Advertising
Advertising

10 Personality Disorders Many of Us Aren’t Aware Of

10 Personality Disorders Many of Us Aren’t Aware Of

Personality disorders are a kind of mental disorders that affect how people manage their emotions, behavior and relationships. Personality disorders can be diagnosed 40%-60% of the time, and they are characterized by an enduring collection of behavioral patterns often associated with considerable personal, social, and occupational disruption.

This behavior can result in maladaptive coping skills and may lead to personal problems that induce extreme anxiety, distress, or depression.

The concept of personality disorders itself is much more recent and tentatively dates back to psychiatrist Philippe Pinel’s 1801 description of manie sans délire, a condition which he characterized as outbursts of rage and violence (manie) in the absence of any symptoms of psychosis such as delusions and hallucination.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Revision (DSM-5), there are ten types of personality disorders and they can be grouped or clustered into three.[1]

Cluster A (Odd, bizarre, eccentric)

Paranoid PD, Schizoid PD, Schizotypal PD

Advertising

Cluster B (Dramatic, erratic)

Antisocial PD, Borderline PD, Histrionic PD, Narcissistic PD

Cluster C (Anxious, fearful)

Avoidant PD, Dependent PD, Obsessive-compulsive PD.

Below are the explanation of the ten types of personality disorder and signs.[2]

1. Paranoid personality disorder

The patient is always guarded and constantly on the lookout for suspicious acts. The individual is overly sensitive to rejection and easily feels down. They may feel shame and humiliation, and they can even hold grudges. Withdrawal from others is common, and it is difficult for them to build close relationships since they can easily blame others for mistakes.

Advertising

Signs:

  • Distrust of others
  • Sensitive to people’s reaction
  • Ability to bear grudges for a long time

2. Schizoid personality disorder

Schizoid designates a natural tendency to direct attention toward one’s inner life and away from the external world. A competing theory about people with schizoid PD is that they are in fact highly sensitive with a rich inner life: they experience a deep longing for intimacy but find initiating and maintaining close relationships too difficult. Therefore, they retreat into their inner world. People with schizoid PD rarely require any medical attention and are resistant to building close relationships.

Signs:

  • Staying away from friendly people around them
  • Lack emotional response
  • Lack sense of humor

3. Borderline personality disorder

It was given this name because it was thought to lie between the borderline of anxiety and psychotic disorder. Emotional instability, outburst of anger when criticized, suicidal threats and acts of self-harm are common. The person essentially lacks a sense of self, and as a result, experiences feelings of emptiness and fears of abandonment.

Signs:

  • Unpredictable as they can harm incautiously
  • They are manipulative
  • They are unstable

4. Schizotypal disorder

People with schizotypal personality disorder are often described as odd or eccentric. They usually have few, if any, close relationships. People with schizotypal PD have a higher than average probability of developing schizophrenia, and the condition used to be called ‘latent schizophrenia.’

Advertising

Signs:

  • Acting strange or unusual
  • They are not friendly
  • Staying away from people

5. Histrionic personality disorder

People with this see themselves as attractive and charming. They are constantly seeking others’ attention and tend to overreact. They do not have a sense of self-worth, and they depend entirely on themselves to gain the approval of others.

Signs:

  • Attracts attention
  • Tend to seduce
  • Seek to influence others’ reactions

6. Narcissistic personality disorder

People with this disorder have a sense of self-importance and require some form of admiration. They believe they are superior and therefore have no regard for others’ feelings. They lack empathy and exploit others in order to become successful. To others, this individual may seem self-absorbed, controlling, intolerant, selfish, or insensitive. They may become violent when ridiculed or criticized.

Signs:

  • Feels superior
  • They are arrogant

7. Anankastic personality disorder

A person with anankastic personality disorder is typically doubting and cautious, rigid and controlling, and humorless. Anxiety arises when this person experiences a lack of control over situations beyond his or her understanding.

Advertising

Signs:

  • Believes they are perfect
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

8. Avoidant personality disorder

This individual has low self-esteem and is constantly having the fear of being embarrassed, criticized, or rejected. They are awkward and avoid meeting people due to fear of being disliked. Research suggests that people with avoidant PD excessively monitor internal reactions, both their own and of others. This prevents them from engaging naturally or fluently in social situations.

Signs:

  • Low self esteem
  • Fear of failure

9. Antisocial personality disorder

People with this disorder always act without considering others’ perspectives. Antisocial personality disorder is much more common in men than in women, and it is characterized by a lack of concern for others’ feelings. This person disregards social rules and obligations, is irritable and aggressive, acts impulsively, and never feels remorse or guilt.

Signs:

  • Disrespects others’ decisions
  • Believes they are the only ones who are right
  • Absence of societal norms

10. Dependent personality disorder

This is characterized by a lack of self-confidence and an excessive need to be looked after. The person needs a lot of help in making everyday decisions and surrenders important life decisions to care for others. This individual fears isolation and can never be found alone.

Signs:

  • Clingy with other people
  • Avoids isolation
  • Cannot do anything alone

Reference

[1] Psychology Today: The 10 Personality Disorders
[2] Mind: Personality disorders

More by this author

Joseph Chan

Freelance Writer

10 Personality Disorders Many of Us Aren’t Aware Of Life Wisdom: You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate How to Learn from an Expert of Any Field for Free All Successful People Have a Self Actualized Mindset. Do You Have It? Why Some Leaders Are More Admirable Than Others

Trending in Psychology

1 How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits 2 How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing 3 How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy 4 The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected 5 Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

Advertising

    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

      Advertising

      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

      Advertising

      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

      Advertising

      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

      Read Next