Personality Disorders FAQ

Some of our most frequently asked questions about Personality Disorders.

First, let’s define Personality. Our Personality begins to develop around the age of 6 or 7. A person’s personality is built on traits such as our thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, and mood - Personality is a combination of these traits and how we express them. Personality Traits and Expression can be inherited genetically, and also be influenced by a person’s life experiences. A Personality Disorder describes when a person’s traits and expressions become too rigid and unbalanced, and leads to issues within relationships with family, work, school - and can lead to social isolation or drug and alcohol use.
Along with genetics, traumatic life events may also trigger a personality disorder to develop over time. Having a family history of Personality Disorders or mental illness can be a risk factor, as well as living in an unstable or abusive environment throughout childhood. An early sign of a Personality Disorder can be being diagnosed with a behavioral disorder as a child, and brain chemistry and structure can also influence the chances of developing a personality disorder.
For people with Personality Disorders, it can be difficult to recognize the signs of having a disorder. Personality Disorders are among the most common forms of severe mental illness, with 10-13% of the world’s population suffer from some form of personality disorders (Mayo Clinic).
Personality Disorders are not diagnosed until after age 18, because children and young adults mature and grow so quickly and differently, it would be a mistake to diagnose a typical Pattern of child development as a personality disorder. For example, A clinician who is not trained in personality disorders, might make a mistake in diagnosing normal teenage rebellion as antisocial or narcissism. For this reason, Children are not eligible to receive personality disorders diagnoses. Certain types of Personality Disorders can be more common in men and women, for example Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders are more common in women than men and men have higher rates of developing Antisocial and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorders (Cleveland Clinic).
It is important to highlight that signs of Personality Disorders can be dependent on the type of Personality Disorder, thus these symptoms are general and may not be specific to all types of Personality Disorders that we treat at Transformative Growth Counseling. It is not uncommon for people to have more than one personality disorder. The biggest feature of all personality disorders, the ties them together, is that the behavior is ego some tonic. Which means, the person views the world as coming after them, to further victimize them, specifically.  
  • Self Injury Paranoia or Suspicious Thoughts
  • Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors
  • Unstable Relationships
  • Unclear Self Image
  • Extreme Mood/Emotional Swings
  • Explosive Anger Impulsive, Destructive Behavior
  • Fear of abandonment, real or imagined.

Symptoms of Personality Disorders vary depending on the type, if you believe that you have a Personality Disorder, you should come in for an assessment. Google has a lot of misinformation, with some searches making it seem that Personality Disorders are untreatable. We don’t want you to feel further stigmatized, so give us a call or contact us. We will connect you with a specialized clinician, who can further assist you in assessing whether or not you have a Personality Disorder.

It is common that people with Personality Disorders don’t recognize that they have a disorder, or may not believe they’re able to control their Personality Disorder. Treatment is possible, and begins with recognizing the signs and symptoms of the disorder. This can be difficult, as Personality Disorders can develop alongside or create other mental health illnesses such as depression. Diagnosis for treatment will often involve assessing a person’s functionality in areas of their life such as work, relationships, emotions, behaviors, impulse control, and a person’s identity. Treatment begins with diagnosis, and here at transformative Growth Counseling, we use a combination of DBT and attachment therapy to treat Personality Disorders. Your therapist will work with you to determine which form of treatment best fits your needs. Treatment of a Personality Disorder takes time. Throughout treatment you will learn how to better manage your thoughts and behaviors, and may be prescribed medication such as anti-anxiety, anti-psychotics, impulse-stabilizing medications, or anti-depressants. The goal of therapy is to alleviate symptoms of a Personality Disorder, and to improve coping mechanisms.

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