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Types of Personality Disorders

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Types of personality disorder

There are three ‘clusters’ of personality disorders A, B & C.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), a guide to diagnosis, divides personality disorders into three clusters:

Cluster A - Odd/eccentric: schizoid, schizotypal

Cluster B - Dramatic/emotional/erratic: antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic

Cluster C - Anxious/fearful: avoidant, obsessive-compulsive.

As well as these there is the controversial label of dangerous severe personality disorder (DSPD) but this is not recognised in clinical terms.

Cluster A

Paranoid personality disorder

The person with a paranoid personality disorder essentially has an ongoing, unfounded suspiciousness and distrust of people. This can make them feel they are being exploited or deceived by others. In addition they can be emotionally detached.

When this condition is diagnosed, schizophrenia and psychotic features of mood disorders must be ruled out.

Schizoid personality disorder

A person with schizoid personality disorder has few social relationships, expresses few emotions (especially those of warmth and tenderness), and appears to not care about the praise or criticism of others.

They may appear absent minded and aloof, but are actually very shy.

Schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterised by problems with social and interpersonal relationships. A person with this disorder also has cognitive distortions and may appear to be quite eccentric in their behaviour.

They often have magical thinking (‘if I think this, I can make that happen’), paranoia, and other seemingly strange thoughts.

When schizotypal personality disorder is diagnosed, schizophrenia, mood disorder with psychosis, another psychotic disorder or a persistent developmental disorder need to be ruled out.

Cluster B

Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is closely linked with criminal behaviour. People with this personality disorder are often impulsive or reckless, without considering the consequences for themselves or others. They may put their needs above those of others, doing things to get what they want even if that means they may hurt people. Others may regard them as selfish, and they can be prone to outbursts of aggression and violence.

A diagnosis of ASPD is not usually given to someone under 18 years old. However, its characteristics can be seen in younger people as conduct problems. Conduct problems can include aggressive or defiant behaviour and unlawful behaviour such as stealing. It is more than teenage rebellion. If young people with conduct problems are treated at an early age, this can prevent more serious problems later on.

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) refers to the symptoms being on the borderline between psychosis and neurosis. It is a disorder in which a person has a pattern of unstable personal relationships, and poor impulse control in areas such as spending, sexual conduct, driving, eating, and substance abuse. They may not have a strong sense of who they are.

Additionally, the person suffering from BPD fears abandonment and will go to any length to prevent this, often feeling chronic emptiness.

There may be s*****al threats, gestures or attempts made by the person with BPD. There may also be self-harm. Their mood may change quickly, often with outbursts of anger. Someone with BPD may also experience hallucinations and delusions.

BPD is a controversial diagnosis, and some psychiatrists do not believe it exists.

Histrionic personality disorder

Histrionic personality disorder is characterised by people who are like to be the centre of attention, are lively and over dramatic.

They easily become bored with normal routines, and crave new, novel situations and excitement. In relationships, they form bonds quickly, but the relationships are often shallow, with the person demanding increasing amounts of attention.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder involves grandiose (inflated) self-importance and preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success.

They are often referred to as being conceited. They can often act selfishly, with a sense of entitlement over others. They generally have a low self-esteem.

Cluster C

Dependent personality

Dependent personality involves passively allowing others to assume responsibility for major areas of ones life, often with a lack of self-confidence or lack of ability to function independently.

This leads to the person making their own needs secondary to the needs of others, and then becoming dependent on them. While everyone is dependent on others in some parts of their lives, those with dependent personality disorder are dependent on almost all major areas of their lives and view themselves only through an extension of others.

Avoidant personality disorder

Avoidant personality disorder is where a person has an extreme fear of being judged negatively by other people and suffers from a high level of social discomfort as a result. They tend only to enter into relationships where uncritical acceptance is almost guaranteed, undergo social withdrawal and suffer low self-esteem. They have a great desire for affection and acceptance, but the fear of rejection can overwhelm this desire.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is characterised by a person who has a decreased ability to show warm and tender emotions, a perfectionism that decreases the ability to see the larger picture and difficulty in doing things any way but their own.

Essentially, everything must be just right, and nothing can be left to chance. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is different from obsessive compulsive disorder, which must be ruled out before a diagnosis is made.

