Personality disorder clusters a b c
What Are Personality Disorders? | Thriveworks
Personality disorders belong to a group of mental illnesses characterized by unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, which can seriously hinder one’s everyday functioning. You’re probably familiar with several of these disorders, like borderline personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. But you might not be familiar with their distinguishing clusters.
Each personality disorder belongs to a cluster or subgroup, which further classifies that specific group of personality disorders: cluster A’s disorders are classified as odd, bizarre, or eccentric; cluster B’s disorders are called dramatic or erratic; and cluster C’s are considered anxious and/or fearful. Now, let’s take a closer look at these clusters and the 10 personality disorders that make up these clusters:
Cluster A: Odd, Bizarre, Eccentric
This cluster of personality disorder is defined by social withdrawal and social awkwardness. Those who struggle with the disorders in this cluster suffer from distorted thinking.
- Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a great distrust in others, even loved ones. Due to this distrust, these individuals are always on guard and suspicious of those around them. They are overly sensitive, easily humiliated, grudgeful, and they have trouble building close relationships.
- Schizoid personality disorder leaves individuals feeling detached, uninterested in social relationships, and lacking emotional response. Those affected by schizoid personality disorder are disconnected from reality and more prone to introspection.
- Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by oddities in both appearance and behavior. Individuals with this illness often have strange beliefs, such as magical thinking. Like those with schizoid personality disorder, they avoid social relationships: not because they lack the desire to have these close relationships with others, but because they fear them.
Cluster B: Dramatic, Erratic
The personality disorders in this cluster are characterized by overly dramatic and emotional thinking and/or behavior. People with the following disorders often struggle with impulse control.
- Antisocial personality disorder causes one to lack empathy, that is concern for the feelings of others. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder are irritable, aggressive, impulsive, and unapologetic for their actions. However, these individuals typically have no problem developing relationships… though they are short-lived due to the aforementioned tendencies.
- Borderline personality disorder is characterized by an individual’s absent sense of self, which triggers feelings of desolation and fears of abandonment and neglect. People who are diagnosed with this disorder typically have unstable relationships and emotions, as well as outbursts of anger, violence, and impulsive behavior.
- Histrionic personality disorder leaves individuals feeling worthless, useless. They rely solely on attracting attention and receiving approval from others for their wellbeing; they may come across as charming or act inappropriately seductive. Furthermore, these individuals are sensitive to criticism and rejection.
- Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by feelings of entitlement and a need to be admired or even worshipped. These individuals lack empathy and have no problem exploiting others to achieve their goals; if they feel disrespected or obstructed, they often react with anger and revenge.
Cluster C: Anxious, Fearful
The final cluster is marked by anxiety-ridden thoughts and behaviors. People with these personality disorders have serious fears that inhibit their everyday:
- Avoidant personality disorder makes people believe they’re inferior and inadequate human beings. These individuals are terrified of being criticized, embarrassed, or rejected; and due to these fears, they avoid social interaction. They restrain themselves even in relationships with their closest loved ones.
- Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a lack of self-confidence and the individual’s need to be cared for. Not only do they need help making important life decisions, but they require help making mundane decisions on a day-to-day basis. Their biggest fear is abandonment, and they do whatever it takes to ensure upkeep of their relationships.
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder causes individuals to become preoccupied with details, lists, organization, rules, and so on; it is characterized by the utmost perfectionism and productivity that can very well hinder one’s relationships. People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are usually cautious and controlling to a fault.
Treatment and Recovery
Unfortunately, there are no known cures for personality disorders and the same goes for a majority of mental illnesses. However, there are multiple ways to effectively treat personality disorders and help these individuals better handle the harmful symptoms that come with their given illness. While the best treatment methods can vary for each personality disorder, the following are promising options that have proven to help:
- Psychotherapy: This kind of therapy allows individuals suffering from personality disorders to learn more about their condition and talk about their harmful thoughts and behaviors, their moods, and their feelings. The therapist helps them cope with the harmful effects of the given disorder and also better manage the illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family-focused therapy all fall into the category of psychotherapy; a mental health profession can help determine what kind of psychotherapy is best for an individual and their condition.
- Medication: While there aren’t any medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat personality disorders, there are multiple psychiatric medicines that can help with the symptoms that come with an individual’s personality disorder. These include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotic medications.
Personality disorders - Symptoms and causes
A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.
In some cases, you may not realize that you have a personality disorder because your way of thinking and behaving seems natural to you. And you may blame others for the challenges you face.
Personality disorders usually begin in the teenage years or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders. Some types may become less obvious throughout middle age.
