Personality Disorder: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

Personality is the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves that distinguishes them from others. Experiences, environment (surroundings, life situations), and inherited features all influence an individual’s personality. A person’s personality tends to remain consistent throughout time. A personality disorder is a manner of thinking, feeling, and acting that differs from cultural norms, produces distress or impairment in functioning, and persists over time.

Personality disorders are classified into ten types. Long-term patterns of behavior and interior experiences that differ greatly from what is expected are known as personality disorders. By late adolescence or early adulthood, a pattern of experiences and behavior has developed, causing unhappiness or functional issues. Personality disorders can endure for a long time if they are not treated.

At least two of these areas are affected by personality disorders:

  • How you think about yourself or other people
  • Way of responding emotionally
  • The way you relate with other individuals
  • How you control your behavior

A mental health professional must assess long-term patterns of functioning and symptoms to diagnose a personality disorder. Individuals aged 18 and over are usually diagnosed. Personality disorders are rarely diagnosed in people under the age of 18 since their personalities are still growing. Some people with personality disorders are oblivious to the fact that they have a problem. People can also have several personality disorders. At least one personality disorder affects about 9% of adults in the United States.

Southern Live Oak Wellness utilizes several types of psychotherapy to help treat personality disorders. During psychotherapy, a person can learn more about their disorder and what is causing their symptoms, as well as discuss their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Psychotherapy can assist a person understand how their actions affect others and how to manage or cope with symptoms as well as eliminate behaviors that cause problems with functioning and relationships. The form of treatment will be determined by the personality disorder, its severity, and the circumstances of the individual.

Our psychotherapy treatments include:

  • Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic therapy
  • EMDR
  • Brain Mapping
  • TMS
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Psychoeducation 

There are no specific medications for treating personality disorders. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers, for example, may be beneficial in addressing some symptoms. A team approach combining a primary care doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, and family members may be required for more severe or long-term symptoms.

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