There are many types of personality disorders and each one has different symptoms and characteristics. Some characteristics are shared by different disorders. People who rebel against their culture or society or who have outbursts and rages or have trouble with social skills, how they see themselves, how they cope with being around other people, and how they control their impulses are characteristics all shared by those who suffer from personality disorders. Many people who suffer from one disorder usually suffer more than one at a time but does not believe that they have a problem. It is said that, “Symptoms stem from basic personality traits that develop over a period of time.”(Mental Health)
There are a few basic treatments for people with personality disorders that work for some, but not for others. Psychodynamic psychotherapy, or psychoanalytical therapy, focuses on past events and long repressed feelings. Psychodynamic models integrate the past with the patient’s current life. Behavior therapy is used to teach different kinds of social skills. Cognitive therapy concentrates on changing of negative thinking. Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques.
Personality disorders affect ten to fifteen percent of the population. Some affect certain populations more than others. Studies have suggested that biology plays a part in these disorders. Personality disorders can be inherited from generation to generation and are a primary result of the person’s experience during childhood and adolescence.
Borderline Personality Disorder is the most common personality disorder and affects approximately 2% of the population (Mental Health). Those that suffer from this disorder may experience brief periods in which they separate from reality and often are diagnosed with depression and psychotic disorders. They are unstable in personal relationships and have an unstable self-image and emotions and have little control over impulses. They can be self-destructive, but are rarely violent to other people or animals.
Antisocial Personality Disorder is present in 3% men and 1% women and between 70-80% of the prison population (Mental Health). By definition, antisocial personality disorder, or ASP, is a lifelong personality disorder that affects many more men than women and begins before age 15 (Black). It has been studied more than any other personality disorder and can be characterized by a pattern of disregarding and violating others’ rights and safety. Sufferers can be defiant, irresponsible, deceitful, irritable and aggressive. They may experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex at a very young age. As a spouse they may be abusive, unfaithful, dishonest and manipulative.
Histrionic Personality Disorder is present in 2-3% of the population and more common in women (Mental Health). Sufferers can be characterized by a pattern of seeking attention in strange and unusual ways. They are excessively emotional, overly trusting and gullible, self-absorbed and are concerned with presentation. People with this disorder can function with relatively few problems in society.
To be psychosocial implies that personality disorders are a result of experiences the person has had, particularly during childhood or adolescence. Physical, emotional and especially sexual abuse has all been implicated as a cause of personality disorders. Not all abused children develop a disorder and not all people with a disorder have been abused. It just means that abuse leaves a person vulnerable to developing a personality disorder.