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Personality disorders are a group of mental illnesses. They involve long-term patterns of thoughts and behaviors that are unhealthy and inflexible. The behaviors cause serious problems with relationships and work. People with personality disorders have trouble dealing with everyday stresses and problems. They often have stormy relationships with other people.

The cause of personality disorders is unknown. However, genes and childhood experiences may play a role.

The symptoms of each personality disorder are different. They can mild or severe. People with personality disorders may have trouble realizing that they have a problem. To them, their thoughts are normal, and they often blame others for their problems. They may try to get help because of their problems with relationships and work. Treatment usually includes talk therapy and sometimes medicine.

Symptoms of Personality Disorders

The following features are indicative of Personality Disorders:
  • pervasive distrust
  • suspicion of others
  • unjustified belief
  • unjustified suspicion
  • hesitancy
  • unreasonable fear
  • perception of innocent remarks as personal insults
  • angry or hostile reaction
  • tendency to hold grudges
  • lack of interest in relationships
  • limited range of emotional expression
  • inability to take pleasure in activities
  • inability to pick up normal social cues
  • appearance of being cold
  • little or no interest in having sex
  • peculiar dress
  • peculiar thinking
  • peculiar beliefs
  • peculiar speech
  • peculiar behavior
  • odd perceptual experiences
  • inappropriate emotional responses
  • social anxiety
  • inappropriate or suspicious response
  • magical thinking
  • disregard for others
  • impulsive behavior
  • consistently irresponsible
  • up and down moods
  • intense displays of anger
  • stress-related paranoia
  • constantly seeking attention
  • excessive concern with physical appearance
  • fantasies about power
  • fantasies about success
  • fantasies about attractiveness
  • arrogance
  • inferior feeling
  • rigid and stubborn
  • fearing disapproval
It is possible that Personality Disorders shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Personality Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Personality Disorders:
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Personality Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Personality Disorders:
  • family history
  • abusive, unstable or chaotic family life during childhood
  • childhood conduct disorder
  • variations in brain chemistry and structure

Prevention of Personality Disorders

No, it is not possible to prevent Personality Disorders.
  • genetic factors

Occurrence of Personality Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Personality Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Personality Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Personality Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Personality Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Personality Disorders:
  • Physical exam: To identify an underlying physical health problem
  • Psychiatric evaluation: Helps pinpointing a diagnosis
  • Diagnostic criteria in diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5): To compare symptoms to the criteria in DSM-5

Doctor for Diagnosis of Personality Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Personality Disorders:
  • Psychiatrist

Complications of Personality Disorders if untreated

Yes, Personality Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Personality Disorders is left untreated:
  • problems in relationships
  • social isolation
  • alcohol or drug abuse

Procedures for Treatment of Personality Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Personality Disorders:
  • Psychotherapy: To reduce behaviors that interfere with normal functioning and relationships
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): To treat borderline personality disorder
  • Schema-focused therapy: To promote positive life patterns
  • Mentalization-based therapy (MBT): To identify own thoughts and feelings at any given moment and create an alternate perspective on the situation
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP): To help understand emotions and interpersonal difficulties

Self-care for Personality Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Personality Disorders:
  • Be an active participant: Help efforts to manage personality disorder
  • Learn about condition: Helps empowering and motivate to stick to treatment plan
  • Regular physical activity: Help managing symptoms
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol: Help managing symptoms
  • Get routine medical care: Helps to manage personality disorder

Patient Support for Treatment of Personality Disorders

The following actions may help Personality Disorders patients:
  • Family support: Work with patient's mental health professional to effectively offer support and encouragement to the patient

Time for Treatment of Personality Disorders

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Personality Disorders to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Personality Disorders.

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