Personality Disorder Treatment
At Agape Treatment Center, we offer primary mental health treatment for patients with mental health disorders. For people with personality disorders, this helps set the stage for successful recovery. With good mental health and solid strategies for the long-term management of personality disorders, our clients can enjoy happy, productive lives and a greatly reduced risk of relapse.
Personality disorders are characterized by behaviors, thought patterns, and mindsets that deviate from the norm. Personality disorders make it difficult for people to interact with others in positive ways, difficult to maintain meaningful relationships, and difficult to offer consistent performance at work, school, or in other life areas. People with personality disorders have a hard time controlling their behavior, relating to others, and responding emotionally in acceptable ways. These conditions are disruptive. They also cause considerable distress and last for extended periods of time.
Types of personality disorders
All personality disorders are characterized by rigid, atypical, and unhealthy thought patterns. With personality disorders, it’s often difficult for people to recognize their own symptoms. To them, their manner of thinking and behaving is normal, even though it greatly deviates from the standard set by others around them.
For the sake of accurate diagnosis and treatment, personality disorders have been broken down into three distinct categories. These are called cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C according to the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and thinking that individual disorders are known for. Cluster A personality disorders are characterized by eccentric thinking and odd behaviors. Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by overly emotional and overly dramatic responses and behaviors, and Cluster C personality disorders are characterized by fearful, anxious behaviors and thought patterns.
Personality disorders that fall within cluster A include:
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
Several symptoms among cluster A personality disorders include:
- Flat emotions or a limited range of emotions
- Hesitancy to trust or confide in others
- Difficulty taking pleasure in many activities
- Unable to pick up on social cues
- Strange perceptual experiences
- The belief that events or incidents have hidden messages
Cluster B personality disorders include:
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
Several symptoms among cluster B personality disorders include:
- Disregard for personal safety or the safety of others
- Intense and unstable relationships
- Rapidly changing emotions
- Exaggeration of talents or abilities
- Extreme fear of abandonment
- Impulsive and irresponsible behavior
Cluster C personality disorders include:
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
Several symptoms of cluster C personality disorders include:
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or criticism
- Lack of self-confidence
- Inflexible values, morals, or ethics
- Distressing or dysfunctional levels of perfectionism
- Fear of ridicule or embarrassment
- Fear of disappointing others and difficulty disagreeing with others
Causes of personality disorders
The exact causes of personality disorders are not known. Research suggests that the development of these issues may be the result of combined genetics and environmental factors. Certain personality disorders are more likely to occur among people who:
- Have immediate family members with personality disorders or other mental health issues
- Were subjected to mental, physical, or sexual abuse during their formative years
- Have experienced extreme trauma
- Have variations in the structure or overall chemistry of their brains
Risk factors for personality disorders
In addition to potential genetic or environmental causes, certain risk factors may make a person more predisposed to developing a personality disorder. For instance, people with stable, loving families during their early childhood years are less likely to develop personality disorders than those who were raised in abusive, unstable, or chaotic households. Personality disorders are also more common among people who’ve been diagnosed with child conduct disorders.
Signs and symptoms of personality disorders
There are over 10 personality disorders that are currently recognized. Each has its own unique range of causes, risk factors, symptoms, and effective treatment options. However, general signs and symptoms of personality disorders include:
- Being unable to relate to others
- Frequent social and relationship problems
- Lack of concern for others
- Manipulative behaviors
- Extreme sensitivity to criticism
- Suicidal thoughts and suicidal tendencies
How are personality disorders diagnosed?
When personality disorders are suspected, doctors often start performing a comprehensive medical exam and a full psychological evaluation. These assessments help rule out other factors that may be causing a person’s symptoms.
Each personality disorder has its own diagnostic criteria as defined by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5). To limit the likelihood of both misdiagnosis and mistreatment, it is often necessary for patients to have a minimum number of core symptoms for a disorder, and to have these symptoms for an extended period of time.
How are personality disorders treated?
In some instances, medication can be safely and effectively used to limit the symptoms of a personality disorder. This is especially true in instances in which personality disorders are believed to be caused by variations in a person’s brain chemistry, brain functioning, or brain structure. However, the best treatment plans for nearly all mental health issues are multi-pronged and include one or more options in psychotherapy.
At Agape Treatment Center, we offer multiple options in behavioral therapy. This includes dialectical behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for treating personality disorders. We also stress the importance of good general self-care and ongoing stress management.
The symptoms of many personality disorders may gradually decrease as a person gets older, and can abate entirely as a person enters their 40s. The ongoing monitoring and management of personality disorders is recommended for limiting relapse risks and other mental health challenges.
Treatment for personality disorders at agape
Our treatment for personality disorders at Agape is always streamlined to suit the individual’s needs. We are staffed by a team of seasoned medical and mental health professionals who take great care to devise customized treatment plans. These plans produce optimal outcomes and have a limited risk of creating new issues. With our whole-health, whole-person approach, we help our clients establish balanced, sustainable lifestyles, and enjoy consistently good overall health.
Contact us today to get started
If you believe that you’ve been self-treating the discomfort caused by a personality disorder or by any other unknown and untreated mental health issue, we can help. Call us today to get started. Our counselors are always standing by.