5 Common Personality Disorders

5 Common Personality Disorders

Common Types of Personality Disorders

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder

Personality disorders affect about 9 percent of the population of the United States, and these five common personality disorders are some of the ones that a person may encounter in their network of friends, family or coworkers. Personality disorders can make it difficult for a person to form and maintain relationships, and others recognize that something is not quite right with the individual who has the disorder.

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1. Antisocial Personality Disorder

A person with antisocial personality disorder blatantly violates or disregards the rights of others. They do not conform to what society thinks is normal or acceptable in terms of behavior in public and in private. A person with the disorder may repeatedly lie or attempt to deceive others for personal gain. They may also act with a lot of impulsiveness. The person is likely to manipulate or exploit others, and they are willing to perform illegal actions for their own benefit. People with the disorder have an uncanny ability to be witty or charming, but they can be equally deceptive, angry, violent or arrogant. They have no regret or remorse.

2. Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder used to be called split personality disorder. It is characterized by a high level of emotional instability. A person with the disorder has unstable relationships, impulsive behavior, and a poor self-image. People wither borderline personality disorder often go to extreme lengths in order to maintain a relationship, even if the relationship is not in their best interest. Some people with borderline personality disorder may attempt suicide in order to keep a relationship, even if the other person does not want to be in the relationship.

3. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People with narcissistic personality disorder lack empathy for others. For example, if a person tells their friend that they had a bad day, the person with narcissistic personality disorder would reply with how bad their day was and turn the focus onto themselves. People with narcissistic personality disorder often demand admiration, and if they do not get it, they are willing to degrade, belittle or gaslight others. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and a sense of entitlement. A person with the disorder would expect others to rearrange their schedule or plans in order to accommodate their needs.

4. Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder

According to the American Psychiatric Association, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with orderliness and control. A person may have an excessive focus on details or schedules, planning out every minute of their day. They often spend too much time working, resulting in little to no leisure time or even a decrease in the time they spend sleeping or caring for themselves. This condition is not the same as obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is a mental illness.

5. Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with histrionic personality disorder have over-the-top emotional outbursts, and they do so on a regular basis. The motivation for those outbursts is attention from others. For example, a grown child might tell their mother that they already had plans out-of-town for Thanksgiving with their spouse’s family. The mother may wail, claim the child doesn’t love her, yell in anger and pout, hoping that the adult child will cave and change their mind.

These are not the only personality disorders, but they are common enough for most people to recognize in others. Understanding these common personality disorders could be a good first step for a person interested in studying psychology or psychiatry.