Anger, jealousy, hatred, frustration can make a person affect mentally making their life hell and hamper their friends and family’s life. Have you ever faced an urge to just snap out for a moment and take out all your anguish and suffering that has been eating you up?
This article will help you endure the mental and behavioral traits that can lead to a vicious cycle if not paid attention properly.
What is Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders are known as an enduring compilation of behavioral patterns usually occurring because of considerable personal, social, and occupational disruption. Personality disorders are also rigid and wide-ranging across many situations, as the behavior is ego-syntonic (the patterns are dependable with the ego integrity of a person) and are therefore that individual is being appropriately aware of the situation. The unusual thing about this is usually people affected with this disorder fail to have an insight of the situation and their persistent denial of the treatment resulting in maladaptive coping skills leading to personal problems that can reflect anxiety, distress, or depression and result in impaired psychosocial functioning. These are more seen in adolescence and often during childhood which can cause distress in the quality of life you may have.
It can also be termed as an illness that depends on the fluctuating mood, self-image, and behavioral pattern. People suffering from a personality disorder can find themselves in distress and problematic relationships. Intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety can be often seen which last from a few hours to days.
Why does this disorder affect someone so much? People often struggle in their life and always try to stand according to society’s expectations. Personality disorder reflects exactly what you go through while trying hard to shine like a star for society. Personality disorder comes from a group of mental health conditions that are characterized by inflexible and unhealthy patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. The experiences and feelings that you go through are different from the expectations and standards the society has created for every human being that resides in the womb of mother earth.
Sometimes life is hard and everyday activities make your life messier and suffocating. The ordeal to reach the top is judged based on the expectation of a certain cultural group. Surprisingly, this society finds their way of judging and letting people down for their hardships normal and have a free pass to take a look in your life just because they have some connection with you.
Therefore, people with a personality disorder often find the world unsuitable for them and see it differently. They find it difficult to show their talent in the workplace or school and colleges just because they have faith in society for letting them down. They always blame others for their ordeals and challenges which is why they struggle with their relationships, education, and family. This suffering has a high chance to result in being isolated leading to depression and anxiety.
What Are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?
Personality disorders can vary accordingly from person to person. There are different types of personality disorder, and it has its functions. Based on three clusters grouped according to symptoms and characteristics, people can also get diagnosed with multiple disorders.
1. Cluster A: Suspicious
Paranoid personality disorder: Being paranoid can mentally exhaust you and the people around you. The common trait includes not trusting others and always being suspicious of others’ behavior and holding grudges.
Schizoid personality disorder: In this case, a person can look extremely emotionally cold as they exclude themselves from any social gathering and refuse to develop any kind of personal relationship.
Schizotypal personality disorder: this is a type where people like to take control of their own hands and always feels an urgency to influence others with their thoughts. They always have to go through inappropriate emotional responses because they misinterpret behaviors. There is always an avoidance of intimate relationships.
2. Cluster B: Emotional and Impulsive
Antisocial personality disorder: This reflects the urgency to manipulate or treat others harshly without expressing any repentance for their actions. Stealing, lying. Abuse, alcohol, and drugs are common with them.
Borderline personality disorder: This is the case replacing love and empathy from your life to emptiness and abandonment regardless of being surrounded by loved ones. Indulging in risky events can give them a moment of victories like engaging in unsafe sex, binge drinking, and gambling. They struggle with an inch of daily activities and stressful events and often reflect signs of paranoia.
Histrionic personality disorder: Criticism is not everyone’s cup of tea, people going through this phase of disorder often try to relocate their misery by trying to gain more attention with their overdramatic and sexually provocative behavior.
Narcissistic personality disorder: People with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they are more important than others. They tend to exaggerate their achievements and may brag about their attractiveness or success. They have a deep need for admiration but lack empathy for other people.
3. Cluster C: Anxious
Avoidant personality disorder: Feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, or unattractiveness often worry people suffering from this disorder. Dwelling on criticism is their favorite thing and try to stay away from new friends and new activities.
Dependent personality disorder: Being dependable on someone can fill you with misery as not always the other person can keep you happy. This case can make you dependent on others for your emotional and physical needs, avoiding being alone. A tolerance of physical and mental abuse can be seen in such people.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: Being a religious follower of rules and regulations can sometimes push away people from your life. This disorder attack and demand a need for order, always on a path to adhere rules with a strong motive for perfection. They find it okay to neglect personal relationships for a new project.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Mood swings uncertainty about their role in society affects their decisions and interest. They change themselves very quickly. Their view towards everything reflects their struggle in life as they have an extreme reaction towards everything. They snap out quickly and form their opinion at their convenience. Such mood swings and distinctive opinions can result in intense unstable relationships.
