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The 10 Most Common Personality Disorders

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Personality disorders are mental health conditions characterised by enduring patterns of behaviour, cognition, and inner experience that deviate from societal expectations. These patterns often cause significant distress and impairment in various areas of life.

In this blog post, psychric team will explore the ten most common personality disorders, shedding light on their defining features and providing a better understanding of these complex conditions.

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is marked by intense emotional instability, impulsive behaviour, and difficulties in maintaining stable relationships. Individuals with BPD may experience fear of abandonment, a distorted self-image, and engage in self-harming behaviours. Treatment often involves therapy, such as dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), to help develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Narcissistic personality disorder 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterised by an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. Individuals with NPD may exhibit grandiosity, a preoccupation with fantasies of success, and a tendency to exploit others. Treatment may involve therapy aimed at developing empathy and healthier interpersonal relationships.

Antisocial personality disorder 

Antisocial Personality Disorder is typified by a disregard for the rights of others and a persistent pattern of violating societal norms. People with ASPD may exhibit manipulative behaviour, a lack of remorse for their actions, and a history of engaging in criminal activities. Treatment for ASPD is challenging, often focusing on managing associated symptoms and behaviours.

Avoidant personality disorder 

Avoidant Personality Disorder is characterised by pervasive feelings of social inhibition, low self-esteem, and a hypersensitivity to criticism or rejection. Individuals with AVPD may avoid social situations and experience significant distress in interpersonal relationships. Treatment often involves therapy that focuses on building self-confidence and improving social skills.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder 

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is characterised by a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and a need for control. People with OCPD may exhibit rigid adherence to rules, excessive attention to detail, and difficulty in delegating tasks. Treatment often involves therapy aimed at reducing perfectionism and promoting flexibility.

Schizotypal personality disorder 

Schizotypal Personality Disorder is marked by eccentric behaviour, unusual beliefs or perceptions, and difficulties in forming close relationships. Individuals with STPD may experience social anxiety, odd speech patterns, and have a tendency to engage in magical thinking. Treatment typically involves therapy to enhance social skills and manage associated symptoms.

Histrionic personality disorder 

Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterised by excessive attention-seeking, emotional instability, and a need to be the centre of attention. People with HPD may exhibit dramatic and theatrical behaviour, have difficulty maintaining long-term relationships, and often express their emotions in an exaggerated manner. Therapy can help individuals with HPD develop healthier coping strategies and improve self-esteem.

Dependent personality disorder 

Dependent Personality Disorder is characterised by an excessive need for others to take care of them. Individuals with DPD may have difficulty making decisions, fear rejection, and rely heavily on others for emotional support. Treatment often involves therapy focused on building self-confidence, assertiveness, and promoting independence.

Paranoid personality disorder 

Paranoid Personality Disorder is marked by a pervasive distrust and suspicion of others, even when there is no evidence to support these beliefs. People with PPD may be hypersensitive to criticism, have difficulty forming close relationships, and interpret benign remarks or actions as malicious. Therapy can help individuals with PPD develop more realistic perceptions of others and improve social functioning.

Schizoid personality disorder 

Schizoid Personality Disorder is characterised by a lack of interest or desire for social relationships, limited emotional expression, and a preference for solitary activities. Individuals with SPD may appear emotionally detached, have difficulty experiencing pleasure, and often have few close relationships. Treatment may involve therapy aimed at improving social skills and addressing associated symptoms.

FAQs

  • Can personality disorders be cured?

Personality disorders are enduring patterns of behaviour, and while they cannot be cured, they can be managed with appropriate treatment. Therapy, such as dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), can help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve their quality of life.

  • Can someone have traits of multiple personality disorders?

Yes, it is possible for individuals to exhibit traits of multiple personality disorders. Personality disorders often share overlapping features, and a comprehensive assessment by a qualified mental health professional is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

  • Are personality disorders caused by genetics or environment?

The development of personality disorders is influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors. While certain genetic predispositions may increase the risk, adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and dysfunctional family dynamics can also contribute to the development of personality disorders.

  • Can medication treat personality disorders?

Medication may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms or co-occurring conditions associated with personality disorders, such as depression or anxiety. However, medication alone is not considered a primary treatment for personality disorders. Psychotherapy and counselling are typically the mainstays of treatment.

  • Can people with personality disorders have healthy relationships?

With appropriate treatment and support, individuals with personality disorders can develop healthier interpersonal relationships. Therapy can help them understand their patterns of behaviour, improve communication skills, and cultivate more fulfilling and balanced relationships.

Takeaway

Personality disorders are complex mental health conditions that impact an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Understanding the ten most common personality disorders can provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by individuals with these conditions.

Remember, a proper diagnosis by a qualified mental health professional is essential for effective treatment. With therapy, support, and a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals with personality disorders can lead fulfilling lives and develop healthier patterns of behaviour and relationships.


Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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