One out of every eleven people in the United States are diagnosed with a personality disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Personality disorders are divided into three subtypes called “clusters”. Each cluster has its own distinguishing characteristics, demonstrated by the personality disorders included in that cluster. In total, there are ten separate personality disorders.
What is a personality disorder?
A personality disorder is a change in the way the brain operates. Personality disorders most often find their origin in childhood, then develop throughout adolescence and adulthood. Many personality disorders are related to episodes of trauma which lead to extreme forms of coping by the brain. People with personality disorders experience difficult in the way they relate to themselves, relate to others, manage their emotions, manage their behaviors, and progress through their lives on social scale.
Cluster A Personality Disorders
The personality disorders listed under Cluster A are referred to as “odd or eccentric behavior”. People with a Cluster A personality disorder act and behave in ways which might be deemed odd by other people. As a result, it is difficult for people with Cluster A personality disorders to overcome their behaviors and relate to people in a normal way. Included are:
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
Cluster B Personality Disorders
Dramatic is the primary word used to described the personality disorders listed under Cluster B.
Secondary is emotional and lastly is erratic. These personality disorders cause people to act in dramatic ways, be extreme in their emotions, act inconsistently, and sometimes participate in very unsettling behaviors. Included are:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
Cluster C Personality Disorders
People who live with Cluster C personality disorders are people who live in fear. Anxiety related, these personality disorders make it difficult for people to trust others or trust being in a social environment. While these disorders do include anxiety, they are not anxiety disorders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be considered a disorder of anxiety, however, anxiety disorder is specifically a mood disorder. Included are:
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
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