Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders involve patterns of thought, behaviors, and perceptions about the world that can make everyday life difficult. If you have a personality disorder, your relationships are volatile, holding a job is difficult. Everyone else is wrongand you're right; you are rigid and inflexible in your thinking. There are many types of personality disordersand they are believed to develop from early childhood events. Counseling and medications can help.

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    Personality disorders are a group of mental illnesses that affect the mind rather than the body. When someone has a personality disorder, the way they think, respond to situations, and interact with others is often impaired. The impairment can reach a point that someone with this disorder finds it hard to have relationships, work, go to school, or carry out the normal functions of life. They may be unable to deal with the common stresses that occur in everyday life.

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    People with gender identity disorder may have different ways of handling their condition on a daily basis. For some people, adopting the behavior and dress of their gender identity may be an effective way of dealing with their feelings. For others, more extreme treatment may be needed. If you have the strong desire to receive hormone therapy or to undergo sex reassignment surgery, it's important to talk to a medical team about all the details. In most cases, you need to live for one to two years in your desired gender role before undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Gender identity disorder and its treatments can have significant psychological effects on both you and your loved ones, so counseling and support groups are often very helpful.

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    To manage your personality disorder on a daily basis, follow the treatment plan devised by your team of healthcare professionals. This may include taking medication and getting psychotherapy. In addition to this, there are other coping mechanisms you can try. Some of these are:

    • -writing in a journal to express your feelings
    • eating right, exercising, and getting sufficient sleep
    • setting achievable goals, structuring your day, and timing important decisions
    • reading information about your disorder to understand it better
    • interacting with others so you don't become socially isolated
    • finding a support group of others who share your illness
    • practicing relaxation and stress management techniques
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    Dependent personality disorder is part of the Cluster C group of personality disorders. This group is characterized by anxious and fearful behavior and thinking. Those with this disorder are overly dependent on others, extremely submissive, and have a strong need to be cared for. Once a relationship ends, they have a deep need to start another. They give over decision-making to others and feel unable to make their own choices. They tolerate abuse and mistreatment. Sometimes adults with long-term illnesses or physical handicaps develop this disorder.

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    Gender identity disorder may be diagnosed based on a person's history of symptoms as well as a psychiatric evaluation. In children, a diagnosis of gender identity disorder requires that the child has a strong, lasting desire to become - or a firm claim that they are - the other sex. Children with gender identity disorder must also feel a sense of disgust or distaste for their own sexual characteristics and gender role. In adults, diagnosis requires that symptoms must cause significant difficulty in daily life. Feelings of wanting to become the other gender, or acting like, dressing like, and passing as the other gender, must last at least two years before diagnosis can be confirmed.

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    Generally speaking, personality disorders cannot be prevented. No specific cause has been pinpointed for this set of disorders, although it is believed to be a combination of genes and environment. Traumatic childhood events or childhood abuse is often believed to be a contributing factor in the onset of a personality disorder. However, even trying to identify and intervene in the lives of at-risk children may not be enough to prevent onset. Getting diagnosed as soon as possible and starting an effective treatment plan is the best way to stop the worsening of symptoms.

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    Histrionic (hysterical) personality disorder is part of the Cluster B group of personality disorders. This group is characterized by dramatic, erratic, and overly emotional behavior and thinking. People with this disorder are overly emotional, overly sensitive, and constantly seek and crave attention. They may be excessively concerned with their appearance and often sexualize relationships that are not sexual. They may engage in provocative behavior. They may pretend to be hypochondriacs and exaggerate physical problems in order to get attention. Their relationships are often fleeting and superficial.

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    Antisocial personality disorder is part of the Cluster B group of personality disorders. This group is characterized by dramatic, erratic, and overly emotional behavior and thinking. People with this disorder tend to be male. This disorder is characterized by complete disregard for others; lying and stealing; aggressive, hostile and violent behavior; and exploitation of others for material gain or personal gratification. Their childhood history likely involved emotional and physical neglect and abuse. They often are in legal trouble and may abuse drugs and alcohol. They may be prone to promiscuity, sexual deviation, and often fail to keep jobs.

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    A Marriage & Family Therapy, answered on behalf of

    Personality disorders often begin in childhood and last through adulthood. There is reluctance to diagnose personality disorders in a child, though, because the patterns of behavior and thinking could simply reflect adolescent experimentation or temporary developmental phases. Although the exact cause of personality disorders is not known, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering personality disorders.  These may include:

     

    • A family history of personality disorders or other mental illness

     

    • Low socioeconomic status

     

    • Verbal, physical or sexual abuse during childhood

     

    • Neglect during childhood

     

    • An unstable or chaotic family life during childhood

     

    • Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder

     

    • Loss of parents through death or traumatic divorce during childhood
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    The general symptoms of personality disorders include mood swings, outbursts of anger, drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty maintaining relationships, social isolation, mistrust and wariness of others, trouble making friends, lack of impulse control, and a desire for instant gratification. Personality disorders are divided into three clusters or types. Cluster A disorders are characterized by odd and eccentric behavior. Cluster B disorders are characterized by dramatic, erratic, and emotional behavior. Cluster C disorders are characterized by anxious, fearful, and inhibited behavior.