Personality Disorders: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding personality disorders is essential for navigating the landscape of mental health effectively. These conditions, marked by enduring patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience, present significant obstacles to individuals’ well-being and functioning. At 12 South Recovery, we emphasize the importance of gaining a comprehensive understanding of personality disorders and providing tailored interventions to support those affected.

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What are Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders represent a class of mental health disorders characterized by rigid and unhealthy patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. These patterns typically deviate from societal norms and cause distress or impairment in various areas of life, including relationships, work, and self-identity. It’s essential to distinguish between personality traits, which are enduring characteristics of an individual’s personality, and personality disorders, which involve maladaptive and inflexible patterns that significantly impair functioning.

Types of Personality Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

  • Symptoms: Individuals with BPD often experience intense and unstable relationships, identity disturbances, impulsivity, and emotional dysregulation. They may also exhibit self-harming behaviors and have a pervasive fear of abandonment.
  • Treatment Approaches: Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a widely recognized and effective treatment for BPD, focusing on emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

  • Symptoms: NPD is characterized by grandiosity, a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, and a constant need for admiration. Individuals with NPD may exaggerate their achievements and exploit others to achieve their goals.
  • Treatment Approaches: While individuals with NPD may be resistant to therapy, approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy can help address underlying insecurities and promote empathy and self-awareness.

Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)

  • Symptoms: ASPD is marked by a disregard for others’ rights, persistent violation of societal norms, deceitfulness, impulsivity, and lack of remorse. Individuals with ASPD may engage in criminal behavior and show a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of others.
  • Treatment Approaches: Treatment for ASPD often focuses on managing associated symptoms, such as aggression and impulsivity, through cognitive-behavioral interventions and, in some cases, pharmacotherapy.

Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD)

  • Symptoms: AvPD is characterized by pervasive feelings of inadequacy, hypersensitivity to criticism, avoidance of social situations, and reluctance to engage with others due to fear of rejection or disapproval.
  • Treatment Approaches: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals with AvPD challenge negative beliefs, improve social skills, and gradually confront avoidance behaviors in a supportive therapeutic environment.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

  • Symptoms: OCPD involves a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, rigid adherence to rules and routines, and an excessive devotion to work at the expense of personal relationships and leisure activities.
  • Treatment Approaches: While individuals with OCPD may not perceive their behavior as problematic, therapy can help address perfectionism and flexibility issues, promoting more adaptive coping strategies and interpersonal relationships.

Treatment Modalities for Personality Disorders

  • Psychotherapy: Various therapeutic modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, and schema therapy, are commonly used to address core symptoms and underlying issues associated with personality disorders.
  • Medication: While medication alone is not typically considered a primary treatment for personality disorders, certain medications may be prescribed to manage co-occurring symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or impulsivity.
  • Supportive Services: Peer support groups, family therapy, and vocational rehabilitation programs can complement individual therapy and provide additional sources of support and encouragement.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Encouraging individuals to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, nutrition, and stress management techniques, can contribute to overall well-being and symptom management.
  • Integrated Care: Collaborative approaches involving multidisciplinary teams, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists, can ensure holistic and coordinated care tailored to the individual’s unique needs.

Seeking Help and Support with 12 South Recovery

If you or someone you know is struggling with a personality disorder, reaching out for help is the first step toward healing and recovery. At 12 South Recovery, our compassionate team specializes in providing comprehensive assessments, evidence-based treatments, and ongoing support to individuals facing personality disorders. Call 866-257-5551 to connect with us and embark on a journey toward improved mental health and well-being.


At 12 South Recovery, we aim to help restore balance to every area of life – treating the mind, body and spirit so our clients are able to find lasting recovery from addiction and other co-occurring disorders. Our unique Treatment Programs aim to address both addiction and the underlying causes.

Contact 12 South Recovery at 866-839-6876 today.

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