A mental disorder, also referred to as a psychiatric disorder or a mental illness, is characterized by a “clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behavior and it is usually associated with distress or impairment in important areas of functioning.” In general terms, a mental disorder can be defined as an illness of the human mind. The World Health Organization describe personality disorders as “deeply ingrained and enduring behavior patterns, manifesting themselves as inflexible responses to a broad range of personal and social situations’; they represent ‘either extreme or significant deviations from the way the average individual in a given culture perceives, thinks, feels, and particularly relates to others’ and are ‘developmental conditions, which appear in childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) list ten standalone personality disorders. Based on similar symptoms and overlapping characteristics, each personality disorder is categorized into one of three clusters (cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C). The ten types of personality disorders and their associated clusters, as provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) include:
- Cluster A: characterized as odd or eccentric personalities
- Paranoid: mistrust and suspicion
- Schizoid: disinterest in others
- Schizotypal: eccentric ideas and behavior
- Cluster B: characterized as dramatic, emotional, or erratic personalities
- Antisocial: disregard for others, manipulation of others for personal gain, social irresponsibility
- Borderline: intolerance of being alone and emotional dysregulation
- Histrionic: attention seeking
- Narcissistic: fragile self-esteem, underlying dysregulation, overt grandiosity
- Cluster C: characterized as anxious or fearful personalities
- Avoidant: avoidance of interpersonal contact due to rejection sensitivity
- Dependent: submissive and a need to be taken care of
- Obsessive-compulsive: rigidity, obstinacy, and perfectionism
Data provided by the Cambridge University Press indicates that the global pooled prevalence of any personality disorder is 7.8%. Although historically, personality disorders were viewed as fundamentally different from mental disorders, clinical and genetic evidence have come to recognize personality disorders as a sub-group of mental illness.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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