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The Psychology of Personality Disorders

Written by: Danielle Okotcha

What Are Personality Disorders?:

Personality Disorders are characterized by feelings of inflexible and enduring behavior patterns that impair one’s social functioning; they may also result in deviations from expectations of one’s cultural norms. Individuals that have personality disorders generally exhibit unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors. This may lead to significant problems in one’s relationships, work, and social activities.


  • As of right now, the exact roots are relatively unclear

  • However, some studies have been done on the potential roots of antisocial personality disorder

  • Symptoms are highly variable due to a large range of personality disorders,

Factors That May Influence Personality Disorders:

  • A history of abuse and abandonment

  • Arousal in the lower autonomic nervous system & reduced activity in the frontal lobe

  • Through behavioral reinforcement

Types of Personality Disorders of Depression:

There are many types of personality disorders! In most cases, about 10 are observed. These all include: Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Paranoid Personality Disorder, and Dependent Personality Disorder. Yes, that it quite a long list! Let’s dive further into the specifics of some of these.

Borderline Personality Disorder:

This is a relatively well-know personality disorder (BPD) that is characterized an unstable mood, and a tendency to view oneself as either wholly good or bad. People with BPD may struggle developing and sustaining relationships with others. Those suffering from this disorder also may exhibit some other symptoms such as Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, self-harm or threats of self-harm, fear of abandonment, paranoia, and frequent displays of intense anger.

Antisocial Personality Disorder:

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder seemingly thrive on conflict. They frequently have issue with the law, persistently lie, steal, and con, and may easily get into verbal or physical altercations with people they don’t know. These behaviors are due to a lack of care about normal social conventions and behaviors. This disorder is also characterized by a lack of remorse, so after a bad things is done, little to no guilt is felt.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Those with this disorder have a tendency

to believe that they are of more importance than others (though this is really an effort to conceal their true insecurities). Although they may seem confident, these people tend to not take criticism very well. These people fail to recognize others feelings and only care about their own. Essentially they are extremely arrogant.

When to See a Doctor:

If you believe you have symptoms of a personality disorder, please seek a doctor, primary care physicians, and/or a mental health professional. Untreated, personality disorders can cause significant conflict in one's life and relationships.

Therapies and Treatments:

Personality Disorders can be treated a variety of ways. This can include psychotherapy, a variety of medications (such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, etc.) and treatment programs.

How You Can Get Help:

If you believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms please tell a trusted friend or family member and get help from a verified health professional. Also consider joining a support group as well. You could benefit from hearing about the experiences of others with the same struggles. Always remember, it’s never too late to get help.



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