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Types of personality disorders are grouped into three clusters, based on similar characteristics and symptoms. Many people with one personality disorder also have signs and symptoms of at least one additional personality disorder. It's not necessary to exhibit all the signs and symptoms listed for a disorder to be diagnosed.
Cluster A personality disorders
Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by odd, eccentric thinking or behavior. They include paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.
Paranoid personality disorder
- Pervasive distrust and suspicion of others and their motives
- Unjustified belief that others are trying to harm or deceive you
- Unjustified suspicion of the loyalty or trustworthiness of others
- Hesitancy to confide in others due to unreasonable fear that others will use the information against you
- Perception of innocent remarks or nonthreatening situations as personal insults or attacks
- Angry or hostile reaction to perceived slights or insults
- Tendency to hold grudges
- Unjustified, recurrent suspicion that spouse or sexual partner is unfaithful
Schizoid personality disorder
- Lack of interest in social or personal relationships, preferring to be alone
- Limited range of emotional expression
- Inability to take pleasure in most activities
- Inability to pick up normal social cues
- Appearance of being cold or indifferent to others
- Little or no interest in having sex with another person
Schizotypal personality disorder
- Peculiar dress, thinking, beliefs, speech or behavior
- Odd perceptual experiences, such as hearing a voice whisper your name
- Flat emotions or inappropriate emotional responses
- Social anxiety and a lack of or discomfort with close relationships
- Indifferent, inappropriate or suspicious response to others
- "Magical thinking" — believing you can influence people and events with your thoughts
- Belief that certain casual incidents or events have hidden messages meant only for you
Cluster B personality disorders
Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. They include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
Antisocial personality disorder
- Disregard for others' needs or feelings
- Persistent lying, stealing, using aliases, conning others
- Recurring problems with the law
- Repeated violation of the rights of others
- Aggressive, often violent behavior
- Disregard for the safety of self or others
- Impulsive behavior
- Consistently irresponsible
- Lack of remorse for behavior
Borderline personality disorder
- Impulsive and risky behavior, such as having unsafe sex, gambling or binge eating
- Unstable or fragile self-image
- Unstable and intense relationships
- Up and down moods, often as a reaction to interpersonal stress
- Suicidal behavior or threats of self-injury
- Intense fear of being alone or abandoned
- Ongoing feelings of emptiness
- Frequent, intense displays of anger
- Stress-related paranoia that comes and goes
Histrionic personality disorder
- Constantly seeking attention
- Excessively emotional, dramatic or sexually provocative to gain attention
- Speaks dramatically with strong opinions, but few facts or details to back them up
- Easily influenced by others
- Shallow, rapidly changing emotions
- Excessive concern with physical appearance
- Thinks relationships with others are closer than they really are
Narcissistic personality disorder
- Belief that you're special and more important than others
- Fantasies about power, success and attractiveness
- Failure to recognize others' needs and feelings
- Exaggeration of achievements or talents
- Expectation of constant praise and admiration
- Unreasonable expectations of favors and advantages, often taking advantage of others
- Envy of others or belief that others envy you
Cluster C personality disorders
Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful thinking or behavior. They include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Avoidant personality disorder
- Too sensitive to criticism or rejection
- Feeling inadequate, inferior or unattractive
- Avoidance of work activities that require interpersonal contact
- Socially inhibited, timid and isolated, avoiding new activities or meeting strangers
- Extreme shyness in social situations and personal relationships
- Fear of disapproval, embarrassment or ridicule
Dependent personality disorder
- Excessive dependence on others and feeling the need to be taken care of
- Submissive or clingy behavior toward others
- Fear of having to provide self-care or fend for yourself if left alone
- Lack of self-confidence, requiring excessive advice and reassurance from others to make even small decisions
- Difficulty starting or doing projects on your own due to lack of self-confidence
- Difficulty disagreeing with others, fearing disapproval
- Tolerance of poor or abusive treatment, even when other options are available
- Urgent need to start a new relationship when a close one has ended
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Preoccupation with details, orderliness and rules
- Extreme perfectionism, resulting in dysfunction and distress when perfection is not achieved, such as feeling unable to finish a project because you don't meet your own strict standards
- Desire to be in control of people, tasks and situations, and inability to delegate tasks
- Neglect of friends and enjoyable activities because of excessive commitment to work or a project
- Inability to discard broken or worthless objects
- Rigid and stubborn
- Inflexible about morality, ethics or values
- Tight, miserly control over budgeting and spending money
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, a type of anxiety disorder.
