Understanding Personality Disorders – Part II

Last month’s blog provided an introduction to personality disorders – what they are and how they may impact individuals and those close to them. While blog offered brief descriptions of three personality disorders (histrionic, borderline and narcissistic), this blog will introduce the remaining of the ten specific types of personality disorders. All individuals may experience moments of different qualities described below from time to time, but those who have a pattern of the symptoms as well as a marked impairment on their life as a result, are more likely to meet the criteria. Personality disorders are not often discussed in mainstream and as a result, many still carry stigma with them. The hope is that with more information out there, society begin to recognize how commonly occurring these disorders are, and proper support becomes more readily available. If you recognize a friend or family member in any of these descriptions, a deeper dive into the personality disorder may help you better relate to this person and create a healthier, safer relationship with them. If you find that you resonate with one of the descriptions, then it can be similarly helpful to explore the diagnosis further as well. As indicated in the last blog, therapists, such as those at Gateway to Solutions can be really helpful and supportive in exploring and better understanding your personality.


Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder describes a pattern of disregarding or violating the rights of others. Individuals with this disordered are often perceived as not conforming to social norms and tend to lie or deceive others. The disorder does not necessarily look like the more colloquial understanding of “antisocial”, which describes a person who does not socialize with others, but instead the disorder describes someone who disregards others, evidenced by impulsivity, lying and general lack of regard for the safety of themselves and others.


Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of extreme shyness, feelings of inadequacy and extreme sensitivity to criticism. A fear for being disliked, criticized or rejected often makes individuals with this disorder feel socially inept and resistant of engaging with others. Avoidant is also one of the attachment styles individuals can have in relationships and while not all individuals with an avoidant attachment have this disorder, there are some overlaps between the qualities. To learn more about avoidant attachment style, read this article.


Dependent Personality Disorder

In many ways, an individual with dependent personality disorder may appear the opposite of someone with avoidant personality disorder. This disorder is marked by a pattern of needing to be taken care of as well as clingy behavior. Individuals with this personality disorder often rely on much reassurance from other people, especially for decision making. Whereas those with avoidant personality disorder may disregard others, people with this disorder hyper-focus on the validation and/or permission of others.


Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

This personality disorder is different than obsessive compulsive disorder, as it pertains specifically to a pattern of personality. Individuals with this personality disorder have a preoccupation with orderliness, perfection and control. The main difference between OCD and OCPD is that those with OCD perform ritualistic behaviors whereas those with OCPD tend to be perfectionistic in many areas, to an extreme that causes negative impact on their relationships with others.


Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid Personality Disorder relates to a pattern of being suspicious of others. People with this disorder tend to assume people are going to harm or deceive them. As a result, individuals will refrain from getting too close to or confiding in others, which can put a strain on the relationships they are in. The paranoia is debilitating in that it causes a marked impairment on one’s life and relationships.


Schizoid Personality Disorder

Individuals with schizoid personality disorder are detached from social relationships and express little emotion. These individuals do not typically seek close relationships and instead spend more time alone, not caring much about feedback from others.


Schizotypal Personality Disorder

The final of the ten personality disorders, schizotypal personality disorder describes a pattern of being very uncomfortable in close relationships, with distorted thinking and eccentric behavior. Individuals with this disorder often have odd beliefs, behaviors or speech, as well as intense social anxiety.


Now that we’ve taken a deeper dive into defining and describing the ten personality disorders, our next blog will address the ways in which treatment can address and improve the lives of individuals suffering with these diagnoses.



Robitz, R., MD. (2018, November). What are Personality Disorders? Retrieved October 16,

2020, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/personality-disorders/what-are


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