Personality disorders are mental illnesses where a person’s behaviors and traits are much different than is expected. People with these disorders look the same as anyone else. These conditions do not come on until someone is a teenager or adult. Most personality disorders can't be diagnosed until after someone turns 18.
Personality disorders can include:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- ...And others
These disorders are different than other mental illnesses because they cause lasting differences in a person’s personality. These changes can make it hard to have good relationships. They also lead to problems at work or school. Personality disorders can be very hard to treat. Luckily, new forms of therapy may help people with these disorders.
To know if someone has a personality disorder, they usually need to see a doctor or therapist. There are many types of personality disorders. Below we talk about a common one that affects some parents or family members.
Borderline Personality Disorder:
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the more common personality disorders. People with BPD have varying moods, poor self-image, and difficult behaviors. People with BPD may act without thinking. This can also cause problems in relationships. People with BPD may have periods of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days (NIMH, 2018). People with BPD have a hard time in friendships and other relationships. This can make it hard for them to keep friends, stay in jobs, or keep a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Some people think it is hard to be around someone with BPD. However, BPD is the hardest for those who have it. Fortunately, treatment can help. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (known as DBT) can help treat BPD. BPD can be hard to diagnose so it is best if someone with symptoms of BPD sees a doctor or therapist for help. Without treatment BPD leads to problems in relationships, mood difficulties, and suicidal behaviors.