What are the main types of personality disorders?

personality disorders

A personality disorder is one type of mental illness in which an individual’s behaviors and thought patterns cause distress. This is characterized by a typical and inflexible pattern of thinking, behaving, and feeling.

Individuals with personality disorders have a deep-rooted pattern of different thought processes. The inflexibility in their personality can sometimes cause great distress and interfere with work and social life. Individuals with personality disorders normally have poor coping skills and have difficulty in building healthy relationships.

Personality Disorder can be categorized into three main categories:

Eccentric personality disorders

People with these disorders mostly appear to be peculiar and odd. They are:

  • Paranoid personality disorder: Paranoia is the characteristic of this disorder. An individual with this disorder has a constant suspicion of everything and believes that others are trying to harm, demean or threaten them.
  • Schizoid personality disorder: Persons with this disorder are mostly detached, distant and indifferent to all social relationships. These people are normally loners and prefer solitude and hardly express any strong emotion.
  • Schizotypal personality disorder: A person with this disorder portrays unusual behavior, appearance, and thinking. They all have some odd beliefs and are mostly very superstitious.

Dramatic personality disorders

An individual with these disorders has an unstable, intensely emotional personality with a distorted self-image. These people behave impulsively. They include:

  • Antisocial personality disorder: This disorder is identified as irresponsible, rash, and aggressive behavior. An individual with this disorder has a tendency to commit serious crimes and has no repentance for the same.
  • Borderline personality disorder: This type of disorder is characterized by poor self-image, unstable moods, impulsive behavior, and unstable mood.
  • Histrionic personality disorder: This type of disorder seeks constant attention and is shallow in character. A person with this disorder behaves in a childish manner, sometimes overly emotional and dramatic.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder: This type of disorder is marked by an excessive sense of superiority and is preoccupied with power and success. An individual with this disorder tends to lack empathy, is self-centered, and needs constant admiration and attention. 

Anxious personality disorders

An individual with this disorder is fearful and nervous. They include:

  • Avoidant personality disorder: This type of disorder has a tendency to avoid social contact. They miss out on social experiences due to the fear of being rejected.
  • Dependent personality disorder: This disorder is characterized by submissiveness and dependency and a need for constant reassurance. Also, having feelings of helplessness not being able to make decisions.

With this type of disorder, an individual comes close to another person and tries to please them. They show clinging and passive behavior and have a fear of being separated.

  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: This disorder is marked by a pattern of inflexibility and perfection, orderliness and control, and always in fear of making mistakes. This fear leads to difficulty in finishing tasks, inability to make decisions, and a preoccupation with details.


Personality Disorder can be treated and a person can be cured if proper treatment is done on time. It can be treated with medications in certain cases and the other treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

But it should be kept in mind that no self-diagnosis is carried out. Only a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a social worker has the proper knowledge to diagnose a personality disorder and carry out a proper treatment plan.

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