What is Personality Disorder

What does it mean when someone has a disorder? Mental illnesses are diseases that cause mild to severe disturbances in thoughts and behaviors; therefore, patients who are affected may not have control of their actions (Gazzaniga, 2015). A personality disorder is a way people cope with events that are fairly fixed by the end of adolescence. Those affected with this disorder interact with the world in a maladaptive and inflexible way (Gazzaniga, 2015). Within personality disorder, there are three different clusters that give a better understanding as to what a personality disorder is defined as. These clusters are categorized into three groups: Cluster A, B, and C. Furthermore, these disorders are preventable to a certain extent. In addition, many causes lead up to personality disorders; however, childhood experiences play a huge impact. To diagnosis one with this disorder, one must go through evaluations and exams (“Personality disorders,” 2016). Furthermore, treatments are known to last a couple months to a year, known as long-standing treatments. Those who have been affected receive treatments through medications or therapy sessions. Although there are many causes that can lead towards personality disorders, they are preventable to a certain extent; however, after diagnosis, there are many treatments to prevent a more serious disorder.

           Patients affected by personality disorder usually interact with the world in a maladaptive or inflexible way, which means they are not providing appropriate adjustments to the situation, or the patients unwillingly wanting to change (Gazzaniga, 2015). Within personality disorder, there are three clusters, which summarize certain behaviors. Furthermore, Cluster A is when a patient has odd or eccentric behaviors, normally paranoid, schizoid, or schizotypal (Gazzaniga, 2015). When the patient is Paranoid, they are tense, unforgiving, and are prone to aggressive outburst (“Personality disorders,” 2017). For example, one who is paranoid is the person that may be jealous, guarded, or excessively serious (“Personality disorders,” 2017). A patient can be considered Schizoid, socially isolating themselves and restrict emotional expressions. For example, a schizoid patient is more of a daydreamer than a practical action taker (“Personality disorders, 2017”). Lastly, a patient who falls under the category Schizotypal in Cluster A seems to have thoughts, appearances, and behaviors that are emotionally detached and isolated (Gazzaniga, 2015). In addition, these patients come across difficulties forming relationships and experience extreme anxiety in social situations (“Personality disorders, 2017”).

            Furthermore, Cluster B is categorized as dramatic, emotional, or showing erratic behavior (Gazzaniga, 2015). Patients may be considered histrionic, which the patient will have seductive behavior, needing immediate gratification and constant reassurance. Their moods will rapidly change, showing shallow emotions (“Personality disorders, 2017”). Another category, is Narcissistic, which is when one is self-absorbed and expects special treatment and adulations. They are envious of attention to others. Furthermore, a patient can be diagnosed as borderline, which they cannot stand to be alone (Gazzaniga, 2015). These patients have intense, unstable moods and personal relationships. Also, involve alcohol and drug abuse (“Personality disorders, 2017”). Lastly, in Cluster B, a patient can be diagnosed with an antisocial personality, being manipulative, exploitative, and dishonest. They are considered disloyal and are known to break social rules (“Personality disorders, 2017”).

            Lastly, patients diagnosed with a personality disorder may fall under Cluster C, which these types of patients include anxious and fearful behaviors (Gazzaniga, 2015). Furthermore, they are avoidant, which means easily hurt and embarrassed. They stick to routines and have a few close friends to avoid stressful situations (“Personality disorders, 2017”). Cluster C patients are dependent, they want others to make decisions, needing constant advice and reassurance (“Personality disorders, 2017”) Patients can also be considered obsessive compulsive, which they are perfectionistic and indecisive. They are unable to express affection and are preoccupied with details (“Personality disorders, 2017”).

            Personality disorders are preventable to a certain extent; furthermore, this disorder may be caused by genetics, childhood trauma experiences, verbal abuse, high reactivity, or peers. Genetics may be the cause, experts have identified a malfunctioning gene that may be a factor that causes obsessive-compulsive disorder in Cluster C. Whereas others have explored genetic links to aggressions, anxiety, and fear (“What causes personality disorders,” n.d.) In addition, childhood traumas can play a role in causing this disorder as well. For example, high rates of childhood sexual traumas have been studied to cause personality disorder. Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorder Study is known as one of the largest studies of personality disorder; furthermore, they found links between the number and type of childhood traumas and the development of personality disorder (“What causes personality disorders,” n.d.). Verbal abuse is also another causing factor considered. In a study of 793 mothers and children, researchers asked mothers, “if they had screamed at their children or told them they didn’t love them at all” (“What causes personality disorders,” n.d.). Children who experienced verbal abuse were three times as likely to have borderline, obsessive-compulsive, or paranoid personality disorders in adulthood (“What causes personality disorders,” n.d.). Furthermore, high reactivity may fall into play as well. Sensitivity to light, noise, and texture lead to shyness, timid-ness, and anxiousness (“What causes personality disorders,” n.d.). In addition, peers can lead towards the cause, psychologists say that, “a strong relationship with a relative, teacher, or friend can also offset negative influences” (“What causes personality disorders,” n.d.). Patients who are considered to have a personality disorder are diagnosed from criteria from the DSM-5, psychiatric evaluation, and or a physical exam. Furthermore, a psychiatric exam may include a questionnaire to help pinpoint a diagnosis, information from family members or others may be helpful (“Personality disorders, 2016”). Also, a physical exam, symptoms may be linked to an underlying physical health problem, evaluations may include lab tests and screening tests for alcohol and drug abuse. Overall, there are not many known causes; however, there are a few factors that may play a role in diagnoses of personality disorder.

