Personality Disorders Are More Common Than You Think: Here’s how to find support
Personality disorders are more common than one might assume. Statistics indicate that 9.1% of adults in the United States face a personality disorder on an annual basis. Of course, this statement is broad – every personality disorder is different from the other, and they each have specific symptoms and criteria for diagnosis that separate them from other personality disorders and mental health conditions. So, what are personality disorders exactly, and how do you find support if you have one or think that you might?
About Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are a group or a category of mental health conditions. They all involve long-term patterns that a person exhibits in their behavior, thoughts, and so on. Like most other mental health diagnoses, a personality disorder is diagnosed when symptoms and patterns impact a person’s life or cause clinically significant distress. Most commonly, personality disorders are grouped into one of three clusters:
- Cluster A Personality Disorders are characterized by eccentric or odd thoughts and behaviors. These include Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, and Schizotypal Personality Disorder.
- Cluster B Personality Disorders are characterized by unpredictable behavior and emotional intensity. These include Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Histrionic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
- Cluster C Personality Disorders are characterized by anxious or fearful thoughts and behaviors. These include Avoidant Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (not to be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD).
Other diagnoses in the category of personality disorders include General Personality Disorder, Personality Change Due to Another Medical Condition, Other Specified Personality Disorder, or Unspecified Personality Disorder. If you relate to feeling odd or eccentric, experience emotions intensely, or have anxious, fearful thoughts and behaviors, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a personality disorder. Symptoms of personality disorders often overlap with other conditions, which is why it’s imperative to seek a professional evaluation and diagnosis.
Establishing Treatment And Support For Personality Disorders
Personality disorders are treatable. The treatment or support used for those with personality disorders will depend on the specific diagnosis that a person has and the way that it’s impacting their life. Everyone is unique, and personality disorders don’t manifest the same across the board. Like with most mental health conditions, awareness is an incredibly advantageous tool. Psychotherapy is known as one of the most effective forms of treatment for personality disorders, though it may be combined with other forms of care at times. Therapy may be conducted individually or in a group setting. Finding a therapist who specializes in your specific diagnosis or a therapy group for those living with your diagnosis can be incredibly advantageous. Support groups, while not a replacement for therapy, can be beneficial at times as well.
If you haven’t been diagnosed and think that you may have a personality disorder, it’s important to see someone who is qualified to diagnose mental health conditions, such as a psychiatrist. They will be able to assess your symptoms and provide you with an adequate diagnosis. Having a personality disorder doesn’t mean that you’re broken, and it doesn’t mean that you have a “bad” or “flawed” personality. Living with any mental health condition can be challenging, but support is out there, and you can live a full, happy life with a personality disorder.
Find A Therapist
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, interpersonal relationships, stress, or something else that’s on your mind, seeing a counselor or therapist can help. To find a therapist, you can search the web, ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist, contact your insurance provider, or sign up for a reputable online therapy platform like BetterHelp. Regardless of how you find a therapist, you deserve to find quality care, so don’t hesitate to take the first step today.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.