Home  >>  Write  >>  Health  >>  Mental Health  >>  Personality Disorders


Personality Disorders

There are a number of personality disorders that an individual might suffer from. Though not a comprehensive list, these include, multiple personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and dependent personality disorder. However, this particular article will focus on two not mentioned above: narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

One generally common factor between all of the different types of these personality disorders is that they tend towards a causality that looks to environmental factors such as past experiences of abuse or present infelicities in personal or social situations include drug and alcohol abuse. It is also not uncommon for those suffering from a personality disorder to exhibit any number of difficulties relating to others, these difficulties sometimes being a result of a skewed image of the self or with issues with self-identity. This is not, however, to suggest that all forms of personality disorder can be traced to these causes alone and in fact most personality disorders are characterized by a complex interplay of developmental issues, past experience, impulsive choices and potentially other organic complications. Generally, the treatment recommended for these disorders is psychosocial in nature and often involves one-on-one sessions with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist in addition to some form of group therapy. However, in some cases, for an individual suffering from a personality disorder to live a healthy and productive life it is necessary that antidepressants or in some cases antipsychotic medications be prescribed in order bring extremes of moods such as depression or anxiety to a minimum. The treatment outcomes for sufferers of one or a number of personality disorders varies greatly depending on the type or number of personality disorders they may be suffering from, the severity of those particular disorders and ultimately their receptivity to the different treatment options that are used to attempt to alleviate some of the more socially and personally troubling symptoms that a sufferer may exhibit.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Among the many personality disorders that an individual might suffer from, narcissistic personality disorder is, as the name suggests, characterized by a narcissistic or overblown sense of self-worth. As with other personality disorders, the causes of it are not entirely known, although it has been noted that it often occurs at some point in adolescence or early adulthood. According to MedlinePlus, the symptoms one might expect from an individual who has narcissistic personality disorder includes a lack of empathy, the need for constant positive attention, unreasonable expectations of success, an obsession with fantasies of one’s own qualities, exaggerated achievements, sense of self-importance, often will take advantage of others and has a complete inability to deal with criticism, by which the patient with narcissistic personality disorder may react with outright rage or complete humiliation.

As with many psychosocial disorders, the outcomes of individual patients differ in comparison to their past and present circumstances and the severity of the disorder. However, the general treatment for narcissistic personality disorder is some form of psychotherapy that attempts to allow the individual to come to terms with the symptoms of the disorder and attempt to accordingly modify their behavior in order to be able to better function on both a personal and social level.

Borderline Personality Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, borderline personality disorder or BPD is a mental illness in which the patient suffers from unstable moods, social relationships, self-image and behavioral issues that can disrupt a number of social relationships including family life, one’s role at work and any sense of building a stable life and congruent identity. This “borderline” in borderline personality disorder is that it was once thought to be very close, on the border as it were, of psychosis. This disorder apparently affects up to two percent of all adults, though primarily it is found in young women.

The symptoms of borderline personality disorder share much with those who may be suffering from clinical depression or even bipolar disorder in that the patient may become extremely angry, anxious or even depressed, but rarely for more than just a few or hours or perhaps a day. This form of personality disorder is generally characterized by the patient having a poor conception of self as in some way flawed, unworthy or they may feel them selves to be an essentially misunderstood or bad person. As a result of these emotions it is not uncommon for those suffering from borderline personality disorder to engage in destructive behaviors such as drinking, drug and/or alcohol abuse and moments of antisocial behavior. As one might expect the results of such activities are often detrimental to social relationship on both a personal and more general level. The relationships that borderline personality disorder suffers to tend to form are often characterized by polarized idealizations of individuals as either entirely perfect or completely loathsome. They are also extremely vulnerable to the opinions of others and as such are very much affected by real or perceived judgmental behaviors resulting from unexpected or misconstrued actions or opinions. Given the general psychosocial issues that sufferers of borderline personality disorder exhibit it is likewise unsurprising that they often exhibit the symptoms of other personality disorders, bipolar disorder, clinical depression and even some anxiety disorders.

The treatments for borderline personality disorder, as with many other psychosocial disorders rely primarily on psychosocial treatments such as regular visits to a psychiatrist or involvements in group therapy. Where it is deemed appropriate, those suffering from borderline personality disorder may also be prescribed certain pharmaceuticals to prevent the patient from suffering the effects of extremes of mood that may relate to states of extreme depression or anxiety. The cause of borderline personality disorder is not entirely known, but the National Institute of Mental Health indicates that recent research has suggested that borderline personality disorder may derive from a complex interplay of environment stresses including abuse, a history of which is not uncommon for those who suffer from borderline personality disorder, and potentially later traumatic or harmful environments, choices or experiences that can result in this disorder.