            Suffering from personality disorders are treated by various different ways. Furthermore, these treatments are long-standing that can last up to months or even years. In addition, the treatment team consists of primary doctors, psychiatrists, psychological or other therapists, psychiatric nurses, pharmacists, and social workers (“Personality disorders, 2016”). One therapy used to treat this disorder is a Psychotherapy, which is known as talk therapy. They have discussions to help cope or manage disorders. This therapy is provided through individual sessions, group therapy, or sessions that include family or even friends (“Personality disorders, 2016”). Psychotherapy may also include social skills training to reduce behaviors that interfere with social functioning and relationships. Also hospital and residential treatment programs are offered (“Personality disorders,” 2016).

In addition, Pearce and Dare (1999) stated, psychotherapy is used for severe personality disorder. Furthermore, “evolution is part of the therapeutic process of therapeutic communities. The treatment is complex and volatile and is delivered in various ways; patient drop out is often part of the clinical process. Long term follows up is essential, and measuring robust and useful personality change is difficult”. However, according to Parry (1999), “psychotherapy has been considered neglected due to the lack of data” (p. 710). As stated in the journal, “Psychotherapy for Severe Personality Disorder,” evidence was concluded that neither one therapy over another indicated which types of patients should be offered psychotherapy. In addition, Kernberg and Clarkin (1992) stated, “much attention was brought towards psychotherapy. Furthermore, studies of psychotherapy done before DSM-III located studies on personality disorder issues such as assertion, social inadequacy, various social anxieties, and marital communication difficulties” (p. 65). Overall, when diagnosis with a more serious case of personality disorder, one is to be treated with psychotherapy to help overcome this disorder.

Furthermore, medications are also used to treat this disorder. Antidepressants are useful if the patient has depressed moods, anger, impulsivity, irritability, or hopelessness (“Personality disorders,” 2016). Mood stabilizers, is another medication that helps with mood swings or reducing irritability, impulsivity, and aggression (“Personality disorders,” 2016). In addition, Antipsychotic medications may be helpful if your symptoms include losing touch with reality (psychosis) or anxiety or anger problems (“Personality disorders,” 2016). Lastly, anti-anxiety medications could be prescribed if needed (“Personality disorders,” 2016). They may help if you have anxiety, agitation or insomnia; some cases, they can increase impulsive behavior, so they’re avoided in certain types of personality disorders.

            Overall, there are many causes that can lead towards personality disorders, they are preventable to a certain extent; however, after diagnosis there are many treatments to prevent a more serious disorder. Personality disorders are diagnosed through evaluations and exams. Furthermore, treatments are known to last a couple months to a year, known as long-standing treatments. Those who are affected receive treatments through medications or therapy sessions. Patients receive medications involving: Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic and anti-anxiety medications to control mood swings and reducing symptoms. In addition, one therapy used to treat this disorder is Psychotherapy, which is known as talk therapy. Furthermore, they have discussions to help cope or manage disorders, provided through individual sessions, group therapy, or sessions that include family or even friends. Psychotherapy may also include social skills training to reduce behaviors that interfere with social functioning and relationships. Also, hospital and residential treatment programs are offered. Although there are clusters that patients fall under, there are more severe cases than others, in which psychotherapy is the most common treatment for these patients. Even though many causes lead to personality disorders, they can be preventable in certain ways.

References

(n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://www.apa.org/topics/personality/disorders-causes.aspx

Gazzaniga, Michael, and Diane Halpern. Psychological Science. 5th ed., Norton, 2015.

Haigh, R., Bateman, A., Fonagy, P., Pearce, S., Dare, C., Parry, G., & Kisely, S. (1999). Psychotherapy for Severe Personality Disorder. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 319(7211), 709-711. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25185777

Kernberg, O., & Clarkin, J. (1992). Treatment of Personality Disorders. International Journal of Mental Health, 21(2), 53-76. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41344630

Personality Disorder. (2017, September 12). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/personality-disorder

Personality disorders. (2016, September 23). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/personality-disorders/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354468

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What is Personality Disorder. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved December 3, 2021 , from
https://studydriver.com/what-is-personality-disorder/

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