When to see a doctor
If you have any signs or symptoms of a personality disorder, see your doctor or other primary care professional or a mental health professional. Untreated, personality disorders can cause significant problems in your life that may get worse without treatment.
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Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It's the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of:
- Your genes. Certain personality traits may be passed on to you by your parents through inherited genes. These traits are sometimes called your temperament.
- Your environment. This involves the surroundings you grew up in, events that occurred, and relationships with family members and others.
Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of these genetic and environmental influences. Your genes may make you vulnerable to developing a personality disorder, and a life situation may trigger the actual development.
Although the precise cause of personality disorders is not known, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering personality disorders, including:
- Family history of personality disorders or other mental illness
- Abusive, unstable or chaotic family life during childhood
- Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder
- Variations in brain chemistry and structure
Personality disorders can significantly disrupt the lives of both the affected person and those who care about that person. Personality disorders may cause problems with relationships, work or school, and can lead to social isolation or alcohol or drug abuse.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
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Dsm - IV Groups personality disorders into 3 groups:
DSM – IV nineteen0003
This section begins with a general definition personality disorder, which is applicable for each of the 10 specific disorders. All personality disorders are coded along axis II.
General diagnostic criteria for the disorder personality.
A. Long-term pattern of internal experiences and behavior clearly deviant from cultural expectations. This pattern appears in two (or more) areas of the following:
1 – cognitive sphere (i.e. ways perception or understanding of oneself, others people and current events),
2 - affective sphere (i.e. range, intensity, lability acceptability emotional reactions),
3 – interpersonal functioning,
4 - impulse control.
B. This long-term pattern is inflexible and comprehensive in a vast range of personal and social functioning.
C. This pattern leads to overt clinical violations or deterioration in social, professional or other important areas of operation. nine0003
D. This pattern is stable and long-term, and its establishment can be traced at least up to adolescence or adolescence.
E. This pattern is not a manifestation or the result of another mental diseases.
F. This pattern is not direct psychological result of the use substances (such as drugs or medications) or general health (e.g. head trauma).
301.0 Paranoid personality disorder
A. Deep mistrust and suspicion towards others with interpretation motives for their behavior as unfriendly, started in youth and present in a variety of contexts that determined by four (or more) of the following factors:
1- suspicion without sufficient grounds that others exploit, harm or deceive him/her
2- preoccupation with unjustified doubts regarding fidelity or reliability friends or partners
3- unwillingness to reveal to others unjustified fears that the information misused against him/her
4- search for hidden meanings or threatening signs of harmless remarks or events
5- constant ill will, i.e. refusal to forgive insults, insults, taunts
6- feeling attacked or attacked reputation that is not visible to others, with immediate reaction of anger or counterattack
7- repeated suspicions, without sufficient on that grounds, in fidelity of a spouse or sexual partner. nine0003
B. Does not occur solely due to schizophrenia, mood disorders with psychotic features, others psychotic disorders, and is a direct physiological health outcome.
Note: If these factors are present before onset of schizophrenia”, add "premorbid", for example - "paranoid personality disorder (premorbid)”.
Types of personality disorders and features of their treatment. Paranoid, schizoid, dissocial, hysterical disorder, obsessive-compulsive, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, narcissistic
The main feature of personality disorders is pronounced maladaptive features of the psyche - such patients do not know how and cannot get along with others, adapt to new conditions. Previously, personality disorders were called psychopathy, but over time, experts adopted a Western point of view - psychopathy is still a separate mental disorder. There are several types of personality disorders, sometimes there are mixed types of the disease. Treatment should only be carried out by experienced professionals, but the main problem with this disorder is that patients for the most part do not recognize their mental problems. nine0003
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Types of personality disorders and features of their treatment
Every fifteenth inhabitant of our planet suffers from a personality disorder. Moreover, he himself hardly perceives his condition as a disease that requires an appeal to specialists. He will justify all his actions and consider his behavior normal. Treatment denies, and the consequences are unpredictable. nine0003
Personality disorder: adjustment difficulties
