Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders

Everyone has different ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.  These traits or characteristics create our personality.  Most peoples’ personalities are fully developed by their late teens or early 20s, after that they remain fairly constant for the rest of their lives. This enables individuals to behave in predictable ways and to get on reasonably well with other people. Personality disorders can effect the way that person feels, thinks and behaves.

Someone with a personality disorder may frequently find their emotions confusing, tiring and hard to control, which is often distressing for them and people around them. In addition, some other difficulties that they may experience include:

  • Not being able to make or keep close relationships
  • An inability to get on with others
  • Having a lack of control over their emotions or behaviours
  • Being unable to listen to other people

There are ten known types of personality disorders, which can be grouped into three clusters:

Cluster A

People in this group may find it difficult to relate to other people. They tend to be cut off emotionally from others and also behave in odd or eccentric ways. This group includes: paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.

Cluster B 

People in this group struggle to manage their emotions and swing between positive and negative views of other people. They also may behave in dramatic, erratic or impulsive ways. This group includes borderline (BPD) or emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), which is one of the most common types of personality disorder. Other Cluster B personality disorders include: histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.

Cluster C 

People in this group tend to worry a lot and, as a result, behave in a very withdrawn manner. For example, they often struggle with overwhelming fear and anxiety or appear antisocial.  This group includes: obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder and dependent personality disorder.

The symptoms of personality disorder can range from mild to very severe, with the intensity of symptoms varying during different periods in a person’s life, often becoming more noticeable during stressful times.

BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a Personality Disorder which is also referred to as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).

Around 1 in 100 people have BPD, making it the most commonly recognised personality disorder. Many people with BPD will start to experience symptoms in their teenage years. Consequently, symptoms can persist through adulthood unless treatment is sought.

People with BPD have strong emotions that they are unable to manage, and may often feel distressed, angry or upset.  Because of their condition, people with BPD find it difficult to accept themselves.  They are often unable to manage their emotions and impulsive behaviour and can have problems relating to other people.  For example, they may become easily upset or offended by other people’s behaviour.  Those with BPD will often have painful thoughts and feelings about themselves or others. As a result, this can negatively affect their family life, friendships and working relationships.

There are many reasons why people develop BPD.  The main causes seem to be a challenging or traumatic childhood, which may include being abandoned, neglected or abused by a close family member.

Seeking help is the first step in understanding and working through the complex emotional issues surrounding personality disorder. Here at The Eaves, our qualified Psychologists can help you to regain control of your thoughts, emotions and behaviours, helping you to live a more fulfilling life. Above all, they can help you learn how to deal with the complex issues living with a personality disorder can bring.

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Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a type of personality disorder. You might be diagnosed with a personality disorder if you have difficulties with how you think and feel about yourself and other people. And if these difficulties make it hard to cope day to day.

If you have been given a personality disorder diagnosis you are more likely than most people to have experienced difficult or traumatic experiences growing up, such as neglect, losing a parent or sudden bereavement, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, being involved in major incidents or accidents, often feeling afraid, upset, unsupported or invalidated.

Personality is very complex and researchers currently don’t know much about what makes up our personalities and to what extent genes play a part in this. While some experts believe genetic inheritance may play a part in the development of personality disorder, other point out that it is difficult to know whether similarities in temperament and behaviour have been handed down the generations genetically or through the behaviour children were modelled as they grew up.