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What is a personality disorder?

A personality disorder is a mental illness that effects your thinking and behavior. Personality disorders may cloud how other people and situations are perceived. People with personality disorders may not realize that they possess a medical condition because their thought and behavior seem perfectly normal to them. People with personality disorders may be aware of the disorder but refuse to seek treatment for themselves because of embarrassment. Many personality disorders are caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

Personality Disorders

It may be evident as:

  • behavior resembling schizophrenia;
  • traumatic stress disorder;
  • eating disorders;
  • borderline personality disorder;
  • attention deficit disorder;
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder;
  • multiple personality disorder.

These problems are usually caused by biological, hormonal, neurological and environmental factors.

Types of personality disorders

There are different types of personality disorders, which includes:

  • Bipolar;
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD);
  • Panic Disorder;
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD);
  • Personality Disorder;
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);

There are many other types of personality disorders that exist, but these are the four major ones. These will most likely be noticeable from childhood and into adulthood. The mental health issues of each type of personality disorder can cause problems in day to day activities. So you need to seek mental health treatment for each type of personality disorder that you experience.

Someone with a personality disorder does not always know that they are afflicted with a mental illness. The truth is, sometimes they can go through life feeling totally normal. Their problem comes when negative thoughts or feelings about themselves and their flaws begin to take hold. People with this mental health issue will often see if there are other problems in the family history or possibly depression. People who suffer from a personality disorder recognize when they have these feelings. If they do not recognize their mood swings or other mental health issues, then someone else must diagnose them.

Symptoms of personality disorders

The most common symptom of a personality disorder involves extreme self-importance. People with this mental health issue will often believe that they are unique and special because of the qualities that they present. They will frequently criticize themselves or others and feel that they are the cause of many types of problems in their daily life. Low self-esteem often accompanies this personality disorder.

Another sign of personality disorder involves behaviors such as parasomnia or anorexia nervosa. Individuals who suffer from this psychological issue are often excessively thin, which may lead them to engage in dangerous behavior such as consuming large amounts of food or other controlled substances. Someone with an excessive need for food may also frequently eat alone and will usually refuse to eat with other people. If left untreated, these types of personality disorders can quickly become severe.

There are a number of other symptoms associated with personality disorders. People with an extreme level of social withdrawal may engage in strange and suspicious behavior, spend a great deal of time alone, and avoid social interactions.

Symptoms of personality disorders can include:

  • mood swings;
  • distorted perceptions of reality;
  • sexual desires and behaviors;
  • difficulties functioning.

These symptoms can start to show at any age. It is important, however, to identify symptoms as soon as possible. Left untreated, these mental disorders can worsen over time and require ongoing treatment.

Treatment for personality disorders

Treatment for personality disorders may include medications, therapy and mental health counseling. Medication can be used to treat any physical problems associated with personality disorders. However, some medications are known to make people more moody or make them feel sleepy. Also, some medications can alter how the brain reacts, which can cause serious side effects. For this reason, it is not always recommended that medication be taken for long periods of time.

When it comes to choosing a personality disorder treatment program, it may be best to consider what has been done in research on behavior modification. Some programs focus on cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps the person to learn to cope and change their negative thoughts and behaviors. Other programs help the person deal with the actual thoughts and feelings that come to mind when dealing with a problem. In many cases, a combination of treatments will be necessary in order to fully recover from a personality disorder.

It should be noted that personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder and bipolar-disorder are difficult to treat. However, there are ways to manage these conditions. Often, these people will get professional help in order to treat their inflexible or quirky behaviors. Others will choose to overcome their problems through different means. Those with personality disorders can achieve positive results if they are willing to work hard to overcome their issues and conquer their fears and frustrations.

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