Personality disorder is a maladaptive pattern of behavior caused by a persistent mental disorder that is not associated with a physical or neurological disease. This pathology is difficult to correct, because the patient does not believe that he needs treatment. There is no motivation, which is a catalyst for positive changes. The individual himself does not seek to get rid of the violation and does not make good contact with psychotherapists. Late appeal to specialists leads to the fact that the patient gets an appointment with a psychiatrist already in the stage of deep neglect of the disease. It can be difficult to relieve symptoms and cure. The first signs of the disease are actively manifested in adolescence. Before this period, individual episodes are possible, but only after the period of puberty can we talk about the problem. Individuals with cognitive personality disorder do not understand why others talk about any of their problems. After all, they believe that behavior and actions are normal. People with personality disorders are poorly perceived in society. They often have difficulties in personal communication. But at the same time, patients do not feel pangs of remorse and have no sympathy for others. After a certain time, their relationship with the world is built not according to the principle of personal adaptation to society, but according to the scheme, when the society is forced to accept or not accept a problematic person. The lack of motivation and desire to be treated exacerbates the problem, since not every doctor can find an approach to such a patient, relieve the symptoms of exacerbation and help get rid of the problem. nine0003
Specific personality disorders
In Soviet times, overly emotional individuals were often called psychopaths. Such a characterization and classification was not inherent in Western psychiatry. Psychopathy is a serious violation of a behavioral nature, in which, against the background of underdevelopment of a number of personality traits, one clearly dominates. This includes a number of deviations. Types of personality disorders:
- Paranoid - the patient is dominated by overvalued ideas. He attaches special importance to his personality. But he treats others with hostility, suspecting them of malicious intent. A person with a pathology does not recognize its presence. When relatives or friends pay attention to a cognitive deviation and try to take him to a specialist, he will assure that everything is in order with him and deny the existence of a problem. Very sensitive to criticism. nine0101
- § Schizoid - this diagnosis is characterized by introversion, isolation, decreased interest in life's things. The patient does not perceive the accepted norms of social behavior, often behaves eccentrically. Schizoid personality disorders are associated with a great passion for some kind of activity in which the individual succeeds. For example, he may be pathologically addicted to various health systems, to the point of attracting other people to his interests. Experts believe that in this way a certain asociality is replaced. Also, such patients may have problems with alcohol, drugs or other types of addiction. nine0101
- § Dissocial - a characteristic feature of such a personality disorder is the patient's cognitive defiant behavior in order to obtain what is desired. With all this, such patients are able to win over people, including doctors. This type is especially pronounced in late adolescence.
- § Hysterical - the main goal of such patients is to draw attention to their person in any way, including defiant behavior. The diagnosis is more typical for women. Atypical capriciousness, inconstancy of desires, extravagance, deceit are observed. In order to attract attention, the patient invents non-existent diseases for himself, the symptoms of which can be given out by the autonomic system and which is difficult to remove. nine0101
- § Obsessive-compulsive - patients with this type of personality disorder pathologically strive for order and perfection. They have no sense of humor, they try to be perfect in everything. When the set ideal goals are not achieved, they can fall into depressive states.
- § Anxious - such a personality disorder is characterized by the cultivation of a personal inferiority complex. Patients are in a state of perpetual anxiety and uncertainty. From childhood, such patients are shy and timid. Often suspect others of hostility. They are prone to depression. nine0101
- § Narcissistic — a deviation in which a person manifests narcissism from childhood, a desire to be constantly admired. Such a patient does not accept criticism: he reacts to it either with resentment or with aggression. Indifferent to the feelings of other people, prone to exploiting them to achieve their own goals.
Different forms of psychopathy require an individual approach to treatment. Personality disorders should not be confused with character accentuation. In the latter case, a person also has behavioral features, but they lie within the upper limit of the norm. In addition, it is adapted to social conditions. The classification of classical psychopathy is inappropriate here. Diagnosis and types are different. nine0003
Causes that cause personality and behavioral disorders
All specific personality disorders are usually divided into three clusters. Their classification:
- § Types of cluster A psychopathy: paranoid and schizoid;
- § Cluster B psychopathy: hysterical, asocial, narcissistic;
- § Types of cluster B psychopathy: obsessive-compulsive, depressive.