Other signs or symptoms may include:
- Being abandoned can be real fear for people with personality disorder. They put a lot of efforts to keep themselves away from real or imagined abandonment like rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or just cutting off communication with someone because of their fear of being abandoned.
- Personality disorder can take a toll on the person affected and their friends and family. In such case, extreme closeness and love(idealization) can be seen swinging to extreme dislike or anger(devaluation), a pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.
- These people have a distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self.
- You may also see people affected with personality disorder to indulge in impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating.
- They can be involved in self-harming behavior, such as cutting.
- A repetitive behavior and thoughts of suicidal or threats can often be seen in people affected with disorder.
- Generally, they get into an intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days.
- They have a constant chronic feeling of emptiness inside them.
- People with this disorder have problems of controlling anger and inappropriate, intense anger can make their life more depressed and toxic.
- They have difficulty in trusting and doubting their intentions.
- There is always a recurring feeling of dissociation.
It is not necessary to face every symptom mentioned above. Some face a few while others go through multiple symptoms. Symptoms can be triggering by events that may seem ordinary.
Research is still in progress and the cause remains uncertain, some studies reflect that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a vivid role, or might increase the risk to develop personality disorders.
Family History – Genetic plays a huge role in the field of science. Family history with any mental illness can increase the chance of getting diagnosed with such disorder.
Brain Factors – Structural and functional changes in the brain can be seen with the onset of personality disorders that control impulses and emotional regulation. However, it remains unclear whether these claims are risky for the disorder or are caused by the disorder.
Environmental, Cultural, and Social Factors – Traumatic life events, such as abuse, abandonment, or adversity during childhood can strangle your life and keep coming between your happiness. Being exposed to unstable, invalidating relationships and hostile conflicts can also result in personality disorder.
It is not necessary to get diagnosed with personality development based on these factors, though it may increase your chances. Whereas some people can develop such disorders without experiencing these risks factors.
How Is a Personality Disorder Treated?
Treatment can vary depending on the type and severity of your personality disorder. it is not necessary that a treatment that is beneficial for someone may be effective for you as well. Every person has a different structure that requires different medical attention. Some treatments may include psychotherapy and medications.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, provides great effectiveness in overcoming the ordeal of personality disorders. Discussion with your therapist about your condition and your feelings and thoughts can provide you any insight to overcome the hurdles and win the race of life.
Psychotherapy can be categorized based on treatment requirements.
Two examples of psychotherapies that help in personality disorder include:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): The therapy focuses on individuals with a personality disorder. DBT uses concepts of mindfulness and recognition or being aware of and attentive to the current situation and emotional state. DBT helps to fight against:
- Control intense emotions
- Reduce self-destructive behaviors
- Improve relationships
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): The therapy functions to identify and works on the core beliefs and behaviors that trigger imprecise perceptions of their life, themselves and others, and problems interacting with others. CBT is seen in reducing a range of mood and anxiety symptoms and diminishes the chances of suicidal or self-harming behaviors.
Treatment of personality disorders may not have any approved medicine yet. However, certain types of prescription medications help you calm down your nerves and reduce the symptoms of personality disorder:
Antidepressants, it is great for improving a depressed mood, anger, or impulsivity
Mood stabilizers help in preventing mood swings and reduce irritability and aggression
Antipsychotic medications, often known as neuroleptics, can be effective for people who often get foggy eyed with reality
Anti-Anxiety medications provide relief for anxiety, agitation, and insomnia
Therapy for Caregivers and Family Members
The biggest support system for any person will always be their family. Remember when you used to fall while playing or get a bad report card, nothing could ever cheer you like the love of your family. When you struggle, your family also struggles. A family with a person suffering from mental illness can exhaust them mentally and physically, they also require some therapy to uplift their mood so they can come out stronger and give you that support which you need.
Some personality disorder therapies include family members, caregivers, or loved ones in treatment sessions. This type of therapy can be beneficial by:
- Giving a better understanding and the support that a person suffering from personality disorder requires from their families or loved ones.
- They learn to focus on the obstacles and strategies that are required for a person having a personality disorder.
Tips for Family and Caregivers
To help a friend or relative with the disorder:
- Families’ emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement can be effective however sudden change can be terrifying for people suffering from the disorder. Always remember things take time.
- You can learn about mental disorders which will be beneficial for understanding the need and the mind of a person with the disorder.
- Family therapy can be uncomfortable to some people, but you can try and lend a helping hand to the person. Have a conversation with the person who is suffering from the illness before partaking in any such activities.
- Such stress can also make the caregiver’s life exhausting, therefore they also need therapy. Seek counseling to calm your inner burden but with a different therapist.
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