The Three Clusters of Personality Disorders
Professionals consider someone to have a personality disorder if their symptoms significantly impair their relationships with themselves and others. Furthermore, these issues must be the result of pathological traits and remain consistent throughout different situations. However, their personality disorder symptoms cannot be due to normal developmental behaviors or the influence of substances.
There are 10 different personality disorders, each with different symptoms. Professionals sort these disorders into three clusters: A, B, and C. The disorders within these clusters make patients think and behave in similar ways.
Cluster A: Odd and Eccentric
Cluster A disorders have symptoms that others see as bizarre. Sometimes, even strangers can notice these symptoms in people with Cluster A disorders. The disorders in this cluster are:
Schizoid Personality Disorder
People with this disorder feel little to no desire to have relationships with others, including sexual relationships, friendships, or close relationships with family. These patients find it hard to notice social cues, express emotions, or find joy in activities.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Others often notice that people with this disorder have strange ways of dressing, behaving, and speaking. They may hear voices, believe that everyday things leave hidden messages for them, and believe their thoughts are magical. People with schizotypal personality disorder are often suspicious of others and have trouble forming relationships.
Paranoid Personality Disorder
This disorder causes people to feel constantly suspicious of others without real reasons to feel this way. They believe that the people around them are somehow working against them. Due to this paranoia, they may resist forming meaningful relationships, opening up to others, or forgiving perceived slights.
Cluster B: Dramatic and Erratic
People with Cluster B personality disorders display behaviors that are overly dramatic and difficult to predict. Their symptoms make it difficult for them to create or maintain relationships. The disorders in Cluster B are histrionic, borderline, narcissistic, and antisocial.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Like all Cluster B personality disorders, this condition cause patients to have dramatic, unpredictable outbursts. However, the hallmark of histrionic personality disorder is that people have these episodes as a way to gain attention. People with this disorder may also feel like their relationships are intense, even when the other person believes the relationship is shallow. Their emotions shift rapidly and dramatically, and the people around them greatly influence their behaviors.
Borderline Personality Disorder
People with borderline personality disorder are driven by an overwhelming fear of being abandoned. This often leads to signs like impulse behaviors, including gambling, unsafe sex, and binge eating. They often have fragile self-worth and unstable relationships. When interpersonal conflict is high, people with borderline personality disorder have paranoia and outbursts of anger.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
This disorder makes people believe that they are more important than others. As such, they may disregard or even fail to notice the needs of others. People with narcissistic personality disorder expect constant praise from those around them and may exaggerate their credentials. They may fantasize about hold more power and envy those with higher statuses. People describe them as arrogant.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Media portrayals and casual conversations often use the term “sociopath,” to describe people with this condition. One of the hallmark symptoms of antisocial personality disorder is the inability to care about other people’s needs and feelings. This leads people with this disorder to violate people’s rights, steal, cheat, and con others. They often have trouble with the law and can act violently. People with this disorder feel little to no remorse for their actions because they cannot understand how they hurt someone else.
Cluster C: Fearful and Anxious
Cluster C personality disorders cause interpersonal friction due to the person’s inability to face certain fears. The conditions in this cluster are:
Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder
People with this disorder fear that if they do not carry out certain tasks or stick to rigid rules, something horrific will happen. As such, they obsess over orderliness, rules, and cleanliness. This inflexibility can hurt their relationships.
Dependent Personality Disorder
The fear of having to take care of oneself guides people with this condition. They rely on others to make decisions for them and take care of all their needs. As such, people with this disorder are at risk for being abused and staying in those situations, even when they have options for leaving.
Avoidant Personality Disorder
People with this disorder are afraid of any criticism or rejection. In order to avoid these experiences, they may go through extreme measures to avoid contacting people at work or attending social events.
If you or someone you love lives with any of these disorders, contact a Florida therapy clinic. We can help the person with the disorder and those in their lives.