- Tend to seduce
- Seek to influence others’ reactions
6. Narcissistic personality disorder
People with this disorder have a sense of self-importance and require some form of admiration. They believe they are superior and therefore have no regard for others’ feelings. They lack empathy and exploit others in order to become successful. To others, this individual may seem self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant, selfish, or insensitive. They may become violent when ridiculed or criticized.
- Feels superior
- They are arrogant
7. Anankastic personality disorder
A person with anankastic personality disorder is typically doubting and cautious, rigid and controlling, and humorless. Anxiety arises when this person experiences a lack of control over situations beyond his or her understanding.
- Believes they are perfect
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
8. Avoidant personality disorder
This individual has low self-esteem and is constantly having the fear of being embarrassed, criticized, or rejected. They are awkward and avoid meeting people due to fear of being disliked. Research suggests that people with avoidant PD excessively monitor internal reactions, both their own and of others. This prevents them from engaging naturally or fluently in social situations.
- Low self esteem
- Fear of failure
9. Antisocial personality disorder
People with this disorder always act without considering others’ perspectives. Antisocial personality disorder is much more common in men than in women, and it is characterized by a lack of concern for others’ feelings. This person disregards social rules and obligations, is irritable and aggressive, acts impulsively, and never feels remorse or guilt.
- Disrespects others’ decisions
- Believes they are the only ones who are right
- Absence of societal norms
10. Dependent personality disorder
This is characterized by a lack of self-confidence and an excessive need to be looked after. The person needs a lot of help in making everyday decisions and surrenders important life decisions to care for others. This individual fears isolation and can never be found alone.
- Clingy with other people
- Avoids isolation
- Cannot do anything alone