Dangerous severe personality disorder (not in above clusters)

The government first introduced the term ‘dangerous severe personality disorder’ in a consultation paper 'Managing Dangerous People with Severe Personality Disorder' in 1999, which was intended to lead to reform of the mental health legislation.

Some specialist services have been set up to deal with these people, most of whom are thought to be serious violent and sexual offenders.

The term DSPD has no legal or medical basis and many doctors regard it as a political intervention.

From here http://www.rethink.o...ersonality.html

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Types of personality disorder

There are three ‘clusters’ of personality disorders A, B & C.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), a guide to diagnosis, divides personality disorders into three clusters:

Cluster A - Odd/eccentric: schizoid, schizotypal

Cluster B - Dramatic/emotional/erratic: antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic

Cluster C - Anxious/fearful: avoidant, obsessive-compulsive.

As well as these there is the controversial label of dangerous severe personality disorder (DSPD) but this is not recognised in clinical terms.

Cluster A

Paranoid personality disorder

The person with a paranoid personality disorder essentially has an ongoing, unfounded suspiciousness and distrust of people. This can make them feel they are being exploited or deceived by others. In addition they can be emotionally detached.

When this condition is diagnosed, schizophrenia and psychotic features of mood disorders must be ruled out.

Schizoid personality disorder

A person with schizoid personality disorder has few social relationships, expresses few emotions (especially those of warmth and tenderness), and appears to not care about the praise or criticism of others.

They may appear absent minded and aloof, but are actually very shy.

Schizotypal personality disorder

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterised by problems with social and interpersonal relationships. A person with this disorder also has cognitive distortions and may appear to be quite eccentric in their behaviour.

They often have magical thinking (‘if I think this, I can make that happen’), paranoia, and other seemingly strange thoughts.

When schizotypal personality disorder is diagnosed, schizophrenia, mood disorder with psychosis, another psychotic disorder or a persistent developmental disorder need to be ruled out.

Cluster B

Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is closely linked with criminal behaviour. People with this personality disorder are often impulsive or reckless, without considering the consequences for themselves or others. They may put their needs above those of others, doing things to get what they want even if that means they may hurt people. Others may regard them as selfish, and they can be prone to outbursts of aggression and violence.

A diagnosis of ASPD is not usually given to someone under 18 years old. However, its characteristics can be seen in younger people as conduct problems. Conduct problems can include aggressive or defiant behaviour and unlawful behaviour such as stealing. It is more than teenage rebellion. If young people with conduct problems are treated at an early age, this can prevent more serious problems later on.

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) refers to the symptoms being on the borderline between psychosis and neurosis. It is a disorder in which a person has a pattern of unstable personal relationships, and poor impulse control in areas such as spending, sexual conduct, driving, eating, and substance abuse. They may not have a strong sense of who they are.

Additionally, the person suffering from BPD fears abandonment and will go to any length to prevent this, often feeling chronic emptiness.

There may be s*****al threats, gestures or attempts made by the person with BPD. There may also be self-harm. Their mood may change quickly, often with outbursts of anger. Someone with BPD may also experience hallucinations and delusions.

BPD is a controversial diagnosis, and some psychiatrists do not believe it exists.

Histrionic personality disorder

Histrionic personality disorder is characterised by people who are like to be the centre of attention, are lively and over dramatic.

They easily become bored with normal routines, and crave new, novel situations and excitement. In relationships, they form bonds quickly, but the relationships are often shallow, with the person demanding increasing amounts of attention.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder involves grandiose (inflated) self-importance and preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success.

They are often referred to as being conceited. They can often act selfishly, with a sense of entitlement over others. They generally have a low self-esteem.

Cluster C

Dependent personality

Dependent personality involves passively allowing others to assume responsibility for major areas of ones life, often with a lack of self-confidence or lack of ability to function independently.

This leads to the person making their own needs secondary to the needs of others, and then becoming dependent on them. While everyone is dependent on others in some parts of their lives, those with dependent personality disorder are dependent on almost all major areas of their lives and view themselves only through an extension of others.

