Footprints to Recovery

Personality Disorders

Medically Reviewed by David Szarka, MA, LCADC

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A personality disorder is a mental health issue that can affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If you have a personality disorder, you may have trouble understanding and relating to people and everyday situations in life. You may struggle to relate in social situations or feel uncomfortable in everyday settings where there’s no risk or danger. Personality disorders are characterized by an enduring pattern of:
  • Distorted thinking
  • Extreme emotional reactions
  • Poor impulse control or reckless behavior
  • Acting odd or eccentric
  • Issues with close relationships
Symptoms of the disorders range from mild to severe. Personality disorders are usually diagnosed in adulthood through their pervasive patterns. But they can develop earlier in life. According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), it is estimated that around 9% of U.S. adults have a personality disorder. Some with a personality disorder may turn to substance abuse to self-medicate. It helps them feel better when their mental health is slipping.
Personality Disorders

10 Types of Personality Disorders

There are 10 unique types of personality disorders from which people suffer. They can be broken down into three distinct clusters:

Cluster A Personality Disorders – Eccentric Disorders

1. Paranoid Personality Disorder

Those with paranoid personality disorder may have trouble with trust or constant feelings of paranoia. People with the disorder may think others are intentionally trying to harm them. This happens even when there is no evidence to support the belief.

Symptoms of paranoid personality disorder can include:

  • Feeling constantly on guard
  • Being easily insulted
  • Suspicion of others’ motives
  • An overall difficulty trusting others

It can lead to social isolation and difficulties forming and maintaining relationships.

2. Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid personality disorder is a disconnect between how a person perceives the world around them and responds to it. Sufferers often feel disconnected from others. They prefer to be alone, and they avoid social situations. They may appear aloof or indifferent to other people’s feelings and emotions, as well as their own. Schizoid personality disorder can make it difficult to form relationships and interfere with someone’s ability to function effectively in everyday life.

3. Schizotypal Personality Disorder

This type of personality disorder affects social interactions. People with schizotypal personality disorder may struggle to form relationships, think logically, and manage their emotions. They may also struggle to interpret nonverbal communication or understand abstract concepts. Common signs of schizotypal personality disorder include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Odd beliefs or magical thinking
  • Social withdrawal
  • Eccentric behavior and dress
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
  • Feelings of emptiness or loneliness

Cluster B Personality Disorders – Emotional or Dramatic Disorders

4. Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder means someone engages in repeated patterns of disregard for other people’s feelings, rights, and wishes. People with this disorder often display behaviors like:

  • Reckless driving
  • Aggression
  • Deceitfulness
  • Lack of remorse or guilt for their actions

They may manipulate others for personal gain and even engage in criminal activities without feeling any sense of responsibility for their behaviors.

5. Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects an individual’s emotions, behaviors, and relationships. Those who have it feel intense loneliness and fear of abandonment. They often engage in self-destructive behavior.

People with borderline personality disorder may have unstable close relationships, and struggle to control their emotions and impulsive behaviors. They may feel very vulnerable in the face criticism or rejection.

Personality Disorders

6. Histrionic Personality Disorder

This kind of personality disorder is when someone shows excessive amounts of emotion and attention-seeking behavior. People with histrionic personality disorder often:

  • Have an intense need for approval
  • Feel strong emotions quickly and easily
  • Speak dramatically
  • Use their physical appearance to attract attention
  • Are overly concerned about how others see them

They are also known to be manipulative or have difficulty controlling their impulses. Common symptoms include:

  • Having an inflated sense of self-importance
  • Overreacting to criticisms
  • Being suggestible and easily influenced by others
  • Engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviors

7. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder affects how individuals perceive, relate to, and think about themselves and others. People with narcissistic personality disorder engage in grandiose behavior, have an extreme need for admiration, and often lack empathy toward other people. They may also be prone to frequent displays of anger or aggression when they feel their superiority has been challenged or threatened.

Cluster C Personality Disorders – Anxiety or Fear Disorders

8. Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD)

Someone with avoidant personality disorder may exhibit extreme shyness, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative criticism. They may avoid social interactions out of fear of being judged. Symptoms of APD include:

  • Feeling socially awkward in unfamiliar situations
  • Struggling to form and keep meaningful relationships with others
  • Having difficulty expressing emotions and opinions
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawing when criticized or rejected
  • Anxiety in social settings
  • Lack of confidence in their abilities and decisions
Personality Disorders

9. Dependent Personality Disorder

Someone with an overwhelming need to be taken care of may suffer from a dependent personality disorder. People with the condition struggle to make everyday decisions without the approval or reassurance of others. They may feel unable to function or cope on their own, believing they are incapable of making decisions by themselves.

10. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder is excessively preoccupied with order, perfectionism, rules, and control. This is not to be confused with OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder.

People suffering from OCPD find it difficult to relax or enjoy activities because they are constantly striving for perfection. Common signs include:

  • An obsessive need to organize
  • An extreme need for control
  • Difficulty delegating tasks
  • A reluctance to try new things or take risks
  • An excessive focus on details

People with OCPD often have difficulty forming relationships due to their rigid and controlling natures. They may also be overly sensitive to criticism or rejection.

Evidence-based behavioral therapy is one way people with personality disorders get help. Footprints to Recovery is focused on helping people stay in control of their personality disorder. This is done through effective therapies and treatments. Mental illness can cause a pattern of instability, excessive emotion, and difficulty in social function and social interaction. That’s why it’s important to get help right away.

Is There a Connection Between Personality Disorders and Addiction?

Yes, data suggests that many with personality disorders suffer from substance abuse. They may also have more difficulty staying in recovery. This is sometimes because people with certain personality traits are prone to self-medicating their symptoms. They can find it difficult to cope with significant distress or painful emotions without relying on drugs or alcohol for relief.

How Are Personality Disorders Treated?

f you have a personality disorder, improving your quality of life is possible. Treatment for these disorders includes psychotherapy and medication management. Psychotherapy can help you learn healthier ways of coping with a mental disorder.

There are two main ways behavioral therapists treat personality disorders:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy developed more than 30 years ago. It combines aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with Eastern philosophies, such as mindfulness and acceptance. It can use individual psychotherapy, group skills training, and holistic treatment sessions. DBT helps people learn to manage their emotions more effectively. It can also help reduce distress, improve relationships, and achieve better mental health.

DBT focuses on preventing self-harm and can help other mental illnesses and co-occurring substance abuse issues.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy used to treat personality disorders. CBT helps people identify and change negative thoughts and behavior patterns. These patterns can lead to unhealthy emotions. You can learn to avoid negative beliefs about yourself and your environment while gaining insight into the underlying causes of symptoms. You can also learn new ways of thinking and behaving to cope with stress. CBT can help you gain control of your personality disorder.

When Does Someone Need Treatment for a Personality Disorder?

Personality Disorders

Diagnosing a personality disorder is done by certified medical professionals. A therapist will review your medical history, discuss the symptoms you’re experiencing, and make an educated decision about the best course of treatment.

If you’ve noticed that the signs and symptoms of a personality disorder are making life difficult, it’s time to seek help. Living with mental illness makes things much harder than they need to be. When simple, everyday situations are a challenge to navigate, getting help is imperative.

Footprints to Recovery offers evidence-based, holistic treatment for mental illness and addiction. Our levels of care offer you a real chance to turn your life around. Speaking with a rehab counselor can offer more insight into which path to a brighter future is right for you.

Some of the levels of care offered at Footprints to Recovery include:

After you complete the necessary programs, Footprints to Recovery doesn’t disappear. We offer aftercare to all clients. Aftercare means staying in touch with your system of support in rehab and occasionally visiting the facility for treatment. The goal of aftercare is to use the valuable skills and coping tools you learned in recovery. These skills are essential in overcoming mental illness and addiction.

A good aftercare plan is focused on helping you maintain sobriety. The most important objectives to achieve when making an aftercare plan are:

  • Using learned coping strategies and skills to control triggers
  • Managing daily stress to prevent relapse
  • Setting goals for the future
  • Establishing a sober routine that can help eliminate triggering free time
  • Continuing to attend treatment programs at the rehab facility, as needed

How to Pay for Personality Disorder Treatment

Nobody should avoid treatment because of the cost. Footprints to Recovery offers personality disorder treatment that may be covered by insurance. We accept most major insurance providers, but speaking with us can give you a better idea what kinds of treatment your insurance policy covers. Not all insurance companies and policies are the same. We work with each client and their insurance provider to craft a recovery plan that offers a real chance at getting better.

The staff at Footprints to Recovery are skilled and dedicated substance abuse and mental health counselors. They are on hand 24/7 for mental health and addiction help. Call today to learn more about the many treatment programs available. You can also request an appointment or complete an insurance verification.

Questions about treatment options?

Our admissions team is available 24/7 to listen to your story and help you get started with the next steps.

Laurie Woodard
Medically Reviewed by Laurie Woodard, MA, LAC, LPC
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