personality disorder

Why Personality Disorders Can Actually Impact Relationships

Do you know someone in your life who always seems to struggle in their relationships, no matter how hard they try? Perhaps this person is you. Even though you strive to have good connections with others, it seems your relationships are always in turmoil. While some people are known for being naturally “difficult,” it’s possible you could suffer from a personality disorder

If you have a personality disorder, you’re more likely to have rigid thinking and reactive behaviors that make it harder to adapt to situations. These behaviors can make it difficult to get along with others, causing problems in your personal, professional and social life. Let’s learn more about personality disorders, the symptoms to be aware of, and what you can do to improve your relationships. 

What are Personality Disorders? 

A personality disorder is more than just having a bad day. It is a behavioral pattern that occurs over a long period. The symptoms of personality disorders typically appear in your late teens or early 20s, though they can be overshadowed by “normal teenage behavior.” Researchers believe about 10 percent of the U.S. population has a personality disorder

According to a major study, the most common personality disorder is obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. The second most common is narcissistic personality disorder, followed by borderline personality disorder. Each disorder has different symptoms and treatment options, so it’s important to be diagnosed appropriately. 

There are ten personality disorders recognized in the DSM-5, and they fall into one of the following categories: 

  • Cluster A personality disorders. These disorders are characterized by odd and eccentric thinking and behavior. They include paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder. 
  • Cluster B personality disorders. Cluster B disorders involve dramatic or erratic thinking and behavior. They include antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.
  • Cluster C personality disorders. Characterized by anxious and fearful thinking and behavior, Cluster C disorders include avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. 

What are the Main Symptoms of Personality Disorders? 

Since there are many personality disorders, the symptoms can vary widely. For example, if you have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, you may have trouble working with others and being flexible. If you have borderline personality disorder, you may struggle with black-and-white thinking, fear of abandonment, and trouble managing stress. 

No matter which personality disorder you have, all of them affect how you cope with life, manage your relationships and behave around others. It’s also possible to have a personality disorder alongside other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety or substance use. 

Here are some general symptoms that may indicate a personality disorder: 

  • Trouble getting along with others 
  • Difficulty starting and keeping relationships 
  • Difficulty controlling or managing your emotions 
  • Need for self-medication
  • Strong feelings of fear and anxiety
  • Unclear view of oneself 
  • Trouble in social situations 
  • Unable to relate to others 

Best Treatment Options for Personality Disorders 

As with other mental disorders, personality disorders are treatable. Specific treatment for each personality disorder depends on age, health and medical history, as well as the presence of co-occurring conditions. Therapy and medications are used to treat personality disorders. 

Psychotherapy can help you learn about your condition and teach you healthy ways to cope with stress. You may also benefit from group therapy or sessions that include friends and family, as this gives you opportunities to interact with others in a controlled setting. Your care team may also recommend social skills training and family therapy.

As far as medications go, many drugs may be used to treat your symptoms, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and anti-anxiety medications. 

Seek Treatment for Your Personality Disorder 

To learn more about treating a personality disorder, contact Awakenings Treatment Center. Our dual diagnosis treatment team works with all types of mental health and substance use disorders. We maintain a caring, compassionate and supportive environment where clients thrive and learn essential life skills, social skills and coping skills. It is possible to recover!