Avoidant personality disorder

Avoidant personality disorder is where a person has an extreme fear of being judged negatively by other people and suffers from a high level of social discomfort as a result. They tend only to enter into relationships where uncritical acceptance is almost guaranteed, undergo social withdrawal and suffer low self-esteem. They have a great desire for affection and acceptance, but the fear of rejection can overwhelm this desire.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is characterised by a person who has a decreased ability to show warm and tender emotions, a perfectionism that decreases the ability to see the larger picture and difficulty in doing things any way but their own.

Essentially, everything must be just right, and nothing can be left to chance. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is different from obsessive compulsive disorder, which must be ruled out before a diagnosis is made.

Dangerous severe personality disorder (not in above clusters)

The government first introduced the term ‘dangerous severe personality disorder’ in a consultation paper 'Managing Dangerous People with Severe Personality Disorder' in 1999, which was intended to lead to reform of the mental health legislation.

Some specialist services have been set up to deal with these people, most of whom are thought to be serious violent and sexual offenders.

The term DSPD has no legal or medical basis and many doctors regard it as a political intervention.

From here http://www.rethink.o...ersonality.html

Thanks for this information. I'm definitely in cluster B.

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Thanks for sharing this information, it is new to me. I can identify with characteristics in all 3 clusters, some of the symptoms in different clusters are interlinked - antisocial and anxious, for example.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is becoming more common. Take a handful of random celebrities and a few of the them will have this disorder.

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I truly belive that I might have narcissistic personality disorder, so does the person I live with. I'm not finding any help for that though since I don't see it as a disease, rather something that makes me be ahead of others. Though, it does impact me in negative ways aswell, because I am very certain that I will be succesful and everybody loves me by nature, but in reality, i'm not doing anything to achieve that (overconfident). My girlfriend also says I might be a psyhcopat, which might be true, but I don't put a lot of thought into it. When I was younger, I diagnosed mysel with shizoid personality disorder, made everything easier concerning not caring anymore much.

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My ex-husband fits very solidly in the Borderline Personality Disorder category. It could be very scary at times because he really didn't think through the consequences of his actions,leading to some very tense situations. Road rage was a big problem. Relationships never lasted either. I wanted to go get help but he wasn't willing to do that and things finally became dangerous for myself and the kids. If you deal with these symptoms, please get help, because they can spiral out of control.

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After reading this, I realised how I have the symptoms for schizoid personality disorder and the avoidant personality disorder. Different clusters though.

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.Well... I shouldn't have read that. I guess I'm cluster A although whether I lean more toward paranoid personality disorder or schizoid personality disorder I don't know. Really if I think about it I would be someone who began with paranoid personality disorder who as they have aged has moved further into schizoid personality disorder. Of course, I don't see myself as this, but comments I have heard from others matches pretty well what was written.

Is that something individuals have to deal with, do you think? The fact that the observations of others point more toward these issues then their own personal knowledge of themselves? Like, "you're not crazy if you think you're crazy" but in reverse or something?

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People tell me that I might have a schizotypal disorder because I'm just the weirdest person according to them. I've also dated this person whom I really liked and told me that I was really weird. However, I feel normal around my friends. What could be wrong? Hmm.

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Well i can see now quite clearly that i am in cluster "C". Most people say they are slightly compulsive, but where does a full blown disorder fit in, hmmm??

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I'm afraid I might have BPD. I've researched it deeply and I fit most of the criteria too well.

*sighs* I'm already sensitive and introverted with possible anxiety and PTSD as a result of my complicated childhood. Why can't I be normal?

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Is it possible to be all 3? I definitly have traites of all 3 but i have been diagnosed with personality disorder and borderline schizophrenic when hospitalised years ago. thankfully now im basically stable i have manic episodes but the clusters you have mentioned A,B & C i can relate to a lot the traites in all 3 groups..... Im actually printing out the pages with the information on as we speak to show to my psychiatrist and psychologist at my nxt sessions as its never been shown that way before to me..... thanks for the information and the web page link

 

 

Kitty

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Borderline here. Terrified of abandonment. Highly prone to addiction. Pattern of impulsive, reckless & self destructive behavior. Unstable or nonexistent relationships... Chronic emptiness.. the list goes on. I was initially diagnosed bipolar, because symptoms are similar. Who knows I might be both. All I know is it's a living hell in my head and I can't go on much longer alone.

