Personality Disorders

Treatment for Personality Disorders

Your personality is the patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that set you apart from other people. Your environment, genetics, and experiences help to shape your personality. A person’s personality typically stays consistent across their lifetime. 

A person may receive a diagnosis of a personality disorder if they meet specific criteria. This includes a personality that causes behaviors, thoughts, or emotions that impair functioning or social health.  

Mental health experts classify personality disorders into ten types. This article will explore the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) definition of each type of personality disorder. You will learn:

  • The symptoms of personality disorders
  • What to expect in treatment for personality disorder
  • Where to find personality disorder treatment

If you or someone you love requires treatment for a personality disorder, you are not alone. Contact the specialist at Agape Behavior to learn about our mental health treatment programs. You may also schedule an intake appointment.

Personality Disorders: An Overview

Mental health professionals identify ten personality disorders. Here is a brief overview of each type of personality disorder.

Antisocial personality disorder

People with antisocial personality disorder exhibit disregard for others’ rights. People with this personality disorder may lie, act impulsively, and fail to conform to other social norms.

Avoidant personality disorder

People with this disorder may have symptoms that include:

  • Shyness
  • Sensitivity to criticism
  • Feel “not good enough”
  • Feelings of being socially inept

The symptoms of avoidant personality disorder can cause people to avoid social interaction and may impair functioning. 

Borderline personality disorder

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) exhibit patterns of relationship instability, negative self-image, and impulsive behaviors. They may have an intense fear of abandonment, experience rapid mood swings, and have periods of inappropriate anger. 

Dependent personality disorder

People with dependent personality disorder may need reassurance from others or feel helpless when required to care for themselves. 

Histrionic personality disorder

People with this personality disorder may engage in excessive attention-seeking behaviors. They may feel uncomfortable if they are not the center of attention. They may also experience rapidly changing or intense emotions.

Narcissistic personality disorder

People with narcissistic personality disorder often experience an overly exaggerated sense of self-importance. They may lack empathy for others and take advantage of people to get what they want. 

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may have a rigid view of what is right and wrong. They may work excessively, allowing very little time for relaxation or relationships. 

Paranoid personality disorder

People with this disorder exhibit a pattern of suspicion about others’ intentions or feelings. Because of this mistrust, they may avoid forming relationships with others.

Schizoid personality disorder

People with schizoid personality disorder may not express emotions, seek relationships, or engage with others. People with this disorder may prefer to live in isolation without contact or connection to others.

Schizotypal personality disorder

People with this disorder may have odd beliefs or exhibit eccentric behaviors. They may feel deeply uncomfortable in relationships with others or experience intense social anxiety

A doctor or mental health professional must diagnose a personality disorder. Medical and mental health professionals can develop effective treatment plans to help people manage their symptoms. 

Following a comprehensive treatment plan can help people improve functioning and have a better quality of life. 

Treatment for Personality Disorders: An Overview

According to the American Psychiatric Association, people with personality disorders may benefit from specific therapies, medications, and lifestyle changes. Here is an overview of how personality disorders are treated. 

Talk therapy

Talk therapy is one of the most effective ways of treating personality disorders. Common forms of talk therapy to treat personality disorders include:

  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psychoeducation (teaching people and family members about managing personality disorders)

People may work one-on-one with a licensed therapist or social worker during sessions. People may also participate in group therapy sessions. Talk therapy can help people process emotions and identify patterns of destructive behaviors.

Medications

There are no medications that can cure or treat personality disorders. However, some people may benefit from taking mood stabilizers, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications. 

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes can help people manage the symptoms of a personality disorder and improve functioning. Effective self-care strategies include:

  • Learning about your personality disorder
  • Engaging in regular exercise to improve self-esteem and reduce stress
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • Staying up-to-date with medical checkups and care
  • Finding support
  • Practicing mindfulness to reduce stress
  • Staying socially active
  • Writing, drawing, creating music, or finding other ways to express your feelings

Lifestyle changes can help people cope with the symptoms of a personality disorder. It is crucial to work with a mental health professional to find the treatment that meets your unique needs. 

Find Personality Disorder Treatment

If you or someone you love has a personality disorder, you must seek comprehensive treatment. Effective treatment and support are available at Agape Behavioral. 

Contact our caring mental health specialists now to explore your treatment options. You may also ask questions or schedule an appointment. 

References:

  1. American Psychological Association: Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
  2. American Psychiatric Association: What are Personality Disorders?
  3. American Family Physician: Personality Disorders: Review and Clinical Application in Daily Practice
  4. National Institute of Health (NIH): Personality Disorder
  5. Wiley Online Library: Recent advances in research on personality disorders
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