Personality Disorders: Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Personality Disorders

and Health

Personality disorders are mental health conditions characterized by extreme, disruptive behavior and thinking. It is estimated that up to 10% of the general population have this condition, making it one of the most common mental health diagnoses. Personality disorders can cause a great deal of distress to those affected and have a negative impact on their lives, as well as their family and friends.

What is Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are characterized by long-standing, deeply-rooted patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that differ from the expectations of a person’s culture and background. Such patterns significantly impair functioning, communication, and adaptation in relationships and cause distress in multiple domains of life. A personality disorder is a mental condition in which one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors don’t align with the expectations of society. It can manifest as a distorted view of oneself, others, and the world, as well as extreme and rigid ways of thinking and behaving.

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Causes of Personality Disorder

The causes of personality disorder are not fully known, but professionals typically attribute some combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. It is believed that risk factors, such as childhood trauma, abuse, or neglect, may contribute to the development of personality disorders. Genetics may also be a factor, as those with personality disorders often appear to have a family history of the disorder.

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Symptoms of Personality Disorder

The symptoms of personality disorder can vary from person to person, but some common indicators include:

  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Extreme reactions to criticism
  • Impaired communication
  • Difficulties forming and sustaining relationships
  • Rigid and inflexible thinking

Treatment & Health

Treatment for personality disorder typically involves a combination of psychological, medical, and social interventions. Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes such as stress management, support groups, and improved nutrition.

When it comes to health, personality disorder can be both a cause and a consequence. People with personality disorders are at risk of developing other mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, as well as physical illnesses. It is therefore important to seek medical help and support, and to practice self-care.

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