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Personality Disorders

The term ‘personality’ reflects an individual’s set of characteristics that determine how they behave, think and feel. For those affected with PD, it can affect the way they develop both their relationship with others and themselves. It can be extremely difficult to change these things about oneself, and therefore, problems may persist.What are the types of Personality Disorder?PDs are split into 3 different clusters, within each of which there are several subcategories. Each of these subcategories has a specific set of behaviours and traits that relates to the overall cluster type. Due to the individualistic nature of personality, it is possible that one may not fit exactly into one of the subcategories and may identify with multiple instead. It is common for this to be the case and it is part of the reason why it is so difficult to diagnose. Cluster A: ‘Odd and Eccentric’ or ‘Suspicious’

Paranoid :

Hypersensitive to other people’s negative attitudes towards you (even when evidence is given to disprove this)
Hold grudges

Schizoid :

Emotionally detached
Prefer spending time alone than with others
Elaborate imagination

Schizotypal :

Eccentric, odd ideals and behaviour
Difficulty with appropriate emotional responses and thinking
See/hear inexplicable things; can be related to schizophrenia
Cluster B: ‘Dramatic, Emotional and Erratic’ or ‘Impulsive’

Antisocial (aka. Dissocial) :

Easily frustrated/ aggressive/ impulsive without forethought or remorse
Criminal behaviour
Difficulty forming close interpersonal relationships

Borderline (aka. Emotionally Unstable) :

Impulsive and difficulty controlling emotions
Negative feelings towards oneself; often with self-harm behaviours and suicidal ideations
Unstable relationship patterns
Feeling lonely
Exhibit paranoia and other symptoms of psychosis when stressed
Histrionic : Self-centred, appearance-focused and tendency to over-dramatise events
Changeable mood and extreme emotions
Crave new and exciting experiences

Narcissistic :

Attention-seeking, crave power and success
Take advantage of others e.g. ask for favours without intention to return them
Cluster C: ‘Anxious and Fearful’

Obsessive-Compulsive (aka. Anankastic) :

Perfectionistic, controlling, cautious and rigid in thinking
Judgemental but sensitive to criticism
High levels of worry or doubt e.g. when things do not go according to plan

Avoidant (aka. Anxious) :

Feelings of insecurity and inferiority
Need to be accepted and sensitive to criticism
High levels of worry and anxiety
Isolation and avoidance of close interpersonal relationships and social activities

Dependent :

Low self-confidence, passivity and reliance on others to make decisions
Feelings of hopelessness and incompetence
Difficulty completing daily tasks without direction from others
What causes a personality disorder? As is typical of most types of mental health problems, there is no clear answer. An individual’s childhood experiences, genetic makeup and environment throughout life can factor into how one might experience the world. These factors may include, drug or alcohol misuse, stressful situations, other mental health problems or childhood abuse. What treatments are available for personality disorder? There are many available treatments for PD, following which, people can live highly-functioning and fulfilling lives. The type of treatment will be structured around which type of PD is being treated, and may comprise of one or more of the following:

Medications prescribed by a psychiatrist

Mood stabilisers

Psychological treatments, which are often long-term but seem particularly beneficial for Cluster B PDs
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Schema Therapy
Psychodynamic Therapy
Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT)
Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT)
How can The BISWAS HEART AND MIND CLINIC help? Here at BISWAS HEART AND MIND CLINIC, our multidisciplinary team of highly-trained professionals will get to know you and assess your symptoms in order to tailor a treatment plan to suit you. It may be that one single therapy or a combination of multiple techniques are chosen to help you build the tools that will help you cope with your disorder. For more information, or to book a consultation, please contact us now.

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