Within the domain of personality disorders, symptoms and similar disorder characteristics are grouped into three distinct clusters, with each cluster tied together by an overarching theme. People with these disorders experience the symptoms no matter the time, place or circumstance, and they cause significant stress and impairment in everyday life.

The symptoms of these disorders are so crippling that relationships, jobs, social lives and interpersonal lives are painful and unstable. To cope with the overwhelming anxiety or lack of control, those who suffer from personality disorders often engage in maladaptive coping mechanisms like substance abuse, self-harm or violence.

We’ll explore the three clusters of personality disorders and shed some light on what ties each group together and their treatment options.

Treatment Options for Personality Disorder Patients

Long-Term Psychotherapy has been shown to be a successful treatment for the three clusters’ individual personality disorders. Throughout psychotherapy sessions, the experienced mental health professionals at Alta Loma guide patients in cultivating an awareness of their personality traits and the manifestations of these mental disorders. Engaging in discussions about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors plays a crucial role in facilitating the recovery journey.

As they learn how to control their symptoms and lessen the behaviors that might be impairing their capacity to function, the patient can better understand how their behavior impacts those around them during psychotherapy. Psychotherapy gives patients the opportunity to develop skill sets to manage their disorder, which leads to long-term success rates after treatment. It’s crucial to note that not every patient will respond well or have the same experience during psychotherapy; it’s a process that should be tailored to each person’s individual needs.

Do you know what type of Personality Disorder you have?

Alta Loma is Austin’s leading long-term mental health treatment facility

The Three Clusters of Personality Disorders

Cluster A Personality Disorder

Cluster A personality disorder is characterized by unusual or eccentric thoughts and behaviors. Common disorders in this cluster include schizotypal personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and paranoid personality disorder.

People with these disorders often have difficulty understanding social cues and reading nonverbal communication and may appear to be suspicious or paranoid.

Disorders in cluster A are tied together by distorted thinking. This cluster is called the odd, eccentric cluster and includes these disorders:

Patients with paranoid personality disorder are generally characterized by having a great deal of distrust in others. They may think that other people are constantly trying to harm them or that they’re being lied to or taken advantage of. Because patients with this disorder often have difficulty trusting others, so they may go to great lengths to avoid being betrayed. They may also be quick to anger and hold grudges for a long time.

This type of condition is defined by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency to be solitary and general indifference to the feelings of others. People with this disorder may seem emotionless or withdrawn. They may have difficulty forming close attachments to others and may prefer to be alone.

People with this disorder tend to be loners who are very uncomfortable around other people. They may have odd beliefs or superstitions and often have problems with drugs or alcohol. They also seem to lack in the ability to keep their emotions in check.

According to one study, the prevalence of cluster A personality disorders constitutes 3.6% of the world population.

A Personality Disorder comes in many shapes and sizes…

Call today for the long-term treatment you deserve!

Cluster B Personality Disorder

Personality Disorders in cluster B are tied together by impulse control and emotional regulation.

People with these disorders often have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships and may be at increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. Cluster B personality disorders can be difficult to treat, but effective treatments are available.

The prevalence of cluster B personality disorders is approximately 1.5%.

This cluster is called the dramatic, emotional and erratic cluster and includes the following disorders:

People with borderline personality disorder are often obsessed with being abandoned or left alone. They may have intense and unstable relationships, and their moods can change rapidly. These people need a lot of support from family members or friends to help them through difficult times.

It’s important to recognize that borderline personality disorder is just one among the various types of personality disorders, each presenting distinct traits and complexities. Seeking guidance and support from a doctor or a mental health professional can aid these individuals in managing their condition and improving their overall well-being.

Patients with narcissistic personality disorder have an inflated sense of self-importance and a strong need for admiration. They are often preoccupied with thoughts of success, power and beauty. They may take advantage of others to get what they want, and they may have little empathy for the feelings of others.

People with this disorder are constantly seeking attention. They may be excessively emotional and dramatic, making them seem insincere. They can be quite charming but are often shallow and easily bored. They may also be overly concerned with their appearance and seek approval from others.

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder usually have no regard for right or wrong. They may often lie or break the law. They may be aggressive, hurt other people or put others in danger. The impact of their actions may not matter to them. And they may blame others for their own mistakes or misfortunes.

A Personality Disorder can be exhausting & misunderstood

Our team’s care will address the root causes of PD, stimulating growth & change

Cluster C Personality Disorder

Personality Disorders in cluster C are tied together by a high level of anxiety.

Cluster C personality disorders are present in approximately 1 in every 40 people (2.7% of the population).

This cluster is called the anxious, fearful cluster and includes these disorders:

People with avoidant personality disorder are characterized by a lifelong pattern of feeling inadequate, inferior and unlovable. They tend to be extremely shy and avoid social situations for fear of being rejected or ridiculed. They may have few close friends and often feel alone and isolated. People with this disorder may be overly sensitive to criticism and may react with anger or withdrawal when criticized. They may also have difficulty carrying out tasks or taking on new challenges because they fear failure.

People with this disorder have a hard time making decisions without relying on others. They are also extremely fearful of abandonment and will do anything to prevent it, even if it means sacrificing their own needs. They also often seem clingy and submissive. Dependent personality disorder patients might have difficulty expressing their own opinions or being assertive, and they might be overly compliant with what others want them to do.

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder are characterized by their perfectionism, need for control and lack of flexibility. They often have difficulty completing tasks because they must do everything perfectly. This can lead to conflicts with others, as they may try to take over or micromanage. People with OCPD also have difficulty delegating tasks.

man showing cards of different personalities

Diagnosing Personality Disorders Is Challenging

Unfortunately, most who suffer from a personality disorder rarely have enough insight into the behavior to recognize or describe it as a personality disorder.

They often suffer from severe secondary symptoms such as depression, relationship problems and poor academic or job performance. While some physical abnormalities in the brain can help identify personality disorders, research in this area hasn’t identified diagnosable markers across the board.

Usually, a close witness to everyday behavior and history is asked to answer questions about the behavior of the person being diagnosed. Criminal records and medical history may also be relevant to creating an accurate understanding of behavior patterns.

Not only can receiving diagnostic information from the client be difficult, but those who receive a diagnosis often struggle to stay in treatment. Though treatment for these disorders can be complex, a combination of therapy and medication has been proven effective as part of the collaborative care model.

Alta Loma’s Long-Term Treatment Program for Personality Disorders

Whether short-term or long-term, cognitive behavioral therapy or another type of therapy, psychotherapy has been shown to be an effective way to treat personality disorders. Medication might also be necessary in some cases in order to balance out chemicals in the brain or treat other comorbid conditions. Medication can greatly improve the quality of life for those with a personality disorder when used in conjunction with therapy.

Diagnosis and treatment for personality disorders are possible with the help and support of friends and family and through the commitment of the client. If you or someone you know is battling a personality disorder, please contact us for help.

Alta Loma mental health facilities in Georgetown, TX, near Austin, TX, are here to help you or your loved one get back on track and live a happy, healthy life.

Alta Loma can provide continuing support and aftercare once they complete the program for those who don’t have a support system but would like more insight into their mental health and treatment options.

The men who enroll in Alta Loma’s treatment program will find relief from their symptoms and hope for life outside of treatment. Call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843 to get help today.