Within the domain of personality disorders, there are three distinct clusters into which symptoms and similar disorder characteristics are grouped together. In each of these clusters, an over-arching theme ties them together. People with these disorders experience the symptoms of each 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, they often engage in maladaptive coping mechanisms like substance abuse, self-harm, or violence.

Cluster A

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

  • Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder

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

Cluster B

Disorders in cluster B are tied together by impulse control and emotional regulation. This cluster is called the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster and includes the disorders:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

The prevalence of cluster B personality disorders is 1.5%.

Cluster C

Disorders in cluster C are tied together by a high level of anxiety. This cluster is called the anxious, fearful cluster and includes the disorders:

  • Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

The prevalence of cluster C personality disorders is 2.7%.

Diagnosing Personality Disorders Is Challenging

Unfortunately, most who suffer from a personality disorder would 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 has not 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 in the process of 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.

Diagnosis and treatment for personality disorders are possible with the help and support of friends and family and through the commitment of the client. For those who don’t have a support system but would like more insight into their mental health and treatment options, Alta Loma can give them a support system to lean on for the rest of their lives after graduation from the program. The men who enroll in Alta Loma’s treatment program will find relief from their symptoms and hope for life outside of treatment. For treatment options, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843.


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Healing on Your Terms

You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.