The causes of cluster A psychopathy are considered to be genetic and hereditary. The fact is that among the relatives of patients who have a personality disorder, as a rule, there is at least one with schizophrenia. A hereditary predisposition to pathologies can also be traced in cluster B and C psychopathy. The first option can also be aggravated by problems with alcohol: in families of people who drink, children often develop with disorders. There is a version that cognitive specific personality disorders may be associated with hormonal disorders in the body. If a person has elevated levels of testosterone, estrone and estradiol, the consequences of this are manifested in the form of aggression. In addition, he does not produce enough endorphins, which, in turn, leads to depressive disorders. The social factor also plays an important role in the formation of the psychotype. For active children, space is important. If they are forced to be brought up in a closed space, small areas, this leads to the appearance of hyperactivity. Anxious babies from birth can become balanced if they are raised by emotionally stable parents. A calm mother can help a child become confident, and an anxious one can not remove, but increase his personal anxiety state. Character traits become noticeable already in early childhood. In adolescence, they can already develop as a personality disorder. Cognitive impairment is manifested in a decrease in memory, increased fatigue. Pathologies of the nervous system are observed more often in people with an asocial temperament. nine0003
Mixed personality disorder
This type of psychopathy is less studied than others. The classification has no special criteria. The patient manifests forms of one or the other type of disorders that are not persistent. Therefore, this type of disorder is also called mosaic psychopathy. But it is also difficult for a person with a mixed type of disorder to get along in society because of the peculiarities of their behavior. Instability of character is often the basis that contributes to the development of various types of addiction. Mixed personality disorder may be accompanied by alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction. Mosaic psychopathy can combine symptoms of the schizoid and paranoid types. Such people do not know how to build social contacts in society, they are obsessed with overvalued ideas. With the predominance of paranoid symptoms, patients suffer from increased suspicion. They are prone to scandals, threats, like to write angry complaints about everyone and everything. Specialists are alarmed if signs (classification) of several disorders coexist in one patient: schizoid, hysterical, asthenic, excitable. In this case, there is a high risk of developing schizophrenia. Brain injuries or complications after a number of diseases can lead to mosaic types of pathology. This mixed personality disorder is considered acquired. If we consider the situation in detail, it will look like this: a person already has an innate tendency to mosaic psychopathy, which, due to certain circumstances, is superimposed by organic pathology. Mosaic disorder requires specific treatment only when symptoms worsen, or if there is organic build-up. Then neuroleptics, tranquilizers, vitamins can be prescribed by a specialist. nine0003
Infantile personality disorder
With this type of psychopathy, signs of social immaturity are pronounced. A person is not able to withstand stressful situations and relieve tension. In difficult circumstances, he does not control his emotions in the same way as children do. Infantile personality disorders for the first time clearly declare themselves in adolescence. Hormonal storms that occur at this time with a person cause changes in the psycho-emotional sphere. As you get older, the diagnosis can only progress. It is possible to finally talk about the presence of the disease only after reaching 16-17 years. In stressful circumstances, the patient manifests himself immature, poorly controls aggression, anxiety, fear. Such a person is not hired for military service, they are denied employment in law enforcement agencies. Permits to carry weapons or obtain a driver's license are decided on a limited and strictly case-by-case basis, according to an assessment of signs and condition. nine0003
Transient personality disorder
This diagnosis refers to borderline conditions where the symptoms of the deviation are difficult to attribute to any type of personality disorder. The main causes of psychopathy are long-term stressful situations. In the modern world, a person is surrounded by many unfavorable factors: troubles at work, military operations, difficult family circumstances, financial failures, moving... All this disrupts the usual way of life and unbalances. If such circumstances last too long, the human psyche does not always have a reserve to survive and overcome them. Transient personality disorder has its own characteristics:
- § disorientation;
- § hallucinations;
- § nonsense;
- § inhibition of verbal and motor functions.
Even one of the symptoms can already signal a disorder. This diagnosis is special in that the disease does not last too long: sometimes only a day, and sometimes a month. It suddenly arises and just as it passes. Sometimes a person can go to sleep with a disturbance, and get up in a normal emotional state with residual effects in the form of increased anxiety or sleep disturbances. With each new stress, a spontaneous return of pathology is possible. Such a diagnosis does not pass without a trace. In the event that there are signs of delirium or hallucinations, such a person requires special treatment, because his condition can also threaten those around him. In the period between exacerbations, the patient experiences emotional burnout, in which nerve cells are also destroyed. Therefore, even for preventive purposes, it is recommended to take vitamins and herbal remedies. As historical examples show, partial transient personality disorder is not a benign condition. Many of the famous serial killers and maniacs had this diagnosis. They led a normal life, had families, work, but during the period of exacerbations they committed crimes. When Western experts studied the brains of executed criminals, they did not find significant changes in it. All its parts corresponded to the norm of a healthy person. And only stressful conditions could lead to the appearance of signs of a personality disorder, which entailed antisocial acts. Perhaps, if during the period when the first signs of the disease appeared, there would have been a person nearby who noticed this and helped to contact a specialist, such consequences could have been avoided. Being face-to-face with continuous stressful situations, the psyche simply could not stand it. The mechanism of the development of the disease was launched. nine0003
Treatment for personality disorders
When a person is diagnosed with psychopathy, they rarely agree with it. The peculiarity of this disease is that the patient does not see problems in himself, but looks for them in others.