How To Understand Types of Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is defined as a persistent behavior that strays away from the standards of the society where that person belongs.  An example is murder.  A tribe from Africa practices murder as a rite of passage to adulthood.  A young male would have to kill a male member of a rival tribe and bring a dismembered part of the kill back to his tribe.  Only then shall he be able to marry or have a bigger cut from the day's hunt.  If all of these events would have happened in New York or London, the killer would have been arrested and punished for the deed, yet it is perfectly sane within the rules of his own society. 

So, what are the types of personality disorders?  According to the WHO (World Health Organization) there are four groups of personality disorders written in the DSM-IV list. 

Cluster A includes

  • Paranoid
  • Schizoid
  • Schizotypal

The degree of deviation from the standards of society in this group is limited to the self, and the damages are also mildly affecting others but highly relevant to the condition of the affected person.  They are more known by many as the weird or odd group. 

Cluster B includes:

  • Antisocial
  • Borderline
  • Histrionic
  • Narcissistic

This group of people has the tendency to react in extremes.  Like in a person who has a borderline disorder, this person will only see that his parents are always wrong if he cannot gain anything from them.  Some of them react pretty much like a spoiled child who has no regards for other people’s feelings.  They are quick to manipulate people so that they can get what they want and they are very self-indulgent. 

Cluster C includes:

  • Avoidant
  • Dependent
  • Obsessive-compulsive

These are the people who react to ill-perceived anxieties at the most extreme degree.  They are fearful of so many things that some of them disregard their basic needs just to avoid the cause of anxiety.  They are the type of people that would resort to very strict routines and would react outrageously or even violently to any changes in that routine. 

And lastly the personality disorder NOS or not otherwise specified. It is a category wherein the behavior of a person obviously deviates from the standards of society, but it has not been classified by the DSM-IV-TR’s ten personality disorders. 

This list has been made to standardize the treatment for each group.  A personality quiz or test is employed to determine which category a person belongs to before any treatment or management will be imposed for that person. 
 A personality disorder may seem difficult to handle, but the treatments have become easier because of modern medicine.  Management strategies include therapies that can span from weeks or days to hours or minutes only per week. These therapeutic sessions are essential to the person's recovery, because they provide a safe environment for that person to speak his mind.  Medications, downers and uppers, are basically the instant cures for these people. But as the medication fades away from the system, it is up to the person to realize that it is happening. 

Although it is important that we recognize one personality disorder from the other, what matters most is how these disorders should be managed.


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