Everything You Need To Know About The 10 Personality Disorders


Personality disorders are serious mental health conditions that affect nearly 10% of the population. However, despite their prevalence, few people genuinely understand these disorders or how to identify them accurately.

People with personality disorders have extremely rigid and unhealthy ways of thinking, functioning, and behaving. They struggle to relate to other people or situations, which causes problems in every aspect of their lives. In addition, they have a distorted perception of themselves and reality, making it difficult for them to function normally in society.

There are ten known personality disorders, and they all range in their various behaviors and symptoms. This article serves as a detailed guide to each personality disorder.

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a consistent lack of empathy and respect for others, as well as a disregard for social norms, morals, and laws. People with this disorder treat people with indifference, often antagonizing, manipulating, or harming them. They can be quite dangerous as they show no remorse or regret for their actions. They often become criminals, harm their friends, family, and loved ones, and struggle with drug and alcohol use.

You can identify a person with antisocial personality disorder if they exhibit the following symptoms and behaviors:

  • Frequently lie, con, or exploit others
  • Consistently irritable and aggressive
  • Often fight or assault other people
  • Break social norms, including laws, and feel no remorse
  • Disregard the safety of others
  • Show no signs of empathy or remorse when hurting others
  • Act rashly without concern for their or others’ safety

Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by an intense fear of being rejected by others. Someone with this condition will struggle with intense feelings of inadequacy and do everything they can to avoid being negatively judged by others. Even though they enjoy socialization, they may isolate themselves if they feel it will protect them from being judged by their peers.

Someone with avoidant personality disorder will exhibit the following symptoms and behaviors:

  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism
  • Intense fear of rejection
  • Feeling inadequate or inferior
  • Avoid work, school, or social gatherings
  • Extremely shy or socially anxious
  • Prefer isolation and avoid interacting with others

Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder struggle to manage their emotions. They have mood swings that vary moment-to-moment, making every aspect of life incredibly difficult. They are prone to risky and impulsive behavior and struggle to maintain healthy relationships. As a result, their lives are often quite unstable despite their eagerness for a normal, stable, and satisfying life.

A person with borderline personality disorder can be identified by the following symptoms and behaviors:

  • Engaging in impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, binge eating, making large purchases, or having unsafe sex
  • Has relationships that are often intense and unstable
  • Fragile self-image and self-esteem
  • Intense fear of being alone
  • Thoughts and behaviors of suicide** and self-harm
  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Intense emotions that are constantly in flux depending on their stress levels

**If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7.

Dependent Personality Disorder

People with dependent personality disorder struggle with their feelings of helplessness, submissiveness, and constant need for reassurance. They struggle to be independent and self-sufficient, depending on others for help. Furthermore, they have difficulty even making decisions or changes by themselves and need others to do those for them.

A person with dependent personality disorder will exhibit the following symptoms and behaviors:

  • Inability to make decisions without advice or reassurance of others
  • Need for others to make important life decisions for them (such as where to work and live)
  • Intense fear of abandonment or being alone
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism and judgment
  • Pessimism
  • Low self-esteem and confidence
  • Placing the needs of others above their own

Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with histrionic personality disorder have fragile self-esteem that is completely dependent on the approval of others. Therefore, they are constantly in an act, doing anything to gain reassurance and acknowledgment from the people around them. This causes them to act dramatically and inappropriately, all so they can get the attention of everyone around them.

Some behaviors and symptoms that indicate histrionic personality disorder include:

  • A constant need to be the center of attention
  • A rapid change in emotions
  • Is overly concerned with physical appearance
  • Need constant reassurance and approval
  • Show exaggerated emotions and expressions as though they are performing to an audience
  • Extreme gullibility
  • Very sensitive to criticism
  • Making rash decisions and actions
  • Very self-centered
  • Coming off as shallow and fake in their interactions with other people
  • Rarely show concern or empathy for others

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

This is perhaps the most well-known personality disorder on this list. People with narcissistic personality disorder have a grandiose sense of self and need constant admiration and reassurance. They are incredibly sensitive to criticism and judgment and need to be seen as superior. They struggle to feel empathy for others, making it difficult to create meaningful relationships.

Some of the most common behaviors and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:

  • Inflated ego and sense of self
  • Requiring a lot of attention from others
  • Feeling superior to others
  • Monopolizing conversations
  • Looking down on people they think are inferior
  • Only spending time with people they believe are equally superior
  • Difficult empathizing with others
  • Lots of bragging
  • Easily jealous of others
  • Expecting special treatment

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder have an extreme need for everything to be perfect and orderly. They will obsess over every detail and rarely feel satisfied with their work. When working with others, they may choose to do projects alone or take over teamwork as they don’t trust others to do the job perfectly.

Some of the behaviors and symptoms you will see in someone with this condition include:

  • An intense need for order and organization
  • Rigidly following rules
  • Difficulty delegating tasks to others
  • Extreme perfectionism
  • Micromanaging
  • Fixating on lists and small details
  • Extreme frugality
  • Hoarding

Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by the consistent feelings and thoughts of paranoia. Someone with this condition will consistently be suspicious of and distrust others, often without reason. They believe that the people around them are deceiving them or planning to harm them in some way. They struggle to have close relationships as they cannot trust their friends and loved ones.

Some common symptoms and behaviors of this condition include:

  • Very suspicious of others without reason
  • Doubting the loyalty or trustworthiness of others
  • Believe that others are using them or plotting to harm them
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Difficulty taking criticism
  • Unforgiving and often hold grudges
  • Stubborn and argumentative; they often believe they are always right
  • Often hostile or aggressive
  • Not trusting of others and acting very cold toward them
  • Reading hidden meaning in casual remarks or looks of others
  • Not confiding in others

Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid personality disorder is characterized by the indifference to people and relationships. People with this condition are loners and have little interest in developing relationships. They rarely go to social activities and may even choose careers and lifestyles that keep them alone.

Some common symptoms and behaviors of this condition include:

  • No desire to make friends or develop relationships
  • Work in a solitary job
  • Does not engage in social activities
  • Difficulty relating to others
  • Indifferent to praise or criticism
  • Show and feel very little emotion

Schizotypal Personality Disorder

People with schizotypal personality disorder are distinguished by their odd behavior, speech, thoughts, or perception. They are often seen as strange or eccentric. However, this is more than just being a little bit odd. People with this condition struggle to see how people perceive them and don’t see how their behavior affects others. Furthermore, they may be prone to paranoia, superstitions, or magical thinking.

Some common symptoms and behaviors of this condition include:

  • Dressing, speaking, or acting in an unusual way
  • Very suspicious or paranoid
  • A great distrust of others
  • A loner or has few friends
  • Tendency to misinterpret reality
  • Believing in superstitions or exhibiting magical thinking
  • Preoccupied with fantasy and daydreaming
  • Socially awkward and uncomfortable with intimacy
  • Come off as aloof

As you can see, personality disorders are serious conditions that not only affect the diagnosed person but everyone they interact with. If you are interested in learning more about personality disorders, you can find more resources and information over at BetterHelp.


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