Personality is a stable internal constitution of a person which is reflected upon the way the person thinks, feels emotions or behave in his/ her interpersonal relationships. Individual’s personality stays quiet stable over a period of time and over different situations. Individual’s personality is influenced by inherited characteristics as well as experiences and life situations individual has undergone. Personality disorders are deviant behaviours which are deeply ingrained and maladaptive in some or the other way causing difficulties in individual’s personal and interpersonal life. Typically personality disorders show their appearance in adolescence and lasts long.
Types of personality disorders –
• Borderline personality disorder – characterized by unstable emotions, thoughts and interpersonal relationships. They have intense mood swings and impulsive behaviour. Other characteristics are poor self image, feeling of emptiness, fear of abandonment and even self injurious behaviour under the influence of intense emotions.
• Histrionic personality disorder – pattern of excess expression of emotions and attention seeking. They often appear to dramatize the situation. They crave for excitement and may act impulsively. Even if they exaggerate emotions, most of the time their emotions are shallow and do not last longer. Hence they have problems in their interpersonal relationship.
• Antisocial personality disorder – they disregard social norms and regulations, have least concern about feelings of others, often aggressive, impulsive, manipulative and lack guilt about their actions. They may have criminal records.
• Narcissistic personality disorder – they constantly seek for admiration and appreciation from others and lack empathy for feeling of others. They have grandiose sense of self importance and often self absorbed. They are insensitive towards others and exploit others to achieve their aims.
• Avoidant personality disorder – Pattern of extreme shyness, feeling of inadequacy and sensitivity to criticism. They have constant fear of being embarrassed or rejected, which prevents them from engaging naturally and fluently in social situations. Many times they may have social anxiety.
• Dependent personality disorder – they lack self confidence and have excessive need to be looked after. They feel themselves inadequate and helpless and often need external help for normal day to day decisions. They may go to any extent to maintain relationship because of their dependence which makes them vulnerable for exploitation and abuse.
• Obsessive compulsive personality disorder – they are rigid personalities. They are excessively preoccupied by details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules, perfectionism which may impair their work performance and interpersonal relationship.
• Paranoid personality disorder – characterized by pervasive pattern of distrust and suspiciousness for others. They will often assume that other people will harm or deceive them and hence difficulty in building close relationships.
• Schizoid personality – They are aloof, emotionally detached personalities. They lack any empathy towards others and lack any close relationship.
• Schizotypal personality disorder – they are odd personalities with distorted thinking and eccentric behaviour. They are often uncomfortable in close relationships and may have social anxiety.
Treatment for personality disorder –
Personality disorders can be treated with persistent efforts. At least their impact on individual’s personal and social life can be ameliorated. The strategies employed for treatment of personality disorders are –
Medicines – many of the disturbing symptoms of personality disorders like aggression, impulsiveness, suspiciousness, anxiety, depressive feeling can be treated with medicines. So whenever indicated medications are used to treat personality disorders.
Psychotherapy – Cognitive behaviour therapy, behaviour therapy, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, supportive psychotherapy, family therapy are some of the therapies used to treat personality disorders.