What is a Personality Disorder?

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We’re all individuals with our own unique personalities.

The word ‘personality’ refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that makes each of us the individuals that we are.

We are all individuals and don’t always think, feel and behave in exactly the same way – it depends on the situation we are in, the people with us, and many other things. But mostly we do tend to behave in fairly predictable ways or patterns. And so we can be described, as shy, selfish, lively, and so on. We each have a set of these patterns, and this set makes up our personality.

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However, if you have a personality disorder, you are likely to find this more difficult. Your patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving are more difficult to change and you will have a more limited range of emotions, attitudes and behaviours with which to cope with everyday life. This can make things difficult for you or for other people.

Personality disorders are diagnosed when an individual has significantly different modes to the average person in how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others. Personality disorders tend to be broadly grouped into one of three clusters – A, B, or C – these reflect the different types of personality disorder.

  • Cluster A Personality Disorders: A person with a cluster A personality disorder tends to have difficulty relating to others and usually shows patterns of behaviour most people would regard as odd and eccentric.
  • Cluster B Personality Disorders: A person with a cluster B personality disorder struggles to regulate their feelings and often fluctuates between positive and negative views of others. This can lead to patterns of behaviour others describe as dramatic, unpredictable, volatile and/or disturbing. An example is borderline personality disorder, where the person is emotionally erratic, liable to self-harm, and has intense and unstable relationships with others.
  • Cluster C Personality Disorders: A person with a cluster C personality disorder struggles with persistent and overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear. They may show patterns of behaviour most people would regard as antisocial and withdrawn. An example is avoidant personality disorder, where the person appears painfully shy, socially inhibited, feels inadequate and is extremely sensitive to rejection.

Those who are diagnosed with a personality disorder may find it challenging to:

  • Create or maintain relationships.
  • Get on with people at work, or with friends and family.
  • Understanding others.
  • Keep out of trouble.
  • Control their feelings or behaviour.

MyMind’s team of mental health professionals are training in a multitude of different approaches used to treat personality disorders such as: psychodynamic treatment, CBT, CAT, and interpersonal psychotherapy.

Read more about our team or book an appointment online.

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