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Hi blackcat and welcome to AC. Have you been diagnosed  with personality disorder and are you having professional help? It is important to seek help if you have any disorder of this sort. The variation in personality disorders are so great that it requires a lot of understanding from the non professional. I have little knowledge of this, but perhaps someone else on the site may have. Personality disorders are listed on the site and you could look at some of the posts relating to this.       Jon. 

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I was Dx'd this year with BPD. I'm just learning about the disorder but it does help make sense out of a lot of major things in my relationships. Not even just romantic relationships. Friendships. Co-Workers\Boss. Neighbors. Family. I'm certainly NOT afraid of abandonment but I was for most of my life until I read a book about healing from abandonment by Susan Anderson. It took a LONG time to work though my abandonment issues, but it really did work. People come and go in my life and I a set them free without any ill feelings. This is who I am. It's the best me I can be. Love it or leave it. I have no illusions that I am any better than anyone else. I'm not dependent on people, in fact I'm fiercely independent and people tend to depend on me instead. But I had to be, because I never had anyone I could rely on. Just me against the world. And not always winning. I'm afraid I don't neatly fit into any one of those categories. I'm anxious. I would say my self-esteem is on the lower side, but it's more of a realistic understanding of my strengths and weakness' than low self-esteem. I'm certainly NOT narcissistic and I loath being the center of attention. I absolutely have had a lifelong series of bad relationships, bad financial decisions and poor impulse control. My husband was the exact same way. When we got together I had perfect credit. Within a year I was over $75000 in credit card debt. He verbally and emotionally abused me and then he left. Now he wants to work things out, nearly two years later. I'm already moved on with someone else but he says he "will wait". 

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It seems to me that you have fully accepted who you are, what you are and how you are, and that can only be good. But that acceptance has to be positive where I get the impression it is negative. Almost an acceptance that this is how things are and will never change, which is not at all true. 'Me against the world', now why do you say that?  Ask yourself that question and try and come up with an honest answer. The world is neutral. It is what we make of the world that affects who we are and how we think. If we regard the world as an evil place (and that is understandable given events) then we will view everything in it as being evil, including the people in our lives, which is not good. Verbal and emotional abuse is not to be tolerated and you are better off without someone who does that to you. There are many, many good people out there who you could rely on but if you approach them with the attitude that they are not to be trusted then they may react in the same way. We get what we give. Give love and you get love, hate, and that comes back too. We have to trust people'. No man is an island.      Jon.

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I'm new to this site, but not new to these problems. For years I tried treating depression, but with very little success. After giving up on shrinks and pills, I eventually started feeling better.... but when I looked into Personality Disorders, I found myself in cluster C... a combination of avoidant/dependent. They seem to go together. How can I sit at home and avoid social anxiety unless I'm overly dependent on someone else...  I go for walks with my dogs, to the grocery store when necessary, out for lunch with my husband and that's about it. Over the years I've lost many people  through death and just fading  out of my life.

I try to keep hopeful that I can feel more normal, but being isolated has become such a comfortable habit, and I know it is unhealthy. If something happens to my husband.... then what?? Do I go crazy? Do I finally figure out how to get a life?? I wonder....

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Hi. rubyjuly. Welcome to AC. :).

You know, when are born we are dealt a hand of cards. Some get all aces and some all deuces. It's how we play the hand that's important. In some games a handful of deuces is a winning hand. Life can be very difficult for some and, as you say, people drop away over the years. But avoiding that fact doesn't make it the less true. From what I understand you are avoiding the situation because you are dependant on someone else. Is that right? What are you avoiding? Going out and mixing? Your own feelings and emotions? Dependency springs from fear. You want to socialise but, at the same time, be isolated because you feel safe that way. Is that right?  Yes, being isolated puts no demands on you. You can avoid responsibility by 'staying out of it'. But in doing so you cut yourself off from communication with others, which is vital to us humans. Stay hopeful because you can recover. Have a good look round the site. Many have suffered as you are suffering and got well. Never despair. You don't seem to be agoraphobic, or are you? Can you go out on your own or is the dependency such that it's difficult? Unfortunately there is only one way to overcome social anxiety and that is to mix with others.  Friends, relatives can help if available. Groups outside you can join? Now I do understand what I ask. It's very difficult to do, but an effort has to be made. What's the alternative.   Good to have you with us. Keep posting.     Jon.    

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